DEVELOPING DEPARTMENTAL OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT PLANS Jerry Rackoff Lois Huffines Kathy Martin
OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT DEFINED • The systematic gathering, interpreting, and use of information for the purposes of improving student learning. Emphasis is on results rather than inputs and processes. • Document that learning has occurred • Guiding Questions • What do you want your students to KNOW? • What do you want your students to BE ABLE TO DO? • What do you want your students toVALUE?
Improve teaching and learning Contribute to the personal development of students Ensure institutional improvement Facilitate accountability EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT ULTIMATE GOAL OF OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT • Commission on Higher Education (1996) • “examine and enhance institutional effectiveness” (p. 7) • Two Tier Approach
THE STATE OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS • Assessment is faculty driven and focused on a student-centered approach to teaching and learning • OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT allows us to determine the QUALITY of a Bucknell education on OUR terms • Promotes improvement • Supports successes
ASSESSMENT AT BUCKNELL Institutional Level Department Level Classroom Level
YOUR TASK • Develop an assessment plan for your department • You get the information you need to answer the questions that are important for your department • Full disclosure is not required: You decide what results you want to share & with whom • Assessment results WILL NOT be part of performance reviews for tenure or merit pay Demonstrate an effective process of improvement
THE CHALLENGE… Where to begin?
WHAT OUTCOMES ARE ASSESSED? • OUTCOME: results achieved by students following instruction • Cognitive (Knowledge) Outcomes • What do students know? • Skill Outcomes • What can students do? • Attitudes & Values (Affective) Outcomes • Diversity, personal identity, motivation • Behavioral Outcomes • Persistence, post-graduation activities
THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS: ROAD MAP FOR DEPARTMENT MEETINGS • Define department mission statement • Identify student learning goals and objectives • Select assessment methods to evaluate students’ achievement of the agreed upon objectives • Develop and implement procedures for the systematic collection of assessment data using the selected assessment measures • Analyze, summarize and report the assessment data • Use the assessment data to improve student learning • Revise assessment plans as needed Due by the end of March
Review of CurriculumGoals & Objectives Assessment Activities Review & Revisionof Curriculum Assessment Activities Outcomes Assessment Mission, Goals, and Objectives THE BIG PICTURE
DEPARTMENT MISSION STATEMENT • A general statement about why the department does what it does and for whom • Your purpose for being : Use catalog as a resource • One or two sentences
DEPARTMENT GOALS • Long range intended outcomes about the general aims or purposes of education • Provide direction based on the mission statement • More specific than the mission statement
DEVELOPING DEPARTMENT GOALS • Describe the ideal student at various phases through your program. What does s/he know, what can s/he do, what does s/he care about? • List and describe the program components that helped shape this ideal student • Review goal statements from similar institutions. How is Bucknell similar to or distinguished from that institution?
DEPARTMENT OBJECTIVES • Intended results or consequences of instruction, curricula, programs, or activities • Shorter time frame than goals • Types of objectives • Mastery Objectives: minimal performance requirements to be successful at the next level • Solve, identify, etc. • Developmental Objectives: process oriented indicating a range of progress over time • Understand, apply, describe, etc.
COMPONENTS OF OBJECTIVES • Behavior • Follows instruction and is evidence of completion of the objective • Target • Focus of learning – content, concept, skill, etc. • Performance standard • Minimum level of performance. What is “passing”?
A USEFUL OBJECTIVE . . . • Has one result per statement • Is consistent with the mission statement • Identifies a key learning component • Is realistic and attainable, but challenging • Is written clearly (understandable by those outside your discipline) • Uses action verbs to specify observable behaviors • Focuses on student, not teacher, behaviors • Is verifiable…not necessarily quantifiable • Can be assessed with multiple measures
PROBLEMATIC Students will be able to write. Unclear and not sufficiently specific USEFUL Students completing English 101 will be able to critique a brief draft essay, identifying grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors and offer appropriate suggestions for editing the errors. FOR EXAMPLE
Low Mission Statement Goals Objectives High SUMMARY Degree of Specificity
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER… • The department must agreeon the mission, goals, and objectives • Achieving consensusrequires compromiseand communication • Focus on process, not product
EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES TEMPLATE Jerry Rackoff