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A New Initiative in Assessment

Three-Year Cycle of Course-Embedded Assessment

As part of the significant changes that the University is undergoing as it begins a new mission and progresses to a future strategic plan, the General Education Assessment Committee (GEAC) has begun the strengthening of the quality of assessment, particularly through the implementation of a systematic program of course-embedded assessment that will interface with the GEAC’s review of each general education area. This initiative will foster a dynamic collaboration between the GEAC and the general education faculty, a collaboration key to communicating assessment results directly to those responsible for instruction and to ensuring innovative and effective use of results in the classroom.

Through this initiative, the General Education faculty, working with members of GEAC, will create course-embedded assessments of the general education learning outcomes for the core proficiencies, breadth of knowledge areas, core dispositions, oral communication, and computer literacy. While working with the General Education Faculty Committee (GEFC), faculty will participate in a process of assessing the outcomes using a rubric, discussing the results of the assessment, examining the impact of the results, and creating recommendations for improvement of the process, student growth, and the GE program.

Through this process, faculty are able to interpret the evidence (the results) to determine whether that evidence meets the performance expectations. After each assessment cycle, reports of the assessment results will be sent to the chair of the GEFC for that area such as writing, math, science, etc. The chair of the GEFC will disseminate the results to the committee. The committee, composed of faculty members who teach in that area, will examine the results. Each GEFC will then take the results to the faculty teaching in that area to determine progress in meeting the GE learning outcomes and discuss recommendations. The recommendations and results will then be brought to GEAC.

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GEAC

  • Responsibilities and member selection as specified in Policy and Procedure
  • Approve assessment tools and disseminate results
  • Certify/recertify oversee
  • All decisions of GESC are brought to GEAC for final vote.

GESC (Gen Ed Sub Committee)

  • Chaired by GEAC member
  • Different subcommittees for core  and breadth of knowledge areas
  • Members are from GEFC chosen by faculty in area
  • Three year terms
  • Works with GEFC to implement course embedded assignments, assessments, validates assessments, closes the loop
  • Reports to GEAC for final approval

GEFC (Gen Ed Faculty Committee)

  • Chosen by peers
  • Subcommittees for disciplines (Math, Science, etc.)
  • Works with faculty to implement course embedded assessments and closing the loop
  • Provides suggestions for improvement of assessments/process.

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This initiative brings the University one step closer in providing our students with a quality education. Through the continual examination of the results, the faculty will collaborate, using their expertise in their area, to evaluate the general education curricula. This process includes a constant evaluation of the learning outcomes and how well our assessment criteria serve our purpose and goals.

Because the University will be using LiveText as the platform to collect the assessments, the students will also benefit from this process. Not only will students be able to track their own growth toward meeting the outcomes, they will also be able to create eportfolios that reflect their exposure to a variety of disciplines and assignments. Input from the faculty will also guide program decision, revision, and development, which, in the end, will directly benefit the students’ performance and outcomes.

Rotating the courses within The Three Year Cycle provides departments and programs with continual results for review and comparison.  Once the GEFC meets to discuss the results, disseminate the results, collect recommendations, and create the report, the committee and the faculty members in the department can begin working on improvements for the next cycle. This continual cycle provides opportunity for faculty input in the development of the GE program.  The AACU’s “Principles of Excellence” ask that faculty “use assessment to deepen learning and to establish a culture of shared purpose and continuous improvement.” This assessment initiative will ultimately result in an improved program through the collaboration and recommendations that will lead to continuous improvement.

Three-Year Assessment Course Cycle

The following cycle shows the assessment cycle schedule. During the semester that a course completes the assessment, the GEFC will work with faculty to help with the rubric and LiveText. Ideally, the GEFC will begin planning with faculty the semester before the course’s assessment cycle semester.  During each assessment cycle, at least one assignment in each course will be assessed using the GEFC-created rubric.

Core Proficiencies
English 101, 111 Every Fall
English 102, 112 Every Spring
Writing Intensive Courses (English 266, 310, 311, 312, 366, 368, 468, BSAD 310, and MACO 251) Every Spring Beginning in Spring 2014
Math 100, 101, 117 Every Fall
Math specified by major (Math 102, 106, 108, 214) Every Spring
Breadth of Knowledge
Fine Arts/Music Every other Spring Beginning in 2013
History Every other Fall Beginning in 2013
Literature Every other Fall Beginning in 2013
Humanities Elective (See Humanities Course list) Every other Fall Beginning in Fall 2014
Natural Science 1 Every Fall Beginning in 2013
Natural Science 2 Every Spring Beginning in 2013
Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 Every Fall Beginning in 2014
Social and Behavioral Sciences 2
Every Spring Beginning in 2014
Oral Competency and Computer Literacy
Oral Competency – see list below* Every Fall Beginning in Fall 2013
Computer Literacy – all CMPS or see list below** Every Spring Beginning in 2013
*Art 251, FACS 262, FCED 231, 232, 262; MUED 223, 225, 227; MUS 272, 302, 341, 384, 487, 303; NURS 340, 355, 371, 400, 420, 427, 428, 440;  SPCH 101, 105, 363
**EDUC 211, 250, 251; MACO 322, 362; MNTC 110, NUS 201, OIS 200

 

Assessment Cycle Guidelines

 

Each semester, the designated core area GESC and GEFC will follow the guidelines below to submit and disseminate assessment results and recommendations.

 

  • Within the cycle of the core area, each student will receive feedback through the designated assessment on LiveText.
  • Assessment rubrics with attached standards as approved through GESC and GEAC will be used for all assessments within the cycle.
  • If the assessment is conducted in the fall, the GEFC will validate and analyze results by February 1st.  If the assessment is conducted in the spring, the GEFC will validate and analyze results by September 1st.
  • By March 1st for those courses in the fall cycle and October 1st for those in the spring cycle, the GEFC will meet with faculty to disseminate and discuss results. The GEFC will report results and make recommendations for improvements, if any, to GESC.
  • By April 1st for those courses in the fall cycle and November 1st for those in the spring cycle, GESC will report results and make recommendations for improvements, if any, to GEAC.
  • By May 1st for those courses in the fall cycle and December 1st for those in the spring cycle, GEAC will disseminate all reports and recommendations to all faculty and students using a web link through LiveText.
  • Immediately following the dissemination of all reports and results, GEAC will send a feedback survey to all students and faculty through LiveText for general feedback of the assessment cycle, the results, and the recommendations.
  • GEAC will meet within the first month of the following semester after receiving the survey results to review results and discuss recommendations and improvements to the assessment cycle and hold focus groups to discuss results and recommendations.
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