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General Education

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Process

Who

Department chairs/school directors/deans for each general education approved course will lead faculty discussions to gain collective input to create and assess appropriate measures for general education assigned learning outcomes for each course.

When

The deadline for the submission of revised measures for all general education outcomes for each academic year is September 30th. Near the close of the academic year, a brief analysis and evaluation pertaining to each measure, an action plan for improvement for each outcome, and evidence of realized improvement are submitted by May 31st. Following the assessment, measures will be revised and submitted for the subsequent year.

What

General education outcomes assessment focuses on student learning. Student learning outcomes, as assigned by the general education council, identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students are expected to acquire through their study in the course. They answer the following question: What should students of a particular program be expected to know, do, and value upon completion of the program? General education outcomes assessment is not intended to be used in evaluating faculty or staff performance. To develop a system for assessment of student learning outcomes, programs should review the previous audit and proceed through the following steps.

Steps

1. Discuss the mission and overall intent of the course as provided by the General Education Council. What is the real mission of the course?  What are the core purpose, primary functions, and activities of the program? 

2. Four to five measurable student learning outcomes have been assigned to each general education course by the General Education Council; one for the component and three to four depending on the number of competencies assigned to each course. Ideally, the student learning outcomes reflect levels of the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains appropriate for an undergraduate program. Note the relationship between the course outcomes and mission. Note how the outcomes describe the knowledge, abilities, and attitudes students are expected to gain from the course. 

3. For each outcome, identify one method of measurement that will be used to measure progress on the outcome; direct methods are expected. Does the measure effectively and accurately reflect learning addressed in the outcome? Can the method be applied to all sections of the same course regardless of location or mode of delivery? Does the method of measurement include a direct means of assessment? Is it possible to collect accurate, valid, and reliable data for the measure in a reasonably efficient manner within the academic year? Does the measure provide detail on who will be assessed, how the assessment will be conducted, when and where the assessment will take place, and what specific knowledge, skills, values, and/or attitudes will be assessed? Is the method replicable? Have comments from the previous outcomes audit been addressed?  

4. For each method of measurement, determine the acceptable level or standard of performance. What level of achievement is considered acceptable performance for graduates of the program? Are the acceptable levels consistent with any external review standards?  Is the acceptable level above 70% (the minimum level considered acceptable by the General Education Council) for the collective group of students?

5. Develop a system for implementation and assessment. How and when are concepts, skills, and values being taught? Are some adjustments necessary? How will individual student learning be measured? What measures and scoring rubrics will be needed to quantify student learning? Who will be involved in the measurement process? When will learning be measured? How will measures be evaluated?  Will the findings be reflective of all students enrolled in the course not just students in select sections?

 6. Collect and analyze the assessment data. Do results reflect on and discuss the findings amassed from the corresponding measure? Do results measure learning by students in all sections of the course? Are the results based on reliable and valid data? Does the data reflect learning related to the outcome in all sections of the course offered throughout the year? Do results focus on student accomplishments and success? Do results indicate improvement from previous years? Do results illustrate the effectiveness of previous action plans? Do results indicate success in achieving the desired performance target? What indicators for improvement can be gleaned from the results? Have suggestions from previous audits been addressed?

7. Based on assessment findings, develop an action plan. Are action plans likely to lead to continuous improvement? Do action plans focus on means to improve student learning? Are action plans feasible considering available resources and time?

8. Describe the evidence of improvement gained from actions taken based on previous outcomes assessments. Does evidence of improvement focus on improvements in student learning? Is evidence of improvement found in the results?

 

Deadlines

September 30

General Education Student Learning Outcome Methods of Assessment Reviewed by Chairs/Directors

Faculty from all general education courses have the opportunity to modify their methods of assessment. As the assessment of learning outcomes begins, the Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness assists in creating plans for program improvement. Chairs/Directors review and approve minor modifications to the methods.

October 15

General Education Student Learning Outcome Methods of Assessment Audited by the General Education Council Assessment Committee

Following the chair/director approval of general education course methods for assessment of student learning outcomes, the General Education Council Assessment Committee conducts an audit of the methods.

October 31

General Education Student Learning Outcomes Methods of Assessment  Reviewed by General Education Council and Approval Granted on their Behalf by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services

Following the chair/director approval of student learning outcomes assessment methods and the Assessment Committee's audit, the General Education Council reviews and approves methods to improve programs. Following outcomes approval, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services approves the outcomes reports on behalf of the General Education Council and assists departments and schools in developing and implementing assessment methods.

May 31

General Education Student Learning Outcomes Results, Action Plans, and Evidence of Improvement Reviewed and Approved by Chairs/Directors

Results from the previous outcomes assessment cycles provide baseline information for assessing improvements of general education courses. Chairs/Directors review and approve outcomes progress, establish a plan of action, and provide evidence of course improvement

June 15

General Education Student Learning Outcomes Results, Action Plans, and Evidence of Improvement Audited by the General Education Council Assessment Committee

Following the chair/director approval of general education course student learning assessment results, action plans, and evidence of improvement, the General Education Council  Assessment Committee conducts an audit of the report.

June 30

General Education Student Learning Outcomes Results, Action Plans, and Evidence of Improvement Reviewed and Approved by General Education Council and Approval Granted on their Behalf by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services

Following the chair/director approval of student learning assessment results, action plans, and evidence of improvement and the General Education Council (GEC) Assessment Committee's audit, the GEC reviews and approves the results, evidence of improvement and action plans to improve general education courses. The Assistant Vice President for Academic Services formally approves the assessment reports on the recommendation of the General Education Council.

 

Liaisons

Oversight for student outcomes: general education is provided by the General Education Council under the leadership of the assistant vice president for academic services, Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt. Members of the Assessment Committee, a subcommittee of the General Education Council chaired by Dr. Nancy Wilson, serve as liaisons and support the general education outcomes assessment process. Members of the Assessment Committee audit the general education assessment reports after completion of the outcomes phase and the results phase. Feedback provided should be used to improve the outcomes assessment process to contribute to the general education goals of the university. 

The Assessment Committee also conducts a regular, comprehensive review of each component and competency outcomes and provides a report to the General Education Council who in turn provide feedback to the units offering courses in the respective components or competencies. 

The General Education Council members also serve as a conduit to and from the associate vice president for institutional effectiveness.

Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services provides leadership for the General Education Council and may be contacted for guidance on the General Education Outcomes assessment.

Members serving on the Assessment Subcommittee are listed below.

Alex White

  • ANTH 2101
  • ANTH 2301
  • BIO 1320
  • BIO 1321
  • BIO 1330
  • BIO 1331

Celeste Domsch

  • ART 2313
  • DAN 2313
  • GEO 1305
  • HIST 1310
  • HIST 1320
  • HON 2305
  • HON 2306
  • MU 2313
  • TH 2313

Elizabeth Blunk

  • ANTH 1312
  • CA 2351
  • ECON 2301
  • ECON 2314
  • GEO 1310
  • HIST 2327
  • HIST 2328
  • HIST 2381
  • HIST 2382
  • HON 2308
  • PSY 1300
  • SOCI 1310

Elizabeth Erhart

  • MATH 1312
  • MATH 1315
  • MATH 1316
  • MATH 1317
  • MATH 1319
  • MATH 1329

Harold Stern

  • COMM 1310
  • ENG 1310
  • ENG 1320
  • HON 2301

Marian Houser

  • HON 2302
  • HON 2307
  • MATH 2321
  • MATH 2417
  • MATH 2471
  • MATH 2473
  • POSI 2310
  • POSI 2320

Nancy Wilson

  • PFW 1301
  • PHYS 1310
  • PHYS 1315
  • PHYS 1320
  • PHYS 1325
  • PHYS 1340
  • PHYS 1350
  • PHYS 1360
  • PHYS 1370
  • PHYS 1430
  • PHYS 2425

Quazi Fidia Farah

  • CHEM 1310
  • CHEM 1330
  • CHEM 1335
  • CHEM 1341
  • CHEM 1342
  • GEOL 1410
  • GEOL 1420
  • HON 2303

Roxane Cuellar Allsup

  • ENG 2310
  • ENG 2320
  • ENG 2330
  • ENG 2340
  • ENG 2359
  • ENG 2360
  • HON 2304
  • PHIL 1305
  • PHIL 1320

Need Resources?

Our Guides and Templates page has downloadable resources that may be helpful in developing an outcomes assessment strategy and reporting findings are provided.

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