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Washington State University Assessment of Teaching and Learning

Team-based Online Focus Group Activity Collects Student Input on Capstone Project (Agricultural and Food Systems)

Focus groups provide a way to get feedback about student experiences, perceptions, and motivations, and can provide insight into the ways a curriculum can be most effectively designed to support student learning.

In Spring 2017, ATL worked with Dr. Desmond Layne, Director of Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS), to pilot a new focus group activity designed to elicit feedback on capstone students’ project team interactions with their industry partners. While traditional focus groups typically involve a facilitated whole group discussion, ATL’s pilot activity used a live online discussion board where teams leveraged their experience in group decision-making to respond to questions.  » More …

Using Direct and Indirect Measures to Assess Student Learning (Middle Level Math Endorsement)

In effective program assessment, programs and faculty systematically collect information about student learning, discuss results, and use that information to guide decisions that affect teaching and learning in the curriculum and the student experience in the program. Assessment allows programs to examine key areas including curriculum design, instructional effectiveness, and student experience.  » More …

Using Exit Survey Results to Assess the Senior Experience (Construction Management)

Senior exit surveys give students an opportunity to provide feedback on their undergraduate experiences. Questions may include those about curriculum, faculty, offices and services, social opportunities, and career preparation. Academic programs can use students’ responses to inform decisions and improve student learning.  » More …

Using Senior Exit Survey Results to Inform Program Decisions (School of Biological Sciences)

Senior exit surveys and interviews give students an opportunity to “weigh in” on their undergraduate experiences. Questions may include those about curriculum, faculty, offices and services, social opportunities, and career preparation. Academic programs can use students’ responses to inform decisions and improve student learning.

The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) has conducted exit surveys or interviews with graduating seniors for over five years. Their goal is to understand students’ perceptions of strengths and weaknesses of the program, and to get student input on how to adjust to make the program more effective. Larry Hufford, Director of the School of Biological Sciences, describes the practice as “very informative.” Based on what they have learned from students’ feedback along with other information, the program has made the following adjustments:

  • created workshops for students on research and career opportunities,
  • shifted teaching assignments,
  • worked with individual faculty to make adjustments to courses, and
  • made other curricular adjustments.

» More …

Seniors Reflect on their Curriculum: Student Focus Groups (Neuroscience)

At WSU, Spring is the time of year for rain and tulips–and also for student focus groups. A number of academic programs conduct focus groups with their graduating seniors during the last weeks of spring semester every year or every other year to get feedback about students’ experiences in their major. » More …

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