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Washington State University Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning

Faculty Creation and Validation of a Microbiology Concept Inventory (School of Molecular Biosciences)

Assessment activities offer ways for faculty to think about student learning in the curriculum and how to support it most effectively in their own classes and the program. Many assessment activities can increase shared faculty understanding of the curriculum. For example, the design and approval of measures by faculty helps ensure that measures are meaningful and credible to faculty and are useful in relation to the curriculum. Creating and reviewing measures also gets faculty collectively involved in program-level assessment.  » More …

Developing an Archive for Assessment (School of Design and Construction)

Assessment data collected by a degree program are valuable tools in making decisions about teaching and learning. As such, it is important to both protect data and provide appropriate access to data and results from data analysis (i.e. information derived from data). A well-established infrastructure makes evidence of student learning readily available for faculty and departments to use in decision-making, and reduces the logistical burden on faculty.  » More …

Assessing Student Learning at the Senior-level: Spring 2016 CAPS Course Assessment Reports (UCORE)

How are students doing on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals? Are UCORE Capstone (CAPS) courses providing students an opportunity to integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the curriculum, bringing closure to their undergraduate experience? To answer these and other questions, UCORE CAPS Instructors completed UCORE CAPS Course Assessment Reports to gauge student learning at the near-graduation level.  » More …

Assessing Science Literacy at WSU: 2016 Science Literacy Concept Inventory (UCORE)

WSU defines science literacy as a “basic understanding of major scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision-making, participation in civic affairs, economic productivity and global stewardship.” Citizen-level science literacy involves being able to use scientific reasoning, assess the quality of sources of scientific information, understand the nature of scientific evidence and processes, and recognize how science literacy affects everyday life. WSU’s faculty members view scientific literacy as an essential competency that they want all graduates to possess and it is included as one of WSU’s Seven Goals for Undergraduates» More …

Summary of 2016 Annual Assessment Reports by Undergraduate Programs

In September, ATL presented Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Erica Austin and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary Wack with the 2016 summary of program assessment reports from all WSU undergraduate degrees.

WSU’s undergraduate degree programs report annually on their system of assessing student learning, a practice begun in 2009. Program-level assessment looks at student learning in a degree or program of study — focusing on the key skills and knowledge students should develop, as well as their experiences in the curriculum. Assessment helps faculty collaboratively develop, maintain and improve an effective curriculum that promotes student learning.  » More …

Faculty Work to Enhance Learning in Capstone Courses: Hutchings Workshop

DSC_0138WSU faculty had a unique opportunity over the summer to enhance high-impact culminating senior experiences for students. On May 25-26, WSU hosted a two-day workshop with Dr. Patricia Hutchings, senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), and previously senior scholar and vice president at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she worked extensively with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  Thirty one faculty participated in the workshop, representing 24 departments and 4 WSU locations. Workshop participants shared a capstone (senior-level culminating) assignment with peers in conversations intended to help guide assignment revision as a summer follow-up activity. The assignments were from both UCORE capstones and other capstones for the major. » More …

Integrated Learning and Assessment in the Capstone (Landscape Architecture)

Each spring, WSU’s Landscape Architecture seniors get the chance to experience a landscape outside of the classroom and to interact with the people who live in, work in, and care about that landscape. Their senior capstone course is a service-learning studio that challenges them to generate designs in response to the needs of a particular place and people, applying their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting. The title of the capstone course, “The Confluence,” reinforces this goal: similar to the junction of rivers, students are asked to merge many things into one, integrating their prior learning and experience. The senior project embodies more than a compilation of skill sets, however; it is an opportunity for students to develop, expand, and challenge all they have learned–to see and create anew.  » More …

Visualizing the Curriculum (Interior Design)

Room 118 in Carpenter Hall in the School of Design and Construction contains tables stacked with syllabi and assignment prompts. Every wall is covered with design presentation boards and other student work. The room holds course materials from every required course in the Interior Design curriculum along with samples of student products from all courses for about 20% of their students. This spring, peer evaluators from the Interior Design professional accrediting organization, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), visited campus and this room served the important function of demonstrating to the evaluators how the curriculum meets CIDA’s nearly 100 criteria for student skills and knowledge.  » More …

Faculty Roles in Using Assessment Data to Inform Decision-making (History)

In effective systems of student learning assessment, programs regularly complete the assessment cycle by using what was learned from assessment to inform or influence program decisions. Faculty and instructors play critical roles in evaluating student work and then interpreting and discussing results, so that program-level assessment can contribute to decisions about curriculum, instruction, professional development, and assessment processes.  » More …

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