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Western Colorado's Selective University

Campus Assessment Update

Summer 2016 Campus Update

This year campus faculty were focused on assessing student learning in Essential Learning courses.  Additionally, learning outcomes assessment reports have been written for about 90% of all programs.

New Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Four years ago, a working group was formed to create student learning outcomes based on the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile.  At that time, the members of the group chose to focus on four of the five basic areas in the DQP to assess: Specialized Knowledge, Applied Learning (the committee combined these two areas into one outcome), and the Intellectual Skills of Communication Fluency, Quantitative Fluency, and Critical Thinking.  The members believed that was a good starting point for the institution but also determined that was not the stopping point of assessment.  Areas such as ethical reasoning, information literacy and civic learning were also discussed as future learning outcomes.

Assessment has grown throughout the institution demonstrated by the campus-wide reports that have been produced   A large number of programs already include assessment of ethical reasoning, listing this skill as specialized knowledge.  The authors of the DQP have also drafted a new 2.0 version which has enhanced the intellectual skills area to include ethical reasoning and use of information resources.  Based on this knowledge, faculty wrote both information literacy and ethical reasoning into the new graduate student learning outcomes.

The Assessment Committee followed suit and created new SLOs for the associate and baccalaureate level as well:

Information Literacy

Associate: Identify, utilize and cite various sources of information in academic assignments, projects or performances.

Baccalaureate: Find relevant sources of information, evaluate information critically, and apply the information appropriately and effectively to specific purposes.

Ethical Reasoning

Associate: Identify ethical situations and recognize their social, professional or legal implications.

Baccalaureate: Analyze ethical situations in terms of their social, professional or legal consequences; and evaluate possible solutions to ethical dilemmas.

The new outcomes were presented to Faculty Senate and will be added to the existing institutional outcomes in the near future.

The Committee also reviewed the assessment portion of five program reviews and provided feedback to the faculty.  A report will be sent to Faculty Senate this fall. 

Assessment Committee Activities

As of summer, 2016, the Assessment Committee has reviewed the majority of program reports from associate degree and technical certificate programs.  Reviews were sent to department heads and assessment representatives to share with program faculty.  The assessment portion of five program reviews was also reviewed with the report submitted to Faculty Senate.  The Director of Assessment of Student Learning and/or the Faculty Coordinator of Assessment met with each external reviewer to discuss program assessment.

Program Assessment

The newest step in the assessment process is the 3-year summary report.  A template was developed for program faculty to use that will help with consistency of reporting across campuses and programs.  Programs in Cycles 1 and 2 from the Program Review Manual will be submitting the 3-year summary report in fall, 2016.

Essential Learning

Both the Written Communication and Critical Thinking outcomes were assessed in fall, 2015.  The assessment report and review are in found in Appendix A.  The first pilot assessment was performed on Oral Communication using artifacts from the Essential Speech courses. Based on this pilot, the review group believes that the AAC&U VALUE rubric for oral communication will work well for this assessment.  A second pilot with more artifacts and reviewers will be conducted in the fall of 2016. 

ETS Proficiency Profile

The ETS Proficiency Profile was administered in both the fall and spring semesters.  Analysis of the results is in Appendix B.

Bette Schans

Director of Assessment of Student Learning