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Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Celebrating Excellence in WSU Undergraduate Program Assessment

Interim Provost Bryan Slinker speaking at 2019 Celebration of Assessment Excellence.On November 6th, the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL), Interim Provost Bryan Slinker, and Vice Provost Mary F. Wack hosted the second Celebration of Assessment Excellence, shining a spotlight on good practices in learning outcomes assessment and the efforts of program faculty, faculty assessment coordinators, chairs and directors, representing diverse academic programs and colleges, who share a strong commitment to providing high quality education to WSU’s undergraduate population. » More …

Using Course Grades to Assess the Student Experience (Mathematics)

While course grades are not fine-tuned enough to give information about student achievement on specific learning outcomes, they can nonetheless provide a rough indication of some aspects of curricular effectiveness, which programs can use – often in combination with other measures – to guide decision-making.

Course grades are often considered the “indicator” type of indirect assessment measure, and may provide programs with information that can uncover student course-taking patterns and give information about student progress through the curriculum, or identify new areas for investigation of a program’s effectiveness. For example, a high D/F/W rate in a core course may indicate a need to re-evaluate the curriculum (or a particular option/track) and how students are prepared for the course. A program could also use course grades to generally indicate where students may need more support in the curriculum. » More …

Using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Results to Assess the Senior Experience (School of Molecular Biosciences)

Every two years, WSU participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to help assess student engagement in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. In collaboration with Institutional Research, ATL disaggregated 2017 WSU NSSE results by major for undergraduate academic degree programs and colleges, focusing on responses from seniors, intended to provide information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for WSU undergraduates.  Some programs also received disaggregated reports for 2014-15, as part of a pilot.

The School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB) has used the 2017 NSSE responses from their seniors to identify program strengths and set priorities for improvement, as well as corroborate the results of other assessment measures.  » More …

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 the Paired Question Technique to Assess Student Learning in General Chemistry (Chemistry)

Assessment data serve multiple functions in the assessment process. These data provide insight into student performance in order to offer evidence about student learning in the curriculum, provide information about program strengths and weaknesses, and guide decision-making. A robust data set provides a rich base for analysis, faculty discussion, and evidence-based decision making. In this way, assessment results inform continual reflection and discussion to ensure effective teaching and learning.  » More …

Inaugural Celebration of Assessment Excellence at WSU

Provost Dan Bernardo.The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL), along with Provost Daniel J. Bernardo and Vice Provosts Erica W. Austin and Mary F. Wack, are delighted to recognize undergraduate programs, departments and schools where program-level assessment is well-established, thanks in large part to the efforts of faculty assessment coordinators, chairs and directors. In November 2017, ATL and the WSU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education hosted a Celebration of Assessment Excellence, honoring sixteen undergraduate programs on the Pullman Campus with exemplary assessment practices.  » More …

Communicating Assessment Results with Faculty (Psychology)

In successful assessment cycles, degree programs collect and interpret evidence to inform decision-making to improve student learning. 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 …

Using a Rubric to Assess Student Learning at the Senior-Level (Sociology)

An effective system of assessing student achievement includes measures at the senior level, near graduation, providing information about what students are able to achieve at the end of the program. For many programs, senior-level direct measures connect with a capstone course, as these culminating experiences can provide valuable holistic information about students’ learning before they graduate.  » More …

Assessment of Undergraduates’ Experiences with High-Impact Practices (English)

Due to their positive associations with student learning and retention, certain undergraduate opportunities (such as first-year experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research and culminating experiments) are designated “high-impact.” High-impact practices often share several traits; for example, they demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, and provide frequent and substantive feedback.  » 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 …