Assessment Handbook approved by BOT July 22, 2021
As a historic American Indian serving institution, Bacone College provides a quality holistic liberal arts educational experience in a culturally diverse environment empowering life-long learners with the knowledge, skills, and capacity to be transformational leaders in both native and non-native communities.
Empowering transformational leaders who incorporate traditional values and voices to
positively impact our local communities around the world.
Assessment at Bacone College begins with the mission statement. Bacone’s mission, vision, values and institutional goals inspire all assessment activity. The purpose of assessment at Bacone College is simply to assess student learning. It is the process of deciding what students should learn and ensuring they learn it. Assessment has three distinct but inter-related tasks, each with different timelines and different entities responsible for oversight. These three processes are:
- Assessment of the common core (General Education Assessment).
- Assessment of academic programs (Annual Outcomes Assessment, Program Review, and Program Specific Accreditation)
- Co-Curricular Program Assessment
“Assessing the quality of campus work, programs, and facilities is a responsibility shared by a vast array of stakeholders, including the trustees, administrators, the faculty, the students and their families” (Stake, Contreras, Arbesu’, p. 35). The institution is also assessed by the legislature, the workplace and the media. They all evaluate what the institution does; however, they most often do so informally. Bacone College relies on the assessments that are formative, developmental and aimed at avoiding dysfunction, repairing weaknesses, and shaping new teaching and public service.
In all assessment activities, administrators, faculty and staff take into consideration the educational and cultural backgrounds of Bacone’s increasingly diverse student population. The Dean of Accreditation and Research and the Assessment Committee function as a collection point for the data. The Dean is accountable to the Board of Trustees, administration, academic and student service divisions for reporting and publishing the summative results of assessment activities.
As an HLC accredited institution, Bacone College is committed to diligence in its efforts to capture assessment data and to create new opportunities to assess curricular processes and products concurrent with a strong emphasis on academic trends and issues. It is expected that the final product will be verifiable evidence of student achievement in knowledge attainment, skills, and critical thinking. Results of assessment will be used to inform instruction, improve the quality of programs, provide validation to internal and external constituencies, and aid in the
achievement of the College’s mission and its core and experiential learning goals, defined at Bacone College as Institutional Learning Outcomes (ISLOS).
The purpose of the assessment handbook is to provide structure to the program by clarifying the functions of assessment activities and their relationship to institutional, program, and course level outcomes—and to facilitate assessment of institutional effectiveness as it relates to student success. In addition, the document articulates priorities which will continue to be the foundation of this continuous assessment process.
Assessment Committee Membership
Bacone College’s assessment committee is comprised of faculty members, representatives from
the administration, the Dean of Accreditation and Research, and student services staff. Members serve a minimum one year but may stay on the committee indefinitely.
The committee collects, review, reports and make recommendations concerning student learning and institutional effectiveness to ensure continuous quality improvement.
The committee oversees all institutional data collection and can recommend the collection of new data that will measure institutional effectiveness.
The Assessment Committee and sub-committees met throughout the academic year. The original impetus was to complete an institutional self-study to develop a viable five-year strategic plan. As the year and work on the strategic plan progressed, new sub-committees were created to address the Faculty Handbook, the Adjunct Handbook, the Advisor Handbook, the Assessment Handbook, the Assessment Plan and Program Review.
The committee reviewed Core Curriculum data for the past five years to ascertain passing rates and establish benchmarks for the 2021-2022 academic year. These benchmarks are noted in the Program Review.
Core courses were aligned to Bacone College Institutional goals.
The Schools/Divisions updated Learning Outcomes
Minutes were kept for all assessment committee meetings
Assessment Goal: To review academic and student support data that demonstrates institutional effectiveness by:
- Creating a sustainable college climate for assessing student outcomes at the program, event, and academic levels
- Supporting and encouraging flexible approaches to assessment that are useful, cost-effective, accurate, truthful, planned, organized, and sustained
- Providing training on the process institution-wide
- Using assessment results to improve overall student experience through program and event facilitation and faculty/adjunct teaching and learning
Objective 1: Annual review of program assessment data which supports the continued improvement of student learning.
Objective 2: Annual review of essential learning outcomes (core curriculum) data which supports the continued improvement of student learning.
Objective 3: Monthly or as needed meetings during the academic year to review assessment data that may be available at the time and/or plan for additional data collection to assist in data driven decisions.
Objective 4: Annual review of Student Support Services data including the enrollment management plan which supports the continued improvement of student learning.
Bacone College, prior to Fall, 2017, was led for four years by a retired attorney with no educational background. He relied on his two Vice-Presidents to guide the institution in academics and accreditation. Although the institution did maintain accreditation, the completed work was not collaborative. Data was gathered, analyzed, and reported with little involvement from the students, staff, and faculty. Both Vice-Presidents left the college at the end of the spring, 2017 semester. A new Vice-President for Academic Affairs was hired in June, 2017 who was previously the chair of the Division of Education. He was experienced in education and assessment and was part of a team who attended the Assessment Academy with HLC during the summer of 2017.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, the VPAA and his team did conduct several assessment workshops for faculty. He formed a number of committees that met on a regular basis. He was, however, attempting to fill the responsibilities of two positions. As the spring semester progressed, the financial problems at the college became more evident and more public. This shifted the focus from one of achievement to survival. Thus, the work of the assessment committees was not finished. Although several committees did complete their assignments, approval of their recommendations never went to the BOT as those meetings were focused on keeping the college open, not on academic achievement and educational innovation. The administration actually told students that the college was closing and advised them to make alternate plans for the fall. The Division Deans were sent to faculty to tell them the college was closing and they should look elsewhere for employment. Staff was laid off the week of graduation. Graduation was on a Saturday and all faculty was laid off on the following Monday.
The current President was appointed by the BOT at the spring 2018 graduation ceremony. Apparently the news about the permanent closure of the college did not reach him as he worked through the summer of 2018 without a contract. He raised money to keep the utilities on and completely revised the direction the college would take. He eliminated high cost athletic programs. He called faculty in for informal meetings to update them and then announced that the college would open for the Fall 2018 semester. Faculty came in two days before the start of classes and had to completely revise the course offerings.
The former Chair of Christian Ministry was hired as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs during the summer of 2018—he was trying to do the work of two positions and had no administrative assistant due to budgetary limitations. The entire 2018-2019 academic year was focused on getting students enrolled, providing classes, and retaining them for the following semester. The college was in survival mode, but committed to remaining open and meeting the educational needs of students. The college did complete an extensive self-study as part of its application to be recognized as a tribal college by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The focus was on improving the fragile financial position of the college as The Total Composite Financial Indicator Score (CFI) for FY 2018 was .06. There was a focused site visit by HLC in the fall of 2018 to address the fiscal operations of the institution. As a result of that visit, Bacone College was placed on probation.
There was also a focused site visit by HLC in the fall of 2020. HLC recognized the strides the college made toward improving its financial position to a CFI score of 1.3 for FY 2019; however, the response clearly pointed out the weaknesses in Criterion 4 –Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement. HLC continued Bacone’s probationary status for a minimum one additional year to provide time for the college address their concerns.
As a result of those findings, the President established the position of Dean of Accreditation and Research. To fill the position, the Chair of the Division of Professional Learning/Chair of the Division of Education was moved. The administration, staff, and faculty have accepted her leadership as they all participate in the necessary assessment activities to remove Bacone College from its probationary status.
Assessment of student learning outcomes includes distinct, but inter-related, tasks, each with different timelines and different entities responsible for oversight. Those processes are assessment of the core curriculum, assessment of academic programs, program review and program specific accreditation, assessment of educational efforts at the institutional level, and co-curricular program assessment.
There are three basic steps that underlie each aspect of Bacone’s assessment.
- Defining student learning objectives (outcomes)
- Evaluating student success in achieving those objectives (assessment
- Using the results to implement improvements in student learning and program qualify and effectiveness (Closing the loop)
A well-designed outcomes assessment program is based upon assessment activities at the course level, supplemented by program-level data. These data can then be aggregated to provide information regarding specific courses, major programs, the core curriculum, or the college as a whole.
All instructors are expected to have clear learning objectives for their classes, which are assessed at the assignment and course levels. These course-level learning objectives should be aligned with the objectives of the major program. In addition, instructors of core curriculum courses are expected to align their learning objectives with both the institutional objectives for the core curriculum and the medicine Wheel. Finally, all programs should have learning outcomes that are aligned with clear, institutional expectations regarding outcomes for graduates.
Assessment procedures are based upon the following assumptions:
- All levels of assessment should inform and build upon the others
- All faculty should be actively involved
- Assessment should be embedded within regular course or program activities whenever possible
- Assessment is an ongoing process
- Assessment is concerned with evaluating the effectiveness of programs, courses, and services, not individuals
- The specifics of outcomes assessment procedures should be flexible to accommodate the varied needs of the academic programs
- The results of assessment activities should be clearly linked to program improvements
- The results of assessment activities should be publicly available.
All outcomes assessment data are collected by the academic departments. Assessment reports are then generated by the department or course faculty for the following uses:
- Assessment of Bacone students’ achievement of the institutional goals
- Assessment of the General Education core curriculum
- Academic program outcomes assessment
- Accreditation reports
- Data regarding the equivalency of online and face-to-face programs
- Comparative data regarding the achievement of student learning outcomes and institutional goals for underclassmen and upper classmen.
- Longitudinal data regarding student achievement of learning outcomes and institutional goals over time.
As a liberal arts institution, assessment of the core curriculum is essential to Bacone’s mission. Responsibility for oversight of the assessment of the general education program resides with the Dean of Accreditation and Research and the assessment committee.
The College has adopted the following goals in its core curriculum that all students are required to master: Furthermore, in partially assessing its success in accomplishing its education and core curriculum goals, the college evaluates the outcomes shown below.
Engendering and Seeking Goal 1: Question, doubt, and think, which inspires the search for knowledge and awareness.
- Students evaluate whether or not a question has validity and value.
- Students embrace and apply knowledge to alternate conditions.
Engendering and Seeking Goal 2: Develop awareness of how the student himself and how the answers the student seeks fit within the larger picture of life and learning.
- Students analyze their views of life in relation to varied world views.
Engendering and Seeking Goal 3: Develop curiosity about material by asking questions.
- Students examine information for alternative explanations and possible implications.
Seeking and Pondering Goal 1: Learn to combine the subjective and objective, intuition and facts, beliefs and emotions with observations and investigations.
- Students synthesize and analyze documents to find subjective and objective elements in varying media.
- Students express the objective and subjective thoughts through writing and speaking.
Seeking and Pondering Goal 2: Develop the initiative to learn issues and topics that help a person better know how he or she relates to the larger community and the natural environment.
- Students analyze, understand, and express knowledge of world, American, and regional, human and natural history, culture, and institutions.
Seeking and Pondering Goal 3: Support their ideas by evaluating various sources and formats (written, numerical, spoken, and visual) of information.
- Students apply open minded, analytical approaches to the evaluation of information.
- Students value and appreciate the richness of multiple literacies and forms of expression, and the limitations of each in contribution to knowledge and understanding.
- Students adhere to ethical standards in both the analysis and generation of knowledge.
Pondering and Knowing Goal 1: Use life’s many uncertainties to inspire renewed seeking for answers to the many problems that face humans.
- Students construct probing questions from newly acquired information.
- Students self-assess their learning by measuring achievement of goals.
- Students report their progression towards learning goals.
Pondering and Knowing Goal 2: Evaluate the current state of knowledge and apply it to solve problems across many disciplines.
- Students analyze and incorporate information from various sources of media.
Pondering and Knowing Goal 3: Apply knowledge to specific problems and circumstances.
- Students formulate sound methodologies utilizing both quantitative and qualitative analysis to solve problems.
- Students devise problem solving techniques that work effectively with diverging viewpoints.
- Students challenge uncertain conclusions, and investigate alternative solutions.
Knowing and Engendering Goal 1: Engender new questions that will guide lifelong learning and self-discovery.
- Students create unique questions to existing problems.
Knowing and Engendering Goal 2: Develop an awareness of global culture.
- Students evaluate, interpret, and formulate answers to multifaceted real world issues.
- Students offer solutions to problems from diverse points of view.
Knowing and Engendering Goal 3: Develop effective use of research resources and scientific methods.
- Students review and analyze data.
- Students categorize relevance of concepts.
- Students demonstrate the ability to differentiate opinion, theory, and fact.
Core Curriculum Map
To ensure alignment of the Core Curriculum goals to the courses offered in the Core Curriculum, faculty created a Core Curriculum Map that aligns the goals with the courses during the summer of 2020. All students are required to master these goals. Furthermore, as a partial assessment of its success in accomplishing both education and core curriculum goals, the college regularly evaluates the outcomes shown below.
Students are required to have a grade of “C” or above in English Composition 1113 and English Composition 1213.
*Choose 1 for history requirement
**Choose 1 for religion requirement
***Choose 1 for science requirement
|Skills/Student Outcomes||Course offered by Degree|
|Associate of Arts||Associate of Science||Associate of Applied Science||Bachelor of Science/Arts|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 1 Question, doubt, and think, which inspires the search for knowledge and awareness.||ENG 1113 English Composition I (3 hrs. credit) Students will receive an in-depth review of the fundamentals of English grammar and the structure of sentences and paragraphs. *HIS 3013 Post-1865 U.S. History (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain a complete overview of American history and culture since 1865.||ENG 1113 English Composition I (3 hrs. credit) Students will receive an in-depth review of the fundamentals of English grammar and the structure of sentences and paragraphs. *HIS 3013 Post-1865 U.S. History (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain a complete overview of American history and culture since 1865.||ENG 1113 English Composition I (3 hrs. credit) Students will receive an in-depth review of the fundamentals of English grammar and the structure of sentences and paragraphs.||ENG 1113 English Composition I (3 hrs. credit) Students will receive an in-depth review of the fundamentals of English grammar and the structure of sentences and paragraphs *HIS 2483 Pre-1865 US History (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain a complete overview of early American history and culture. *HIS 2493 Post-1865 U.S. History (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain a complete overview of American history and culture since 1865.|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 2 Develop awareness of how the student and the answers she/he seeks fits within the larger picture of life and learning.||**REL 1003 Introduction to Christianity (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain an understanding of the basic ideas of Christian theology, doctrine, and faiths. AIS 1103 Introduction to American Indian Studies (3 hrs. credit) Students will be introduced to the history, culture, language, literature, arts, politics, and legal status of the indigenous people of North America.||**REL 1003 Introduction to Christianity (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain an understanding of the basic ideas of Christian theology, doctrine, and faiths. AIS 1103 Introduction to American Indian Studies (3 hrs. credit) Students will be introduced to the history, culture, language, literature, arts, politics, and legal status of the indigenous people of North America.||**REL 1003 Introduction to Christianity (3 hrs. credit) Students will gain an understanding of the basic ideas of Christian theology, doctrine, and faiths. AIS 1103 Introduction to American Indian Studies (3 hrs. credit) Students will be introduced to the history, culture, language, literature, arts, politics, and legal status of the indigenous people of North America.|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 3 Develop curiosity about material by asking questions.||***CHEM 1364 Introduction to Chemistry (4 hrs. credit) Students will explore the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including measurements, the metric system, matter and energy, basic atomic structure, chemical bonding, intermolecular attractions, names and formulas of compounds.||***CHEM 1364 Introduction to Chemistry (4 hrs. credit) Students will explore the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including measurements, the metric system, matter and energy, basic atomic structure, chemical bonding, intermolecular attractions, names and formulas of compounds.||***CHEM 1364 Introduction to Chemistry (4 hrs. credit) Students will explore the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including measurements, the metric system, matter and energy, basic atomic structure, chemical bonding, intermolecular attractions, names and formulas of compounds.|
|Seeking and Pondering Goal 1 Learn to combine the subjective and objective, intuition and facts, beliefs, and emotions with observations and investigations.||CLE 1103 First Year Seminar (3 hrs. credit) Students will improve performance and retention and provide students with an extensive introduction to the purposes of higher education.||CLE 1103 First Year Seminar (3 hrs. credit) Students will improve performance and retention and provide students with an extensive introduction to the purposes of higher education.||CLE 1103 First Year Seminar (3 hrs. credit) Students will improve performance and retention and provide students with an extensive introduction to the purposes of higher education.|
Seeking and Pondering Goal 2 Develop the initiative to learn issues and topics that help a person better know how she or he relates to the larger community and the natural environment.
|***BIO 1114 Human Biology (4 hrs. credit) Students will learn basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology from the cellular level through organ systems. ***GPS 1114 General Physical Science (4 hrs. credit) Students will gain an overview of basic concepts in the physical sciences.||***BIO 1114 Human Biology (4 hrs. credit) Students will learn basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology from the cellular level through organ systems. ***GPS 1114 General Physical Science (4 hrs. credit) Students will gain an overview of basic concepts in the physical sciences.||***BIO 1114 Human Biology (4 hrs. credit) Students will learn basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology from the cellular level through organ systems.||***BIO 1114 Human Biology (4 hrs. credit) Students will learn basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology from the cellular level through organ systems. ***GPS 1114 General Physical Science (4 hrs. credit) Students will gain an overview of basic concepts in the physical sciences.|
|Seeking and Pondering Goal 3 Support their ideas by evaluating various sources and formats (written, numerical, spoken, and visual) of information.||MATH 1513 College Algebra (3 hrs. credit) Students will learn the fundamental structure of mathematics for non-mathematics majors.||MATH 1513 College Algebra (3 hrs. credit) Students will learn the fundamental structure of mathematics for non-mathematics majors.||MATH 1513 College Algebra (3 hrs. credit) Students will learn the fundamental structure of mathematics for non-mathematics majors.|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 1 Use life’s many uncertainties to inspire renewed seeking for answers to the many problems that face humans.||ESE 2112 Personal Health (2 hrs. credit) Students will develop a personal appreciation, understanding, and awareness of good health practices and a well-being by analyzing the causes and effects of major health problems in our society today.|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 2 Evaluate the current state of knowledge and apply it to solve problems across many disciplines.||SPC 1713 Speaking and Thinking Critically (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to use critical thinking to speak effectively in front of an audience.||SPC 1713 Speaking and Thinking Critically (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to use critical thinking to speak effectively in front of an audience.||SPC 1713 Speaking and Thinking Critically (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to use critical thinking to speak effectively in front of an audience.|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 3 Apply knowledge to specific problems and circumstances.||LOGIC 3213 Intro to Critical Thinking (3 hrs. credit) Students will be exposed to a variety of concepts from traditional and prepositional logic, presenting students will a wide variety of reasoning techniques.|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 1 Engender new questions that will guide lifelong learning and self-discovery.||AES2003 Creativity: Treasuring the Arts (3 hrs. credit) Students will explore the social influences on their attitudes and beliefs about the nature of creativity.|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 2 Develop an awareness of global culture.||**REL 2253 World Religion (3 hrs. credit) Students will survey the beliefs, values, and worldviews of human beings by examining the six major religions that shape our world.||**REL 2253 World Religion (3 hrs. credit) Students will survey the beliefs, values, and worldviews of human beings by examining the six major religions that shape our world.||**REL 2253 World Religion (3 hrs. credit) Students will survey the beliefs, values, and worldviews of human beings by examining the six major religions that shape our world.|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 3 Develop effective use of research resources and scientific methods.||ENG 1213 English Composition II (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to complete an essay and a research paper using APA style.||ENG 1213 English Composition II (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to complete an essay and a research paper using APA style.||ENG 1213 English Composition II (3 hrs. credit) Students will be able to complete an essay and a research paper using APA style.|
As Bacone College returns to its original mission of educating American Indians, the college is refocusing attention on the Medicine Wheel Framework and aligning coursework with the framework and the Core Curriculum. The Medicine Wheel framework is a circular, cyclical concept that is unending. It is an opportunity for teaching and learning, growth, and education.
Ruthe Blalock Jones, Associate Professor and Director of Art at Bacone College (now Professor Emeritus), created the medicine wheel drawing in September, 1991 which has become Bacone College’s logo. It was designed to focus on the mission and heritage of the school in serving the educational needs of American Indians.
- The cross symbolizes the College’s Christian heritage. Knowledge is symbolized by the flame or lamp of learning.
- The four peyote birds, four fan shapes and spirit lines radiating from the center are included as homage to Woody Crumbo, a renowned American Indian artist and former Director of Art at Bacone. They were part of the Rose Window Crumbo designed in the Chapel (destroyed by fire in December of 1990).
- The single star recognizes Company I of World War II. The star also relates to the Oklahoma flag and the Five Civilized Tribes.
- Buffalo tracks in the quarter spaces represent good luck with the tee-pee designs representing a camp or place of dwelling. These images are Dick West’s and are a tribute to him. Mr. West is another of the renowned American Indian artists who have been members of the Bacone faculty. These designs were used to represent continuity in building on the past and moving forward.
- 1880 is the date the college was established.
The First Section – East quadrant encourages brainstorming and thinking about cultural ideas/activities that engage students, staff, faculty, administrators, Board members, and community members. Thinking includes speaking and writing about appropriate cultural activities that respect the tribal traditions, region, and timing of the event. There is also discussion about personnel, budget, and the intended audience.
The Second Section – South quadrant involves planning events that celebrate the various American Indian cultures of our students that create a home-like setting for students. College employees work with student sponsors and students themselves to plan when, where, how, and why events and activities are held. Discussions include everyone involved to identify the resources, location of the activities, and key individuals who will lead and assist in the planned activities. Time and preparation, as well as required human and fiscal resources are raised, discussed and identified.
The Third Section – West quadrant is the time to implement by transforming ideas with the appropriate resources into action. Individual and teamwork, trust, communication, responsibility, and confidence are achieved. The planning and implementation stages generate a sense of pride that fosters a sense of community among the students, staff, and faculty.
The Fourth Section – North quadrant is the opportunity to reconvene and examine what students learned or achieved. This time to reflect inspires students to identify what worked and what did not so the next time the event is held, the identified missteps will not reoccur. This self-assessment of knowledge encourages new or additional ideas and activities to be part of the monthly, semester, or annual activities of the College creating a sense of community.
Co-curricular: The Center for American Indians provides a safe space for students to gather and offers other co-curricular experiences to emphasize traditional/ceremonial spirituality.
Curricular: Every student is required to take a course in American Indian Studies to understand the philosophy and spirituality of Bacone College. Every student is also required to take one course in the cultural and spiritual life to enrich student comprehension of Indigenous ways of being. Cultural life is a fundamental part of Indian life and is fundamental to Bacone’s mission.
To fully align the core curriculum goals to the institutional outcomes and the Medicine Wheel Framework, faculty met to discuss how the course offerings and outcomes fit within the context of American Indian culture and tradition. The circular aspect of the framework encourages a world view of education, culture, and spirituality that honors the mission of Bacone College.
Core Curriculum Alignment to Institutional Goals and Medicine Wheel Framework
|Skills/Outcomes||Course||Medicine Wheel Framework|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 1 Question, doubt, and think, which inspires the search for knowledge and awareness||English Comp I (fundamentals, grammar, structure)||East (speaking, writing) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|US History Pre-1865 (overview history & culture)||East (speaking, writing) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|US History Post-1865 (overview history & culture)||East (speaking, writing) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 2 Develop awareness of how the student and the answers she/he seeks fits within the larger picture of life and learning||Introduction to Christianity (Christian theology, doctrine, faith)||West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Intro to AIS (history, culture, language, literature, arts, politics, legal status)||East (speaking, writing) South (activities, resources) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Engendering and Seeking Goal 3 Develop curiosity about material by asking questions||Intro to Chemistry (measurements, metric system, atomic structure, formulas)||North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Seeking and Pondering Goal 1 Learn to combine the subjective and objective, intuition and facts, beliefs, and emotions with observations and investigations||First Year Seminar (performance, retention, purpose of higher ed)||South (activities, resources) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Seeking and Pondering Goal 2 Develop the initiative to learn issues and topics that help a person better know how she or he relates to the larger community and the natural environment||Human Biology (anatomy, physiology, cellular level)||North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|General Physical Science (basic concepts)||North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Seeking and Pondering Goal 3 Support their ideas by evaluating various sources and formats (written, numerical, spoken, and visual) of information||College Algebra (fundamentals of mathematics)||North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 1 Use life’s many uncertainties to inspire renewed seeking for answers to the many problems that face humans||Personal Health (good health practices, analyzing, effects, appreciation, understanding)||East (speaking, writing) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 2 Evaluate the current state of knowledge and apply it to solve problems across many disciplines||Speaking & Thinking Critically (critical thinking, speak effectively)||East (speaking, writing) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Pondering and Knowing Goal 3 Apply knowledge to specific problems and circumstances||Logic (reasoning, traditional, prepositional)||East (speaking, writing) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 1 Engender new questions that will guide lifelong learning and self-discovery||AES/Creativity (social influences, attitudes, beliefs, nature of creativity)||East (speaking, writing) West (sense of community) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 2 Develop an awareness of global culture||World Religion (beliefs, values, worldview)||East (speaking, writing) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
|Knowing and Engendering Goal 3 Develop effective use of research resources and scientific methods||English Comp II (essay, research, APA)||East (speaking, writing) North (reflect, self-assessment)|
Shawn Dixon (Radiography)
Dr. Rebecca Truelove (Accreditation & Research)
Dr. John Winters (Business & Sports Management)
Oversight of the General Education assessment process will be managed by the assessment committee, individual school/department deans, chairs, or directors. The Dean of Accreditation and Research will be responsible for coordinating and supporting the mechanics of the process and for managing document and data submission.
The general education outcomes assessment process begins with the development of an Assessment Plan, which should be revised annually. The Assessment Plan is at the end of the Assessment Handbook.
Program Level Assessment evaluates how well all students in a program have achieved program level learning goals. The goals state what the program aims to achieve. “Goals can describe aims outside the teaching/learning process as well as within it” (Suskie, 2018, p.40). Outcomes are “goals that refer to the end rather than the means, the result rather than the process (Suskie, p. 41). According to Suskie, the goal is not that the student writes a research paper, but that the student writes an effective paper that demonstrates knowledge of the content. Learning goals or learning outcomes are goals that describe what student will be able to do as a result of the learning experience. These are the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and habits of mind that students integrate into their overall learning experiences.
The exponential growth of knowledge in almost every field has made it impossible for students to remember every important concept in the content area. Plus, the ease with which students can access information has reduced their need to commit so many facts to memory. Instead, it is critically important for faculty to focus on developing skills and attitudes that will generalize across the content areas and last a lifetime. Thus, the importance of teaching thinking skills is more essential than ever. Part of the process of developing these critical thinking skills is using learning taxonomies to develop learning outcomes.
Learning taxonomies are commonly utilized in the development of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes that state, “should understand…”, “will be able to appreciate…”, and “will know how to…” are not directly measurable and lead to different interpretations of what the student’s behavior will be. It is important to know specific outcomes that will demonstrate how students will “understand”, “appreciate” or “know”. Specific verbs such as “explain”, “appraise”, or “apply” are more measurable choices.
The final part of the outcome is the resulting evidence, which refers to the work that students produce—such as papers, exams, presentations, performances, portfolios, and lab results—to demonstrate their learning. Examples of solid and effective action words taken from Bloom’s earlier taxonomy that include expected learning outcome statements are:
Appraise Demonstrate Evaluate Design Formulate Calculate
Illustrate Classify Assess Diagnose Distinguish Differentiate
Integrate Construct Perform Rate Predict Determine
Specific outcomes demonstrate how students will “understand”, “appreciate” or “know”. Refer to the following chart, which illustrates the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning.
During the late 1990’s a new group of cognitive psychologists, led by Lorin Anderson (a former student of Bloom’s), updated the taxonomy to reflect relevance to 21st century work. The two graphics show the revised and original Taxonomies. Note the change from nouns to verbs associated with each level.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
Available at https://www.edweek.org/education/opinion-heres-whats-wrong-with-blooms-taxonomy-a-deeper-learning-perspective/2018/03
Definitions of the different levels of thinking skills in Bloom’s taxonomy
|Remembering: can the student recall or remember the information?||define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce state|
|Understanding: can the student explain ideas or concepts?||classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase|
|Applying: can the student use the information in a new way?||choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write|
|Analyzing: can the student distinguish between the different parts?||appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test|
|Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or decision?||appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate|
|Creating: can the student create a new product or point of view?||assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, and write.|
- Remembering – recalling relevant terminology, specific facts, or different procedures related to information and/or course topics. At this level, a student can remember something, but may not really understand it.
- Understanding – the ability to grasp the meaning of information (facts, definitions, concepts, etc.) that has been presented.
- Applying – being able to use previously learned information in different situations or in problem solving.
- Analyzing – the ability to break information down into its component parts. Analysis also refers to the process of examining information in order to make conclusions regarding cause and effect, interpreting motives, making inferences, or finding evidence to support statements/arguments.
- Evaluating – being able to judge the value of information and/or sources of information based on personal values or opinions.
- Creating – the ability to creatively or uniquely apply prior knowledge and/or skills to produce new and original thoughts, ideas, processes, etc. At this level, students are involved in creating their own thoughts and ideas.
Synonyms for Commonly Used Descriptors of Learning
|Count Define Describe Draw Identify Label List Match Name Outline Point Quote Read Recall Recite Recognize Record Repeat Reproduce Select State Write||Associate Compute Convert Defend Discuss Distinguish Estimate Explain Extend Extrapolate Generalize Give Examples Infer Paraphrase Predict Rewrite Summarize||Add Apply Calculate Change Classify Complete Compute Demonstrate Discover Divide Examine Graph Interpolate Manipulate Modify Operate Prepare Produce Show Solve Subtract Translate Use||Arrange Breakdown Combine Compare Conclude Contrast Criticize Critique Design Detect Determine Develop Diagram Differentiate Discriminate Illustrate Infer Outline Point out Relate Select Separate Subdivide Appraise Assess Grade Interpret Judge Justify Measure Rank Rate Support Test Utilize||Appraise Assess Compare Conclude Contrast Criticize Critique Determine Grade Interpret Justify Measure Rank Rate Support Test||Categorize Combine Compile Compose Create Drive Design Devise Explain Generate Group Integrate Modify Order Organize Plan Prescribe Propose Rearrange Reconstruct Related Reorganize Revise Rewrite Summarize Transform Specify|
While Bloom’s taxonomy is a valuable tool, it does not focus on many of the dispositions and skills students need today to be successful in the global workforce, such as flexibility, metacognition, professionalism, working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, ethical judgment, and teamwork. Marzano, Pickering, & McTighe developed the Dimensions of Learning published in Dimensions of Thinking: A Framework for Curriculum and Instruction, in 1988.
These dimensions include:
Dimension 1: Attitudes and Perceptions
- Helping students develop positive attitudes and perceptions about classroom climate
- Helping students develop positive attitudes and perceptions about classroom tasks
Dimension 2: Acquire and integrate knowledge
- Helping students understand the nature of knowledge
- Helping students understand the relationship between declarative and procedural knowledge
- Helping student acquire and integrate declarative knowledge
- Helping students acquire and integrate procedural knowledge
Dimension 3: Extend and refine knowledge
- Helping students develop complex reasoning processes:
Dimension 4: Use knowledge meaningfully
- Helping student develop complex reasoning processes
Problem solving invention
Dimension 5: Habits of Mind
- Helping students develop productive Habits of Mind
The use of learning taxonomies is invaluable when developing learning outcomes; however, it is important to develop outcomes that are achievable and measurable. The key is to ensure the statement is SMART according to the SMART goal concept.
When the intended outcomes for a program or course have been identified, a formal learning outcomes statement is created. The outcome will be:
Specific – Outcome is focused on a specific category of student learning. If it is too
broad, it will be difficult to measure.
Measurable _ Data can be collected to measure student learning
Attainable – The outcome is attainable given the educational experience.
Relevant – The outcome is aligned with general education, program learning outcomes
and/or institutional learning outcomes.
Timely – Completion of outcome is time-bound.
After the Program Outcomes have been established, the next step and in many ways, the first step in the actual assessment cycle is to identify the learning outcomes for each course. Course learning outcome statements refer to specific knowledge, practical skills, areas of professional development, attitudes, higher-order thinking skills, etc. that faculty members expect students to develop, learn, or master during a course.
Limit the course-level expected learning outcomes to 4 – 10 statements for the entire course More detailed outcomes can be developed for individual units, assignments, chapters, etc. if so desired by the instructor(s).
- Focus on overarching knowledge and/or skills.
- Focus on knowledge and skills that are central to the course topic and/or discipline.
- Create statements that have a student focus rather than an instructor-centric approach (e.g. “upon completion of this course, students will be able to list the names of the 50 states” versus “one objective of this course is to teach the names of the 50 states”).
- Focus on the learning that results from the course rather than describing activities or lessons that are in the course.
- Incorporate and/or reflect aspects of both Bacone’s and the Program’s missions and outcomes.
- Include various ways for students to show success (outlining, describing, modeling, depicting, etc.) rather than using a single statement such as “at the end of the course, students will know _______” as the stem for each expected outcome statement.
To determine if course-level outcomes have been achieved, assessment within the course must take place.
Course embedded assessment, as well as best pedagogical practice “begins not with creating or implementing tests, assignments, or other assessment tools, but by first deciding…what you want your students to learn” (Suskie, 2004, p. 73).
Instructors have a professional responsibility for gathering and using information in an appropriate manner according to professional standards of practice and ethical principles of behavior. Instructors are responsible for six categories of assessment-related activities. Each has its own specific professional and ethical concerns. These categories are:
- When creating assessments, the instructor is responsible for ensuring they are of high quality.
- When choosing assessments or selecting assessment that others have developed, the instructor is responsible for making sure they are appropriate for the intended use.
- When administering assessments, the instructor is responsible for ensuring the administration process is fair to all students and will produce interpretable results.
- When scoring assessment results, the instructor is responsible for evaluating the responses accurately and reporting the results to students in a timely manner.
- When interpreting and using assessment results, the instructor is responsible for ensuring that the interpretations are as valid as possible, are used to promote positive student outcomes, and are used to minimize negative student outcomes.
- When communicating assessment results, the instructor is responsible for providing complete, useful, and correct information about students’ performance that will promote positive student outcomes, and are used to minimize negative student outcomes (Brookhart & Nitko, p. 89-90).
Assessment of student learning can be conducted using a variety of available instruments and methods. Many experts believe that a combination of assessment approaches can be the most effective way to measure student learning. Faculty in a variety of academic programs have tested and used a wide range of assessment methods to determine whether students were attaining desired educational goals. In this section, many of these assessment approaches will be presented, providing handbook users with information that can simplify the development of assessment strategies. As Suskie (2018) points out, most assessments have two components: sources of information and tools to assess that information.
|If the instructor wants to…||Use these sources of information||And assess them using|
|Assess knowledge and conceptual understanding||Multiple-choice tests||Item scores, mapped back to test blueprints|
|Assess thinking and performance skills||Paper, projects, performances, essays, exhibitions, field experiences, and other learning activities||Rubrics|
|Assess attitudes and values||Reflective Writing||Qualitative Analysis|
|Draw an overall picture of student learning, including thinking and performance skills as well as attitudes, values, and habits of mind||Portfolios||Rubrics|
|Compare students against peers||Published instruments||Item scores and instrument sub-scores, mapped back to key learning goals|
Suskie, (2018) p. 96
A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly describes the instructor’s performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. Validity of a rubric is the “degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores entailed by the proposed uses of tests” (Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, p.11).
Determining the validity of a rubric depends on the following processes: usability of the results, match with intended learning outcomes, clarity, fairness, consistency, appropriate range of outcome levels, and generalizability.
Developing a Rubric
There are six fundamental step to creating valid rubrics:
- identify the rubric’s purposes;
- articulate clear learning outcomes and explicate then into traits;
- identify and label performance levels;
- create descriptions of each trait at each performance level;
- develop or review the assignment; and
- test and revise the rubric. (Secolsky and Denison, p. 549)
Advantages of Rubrics
Many experts believe that rubrics improve students’ end products and therefore increase learning. When teachers evaluate papers or projects, they know implicitly what makes a good final product and why. When students receive rubrics before starting an assignment, they understand how they will be evaluated and can prepare accordingly.
Rubrics offer several advantages:
- Rubrics improve student performance by clearly showing the student how their work will be evaluated and what is expected.
- Rubrics help students become better judges of the quality of their own work. ∙ Rubrics allow assessment to be more objective and consistent.
- Rubrics force the teacher to clarify his/her criteria in specific terms.
- Rubrics reduce the amount of time teachers spend evaluating student work.
- Rubrics promote student awareness about the criteria to use in assessing peer performance.
- Rubrics provide useful feedback to the teacher regarding the effectiveness of the instruction.
- Rubrics provide students with more informative feedback about their strengths and weaknesses.
- Rubrics accommodate heterogeneous classes by offering a range of quality levels.
- Rubrics are easy to use and easy to explain.
In assessment, as in other areas, a picture can be worth a thousand words. As an evaluation tool, portfolio assessment has become widely used in higher education as a way to examine and measure progress, by documenting the process of learning or change as it occurs. Portfolios extend beyond test scores to include substantive descriptions or examples of what the student is doing and experiencing. Fundamental to “performance assessment” in educational theory is the principle that students should demonstrate rather than just say (show rather than tell), what they know and can do. Contents of portfolios (sometimes called “artifacts” or “evidence”) can include drawings, photos, video or audio tapes, writing or other work samples, computer files, and copies of standardized or program-specific tests. Data sources can include a variety of personnel who know the participant or program, as well as the self-reflections of participants themselves. Portfolio assessment provides a practical strategy for systematically collecting and organizing such data. Portfolios used for assessment purposes are most commonly characterized by collections of student work that exhibit to the faculty the student’s progress and achievement in given areas.
Information about the students’ skills, knowledge, development, quality of writing, and critical thinking can be acquired through a comprehensive collection of work samples. A student portfolio can be assembled within a course or in a sequence of courses in the major. The faculty determine what information or students’ products should be collected and how these products will be used to evaluate or assess student learning. These decisions are based on the program’s learning outcomes.
Portfolio assessment is most useful for:
- Evaluating programs that have flexible or individualized goals or outcomes because each student’s portfolio assessment can be geared to his or her individual needs and goals.
- Providing information that gives meaningful insight into behavior and related change. Because portfolio assessment emphasizes the process of change or growth, at multiple points in time, it may help faculty or administrators identify patterns.
- Providing a tool that can ensure communication and accountability to a range of audiences who may not have much sophistication in interpreting statistical data but can appreciate more visual or experiential evidence of learning.
- Allowing for the possibility of assessing some of the more complex and important aspects of many constructs (rather than just the ones that are easiest to measure).
Portfolio assessment is not as useful for:
- Evaluating programs that have very concrete, uniform goals or purposes.
- Allowing for the ranking of participants or programs in a quantitative or standardized way.
- Comparing participants or programs to standardized norms. While portfolios can (and often do) include some standardized test scores along with other kinds of evidence of learning, this is not the main purpose of the portfolio.
Pre-Post Course Evaluation
Pre-Post Course Evaluation is a method used by academic units where locally developed tests and examinations are administered at the beginning and at the end of courses or academic programs. These test results enable faculty to monitor student progression and learning through prescribed periods of time. The results are often useful for determining where skills and knowledge deficiencies exist and whether knowledge and skills develop over time.
Video and Audio Evaluation
Video and audio devices have been used by faculty as a kind of pre-test/post-test assessment of student skills and knowledge.
Bacone College has in place both direct and indirect internal and external assessment instruments to assess the institution.
Direct Evidence: Students have completed some work or product that demonstrates they have achieved the learning outcome. Example: project, paper, performance
Indirect Evidence: A measure was used such as participation in a learning activity, instructor evaluation, surveys, course grades, etc.
Student Surveys and Exit Interviews
Student surveys and exit interviews have become increasingly important tools for understanding the educational needs of students. When combined with other assessment instruments, many departments have successfully used surveys to produce important changes. During this process, students are asked to reflect on what they have learned as majors in order to generate information for program improvement. This method can provide insight into how students experience courses, what they like and do not like about various instructional delivery approaches, what is important about the classroom environment that facilitates or hinders learning, and the nature of assignments that foster student learning.
Surveys of alumni are useful assessment tools for generating data about student preparation for professional work, program satisfaction, and the relevancy of curriculum. As an assessment supplement, alumni surveys provide departments and faculty with a variety of information that can highlight program areas that need to be expanded or enhanced. In most cases, alumni surveys are an inexpensive way to gather data and for establishing relationships with individuals who can help the program continually improve.
Employer surveys can provide information about the curriculum, programs, and students that other forms of assessment cannot produce. Through surveys, colleges and departments within a university can review employer satisfaction levels with the abilities and skills of recent graduates. The responses often help students discern the relevance of their educational experiences.
Curriculum and Syllabus Analysis
Once a department/program has defined its outcomes, all phases of the curriculum and each individual course should provide each student with the opportunity to learn the essential components of those outcomes. The curriculum map or analysis provides a plan for which courses cover what objectives and at what level.
Syllabus analysis is an especially useful technique when multiple sections of a department course are offered by a variety of instructors. It provides assurance that each section will cover essential points without prescribing the specific teaching methods to be used in helping the students learn those common objectives.
Assessment as Evidence of Student Learning
According to Suskie, “Assessment has three fundamental purposes: Ensuring and improving educational quality, stewardship., and accountability” (Suskie, 2018, p. 86). The perspective shift for higher education faculty from the “teacher-centered paradigm” to the “learning-centered paradigm” has expanded the purposes of assessment beyond giving students feedback and grades to providing feedback to staff and faculty on what does and does not work and helping them decide what should be changed to improve learning and help students apply their knowledge.
Ensuring and Improving Educational Quality
The goal of higher education is to produce highly skilled graduates who have strong foundations in academic knowledge and higher order thinking skills so they can be successful in the workforce. This requires evidence of the program’s success in accomplishing the approved student learning outcomes. Bacone, through its mission, seeks to address the equity gaps that American Indians and underserved populations experience in education. Quality education depends on the engagement of staff, faculty, and institutional leaders in developing goals, and program and course outcomes. Quality assurance and improvement on a continuous cycle are the responsibility of everyone within the college.
The college will provide the necessary financial resources to collect the appropriate data, implement the appropriate assessments, conduct the appropriate analyses, properly interpret the information, and design and implement the appropriate policies and practices. This includes hiring qualified staff and investing in the necessary infrastructure and tools.
Ensuring and Improving Stewardship
One of the central missions for Bacone College is to contribute directly to Muskogee area communities by contributing to economic development by graduating students who are well-prepared to function in the marketplace, managing natural resources, improving schools, and helping to chart the future. “Assessment is critical for validating the co-curricular experiences, student support services, programs that serve relatively small numbers of students and programs whose goals appear to be disconnected from college priorities as stated in the mission, institutional goals, and strategic goals” (Suskie, 2018, p.88).
Each school or division requires capstone or internship projects that include working in a team in partnership with a local business, government department, community agency, school, or other off-campus organization are invaluable service learning experiences that benefit local entities and raise the visibility of Bacone College. Students document their participation in capstone or internship projects through attendance logs, proposals for projects, projects, and evaluations from both their direct supervisor(s) and the course supervisor. Public engagement by both students and employees of the college create and strengthen bonds with our tribal partners and our local communities.
Ensuring and Improving Accountability
Accountability requires that Bacone College produce specific evidence that it has met its stated obligations. This includes assuring stakeholders that students who attend will have a quality educational experience. It documents how many graduate, and whether they do so in a timely manner (six years). Accountability also involves documenting operational and educational cost effectiveness as well as matters of governance, reporting and related regulatory requirements and reform, and assessment policies. Accountability includes sharing successes and failures and providing the steps being taken to make appropriate, evidence-informed improvements.
Bacone College has in place both direct and indirect internal and external assessment instruments to assess the institution. These assessment tools are utilized throughout students’ time they are enrolled in the college.
Direct Evidence: Students have completed some work or product that demonstrates they have achieved the learning outcome. Examples: project, paper, performance, test.
Indirect Evidence: A proxy measure was used, such as participation in a learning activity, students’ opinions about what was learned, student satisfaction, etc. Examples: teaching evaluations, surveys, course grades.
Indirect Assessment Instruments:
Survey of Student Engagement
Pre-post course evaluations
Assessment alone does not improve student learning, it is the application of what staff and faculty learn through assessment and the changes they make as a result of those assessments as to content, learning activities, assessment tools, or methods of delivery that improve student learning.
Assessment is a work in progress—as the needs of students evolve in dynamically changing world—the college’s goals, curricula, teaching methods, and assessments practices must change as well.
This Assessment Handbook has been designed as an assessment resource for faculty, non-academic staff, and administration to facilitate assessment of institutional effectiveness as it relates to student success. It is the responsibility of Bacone College to provide the opportunities for students to strengthen their personal, Tribal, and public identities through both curricular and co-curricular experiences. When students graduate, it is Bacone’s Mission that they leave the college as empowered life-long learners with the knowledge, skills, and capacity to be transformational leaders in both native and non-native communities.
Assessment: The systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs and courses undertaken for the purpose of both improving student learning and instructional delivery.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives: Six levels arranged in order of increasing complexity. (See pages 11 – 13) Course Embedded Assessment: The process of reviewing materials generated in the classroom. In addition to providing a basis for grading students, such materials allow faculty to evaluate approaches to instruction and course design.
Curriculum Maps: Tools that can be used at any stage in the curriculum cycle–whether developing, reviewing or revising curriculum. They provide a picture, a graphical description or a synopsis of curriculum components that can be used to encourage dialogue and help faculty ensure that learning experiences are aligned and lead to the achievement of program learning outcomes.
Direct Measures of Learning: Students display knowledge and skills as they respond directly to the instrument itself. Examples might include: objective tests, essays, presentations, and classroom assignments.
Evaluation: Both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of progress towards and attainment of project goals. Using collected information (assessments) to make informed decisions about continued instruction, programs, activities. Leads to statements of the value, worth, or merit of a program.
External Assessment: Use of criteria (rubric) or an instrument developed by an individual or organization external to the one being assessed. This kind of assessment is usually summative, quantitative, and often high-stakes, such as the SAT or GRE exams.
Formative Assessment: Formative assessment if often done at the beginning or during a program, thus providing the opportunity for immediate evidence for student learning in a particular course or at a particular point in a program. Classroom assessment is one of the most common formative assessment techniques. The purpose of this technique is to improve quality of student learning, leading to feedback in the developmental progression of learning. This can also lead to curricular modifications when specific courses have not met the student outcomes. Classroom assessment can also provide important program information when multiple sections of a course are taught because it enables programs to examine if the learning goals and objective are met in all sections of the course. It also can improve instructional quality by engaging the faculty in the design and practice of the course goals and objectives and the course impact on the program.
Goals for Learning: Goals are used to express intended results in general terms. The term goals are used to describe broad learning concepts, for example: clear communication, problem solving, and ethical awareness.
Indirect Assessment of Learning: Indirect assessments use perceptions, reflections or secondary evidence to make inferences about student learning. For example, surveys of employers, students’ self-assessments, and admissions to graduate schools are all indirect evidence of learning.
Institution Level Assessment: Institution level assessment is aimed at understanding and improving student learning across the institution.
Methods of Assessment: Techniques or instruments used in assessment.
Mission Statement: A mission statement explains why your organization exists and what it hopes to achieve in the future. It articulates the organization’s essential nature, its values and its work.
Modifications/Improvement Plans: Recommended actions or changes for improving student learning, service delivery, etc. that respond to the respective findings of measurement evaluations.
Norm Referenced Tests: A test in which a student or a group’s performance is compared to that of a norm group. The student or group scores will not fall evenly on either side of the median established by the original test takers. The results are relative to the performance of an external group and are designed to be compared with the norm group providing a performance standard. Often used to measure and compare students, schools, districts, and states on the basis of norm-established scales of achievement.
Objectives for Learning: Objectives are used to express intended results in precise terms. Further, objectives are specific as to what needs to be assessed and thus are an accurate guide when selecting appropriate assessment tools. Example: Graduates in Speech Communication will be able to interpret nonverbal behavior and to support arguments with credible evidence.
Performance-Based Assessment: performance-based assessment is a test of the ability to apply knowledge in a real-life setting. Assessment of the performance is done using a rubric, or analytic scoring guide to aid in objectivity.
Portfolio: A systematic and organized collection of a student’s work that exhibits to others the direct evidence of a student’s efforts, achievements, and progress over a period of time. The collection should involve the student in selection of its contents, and should include information about the performance criteria, the rubric or criteria for judging merit, and evidence of student self-reflection or evaluation. It should include representative work, providing a documentation of the learner’s performance and a basis for evaluation of the student’s progress. Portfolios may include a variety of demonstrations of learning and have been gathered in the form of a physical collection of materials, videos, reflective journals, webpages, blogs, etc.
Program Assessment: Uses the department or program as the level of analysis. Can be quantitative or qualitative, formative or summative, standards-based or value added, and used for improvement or for accountability. Ideally, program goals and objectives would serve as a basis for the assessment.
Quantitative Methods of Assessment: Methods that rely on numerical scores or ratings. Examples include surveys, inventories, institutional/departmental data, departmental/course-level exams (locally constructed, standardized, etc.).
Qualitative Methods of Assessment: Methods that rely on descriptions rather than numbers. Examples include ethnographic field studies, logs, journals, participant observation, and open-ended questions on interviews and surveys.
Reliability: How consistently a measure of the same phenomenon leads to the same result after multiple administrations or across multiple scorers/raters.
Reflective Essays: generally brief (five to ten minute) essays on topics related to already identified learning outcomes, although they may be longer when assigned as homework. Students are asked to reflect on a selected issue. Content analysis is used to analyze results.
Rubrics: A rubric is an evaluative tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric divides the assigned work into component parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each component, at varying levels of mastery. Rubrics can be used for a wide array of assignments: papers, projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc. Rubrics can be used as scoring or grading guides, to provide formative feedback to support and guide ongoing learning efforts, or both.
Student Learning Outcome Statement: A specific description of what a student will be able to do at the end of the period during which tat ability is presumed to have been acquired, and the focus of outcome assessment.
Summative Assessment: Summative assessment is comprehensive in nature, provides accountability and is used to check the level of learning at the end of the program. For example, if upon completion of a program students will have the knowledge to pass an accreditation test, taking the test would be summative in nature since it is based on the cumulative nature of the learning that takes place in a program. Thus, the program would conduct summative assessment at the end of the program to ensure students have met the program goals and objectives. Attention should be given to using various methods and measures in order to have a comprehensive plan. Ultimately, the foundation for an assessment plan is to collect summative assessment data and this type of data can stand alone. Formative assessment data, however, can contribute to a comprehensive assessment plan by enabling faculty to identify particular points in a program to assess learning (i.e., entry into a program, before or after an internship experience, impact of specific courses, etc.) and monitor the progress being made towards achieving learning outcomes.
Validity: The test measures the desired performance and appropriate inferences can be drawn from the results. The assessment accurately reflects the learning it was designed to measure.
Value Added: The increase in learning that occurs during a course, program, or undergraduate education. Can either focus on the individual student (how much better a student can write, for example, at the end than at the beginning) or on a cohort of students (whether senior papers demonstrate more sophisticated writing skills-in the aggregate-than freshmen papers). To measure value-added a baseline measurement is needed for compares. The baseline measure can be from the same sample of students.
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Brookhart, S.M. (2013). How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading. Alexandria, VA. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
Costa, A.L., & Kallick, B. (2009). Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
Diamond, R.M. (2008). Designing and Assessing Courses and Curricula: A practical guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Secolsky, C. and Denison, B. D.; 2018 Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education, (2nd ed). NY,NY: Routlage.
Suskie, L. 2018. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco, CA: