Feedback and Response

3.3.1.1  The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to
which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of
improvement based on analysis of the results in educational programs, to include student learning outcomes.  (Institutional effectiveness - educational programs)


Findings of the Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee

The University of New Orleans has worked to identify expected outcomes, establishing student learning outcome objectives at the academic degree program level and objectives related to other types of program outcomes (e.g. retention, scholarly activity and alumni outreach) at the department level. Considerable variability exists across programs regarding the specificity, measurability, and focus of the student learning objectives. Several programs continue to report objectives, which based on the university’s own criteria, are more appropriately classified as department-level outcomes. These objectives are not student learning outcome focused; however, instead, focus on outcomes such as student satisfaction. Still other program level objectives lack specificity using language such as “core knowledge”, “advanced knowledge” or “competencies that prepare” when documenting what students are expected to learn. Yet other objectives state “students will receive” or the “school will provide,” which are program, not student focused. In terms of assessing outcomes, some programs rely on self-report measures and grades. Such measures do not contribute to the university’s ability to determine the extent it achieves stated learning outcomes. Many of the uses of assessment findings cited focus on improving the assessment process (e.g. implementing embedded measures across all course sections or the establishment of a capstone course for the purpose of assessment), instead of focusing on improving student learning. In addition, some of the “closing the loop” examples do not appear to map back clearly to the student learning outcomes objectives and associated measures identified by the programs. Finally, the university does not provide any information regarding the certificate programs that appear on its website. The institution should provide evidence that the university’s certificate programs also meet the standard or explain why the certificate programs discussed on the institution’s website are not academic programs as defined by SACSCOC. The university has established a feedback process for programs in order to identify areas of improvement related to programs’ assessment processes. Through this feedback process, the university has self-identified many of the issues mentioned here and continues to take steps to strengthen the institution’s assessment processes related to educational programs, including student learning outcomes.


Response and Actions Taken

Based on the preliminary findings from the SACSCOC Off Site Review Committee received in November 2014, professional development materials were developed for all units engaging in institutional effectiveness and assessment efforts.  The primary focus of these materials was to make explicit the expectations for quality outcomes, measures, targets, findings and closing the loop action plans.  All faculty and staff were required to attend professional development meetings in December 2014 and January 2015.  Following are the materials presented and disseminated at the academic unit meetings.

IE Professional Development Presentation – Academic

IE Professional Development Handout – Academic

IE Professional Development Handout – Graduate

 

Sample Thesis Rubric

Sample Oral Presentation Checklist

WEAVE Instructions

Back to School Presentation

In order to allow for changes to be made based on the professional development activities, the 2014-15 institutional effectiveness cycle was separated into two cycles in WEAVE:  Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.  All academic programs were charged with reviewing their institutional effectiveness plans and making changes based on the material presented.  These changes were made in the Spring 2015 cycle. 

Table 1 summarizes the total number of changes made to address concerns regarding specificity, measurability and focus on student learning.

Table 1.  IE Plans – Summary of Changes

 

College of Business Administration

Programs

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

12

34

33

42

College of Education and Human Development

Programs

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

15

9

8

11

College of Engineering

Programs

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

7

9

19

12

College of Liberal Arts

Programs

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

32

59

77

82

College of Sciences

Programs

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

17

30

27

44

 

It is important to note that all outcomes and measures related to student satisfaction, exit surveys and interviews, as well as teaching evaluations have been removed from academic program plans as they do not directly measure student learning.  Self report and other indirect measures are no longer used to assess student learning outcomes.  Assignment and course grades are not allowed as measures because this level of data does not facilitate improvement efforts.  Graduate programs were encouraged to develop evaluation tools to apply to general exams, theses and dissertations, so that more useful data might be collected.  Table 2 provides randomly selected examples of changes made in each college. 

Table 2.  IE Plans – Examples of Changes

College of Business Administration – Business Administration, BS

Cycle

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

Fall 2014

Students will possess the competencies that will prepare them for the rigors of today's business world

Students participating in the College of Business Internship and COOP Programs

15% increase in the participation of students in the internship and COOP programs by 2015 with 2006-07 base year

Spring 2015

Students will demonstrate effective written communications skills within a business environment

Student learning will be assessed through a written exposition of a problem analysis and solution in MANG 2790 – Business Communication. Assessment is based on a Rubric Scoring

At least 70% of the students will score satisfactory or better on the rubric scoring of the written exposition in MANG 2790 – Business Communication

College of Education and Human Development – Counselor Education, PhD

Cycle

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

Fall 2014

All students will demonstrate specialized knowledge of theory and scholarship in Counselor Education by passing a General Examination judged by a jury of three faculty members.

General examinations are comprehensive exams taken by all doctoral students to test students' knowledge of theory and scholarship in Counselor Education.

85% of students will pass the General Examination on its first administration.

Spring 2015

All students will demonstrate specialized knowledge of theory and scholarship in Counselor Education by passing a General Examination judged by a jury of three faculty members.

General examinations are comprehensive exams taken by all doctoral students to test students' knowledge of theory and scholarship in Counselor Education. Three faculty members rate each exam using the General Exam rubric. The average rating on this rating will be reported.

85% of students will pass the General Examination on its first administration.

College of Engineering – Electrical Engineering, B.S.

Cycle

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

Fall 2014

Students will identify, formulate, and solve Electrical Engineering problems

Graduation Senior Exit Survey

80% of students will provide ratings of “acceptable” or above.

Spring 2015

Students will identify, formulate, and solve Electrical Engineering problems

Capstone project rated by faculty and industry jurors using a departmental rubric.

80% will achieve a score of “acceptable” or above on all components of rubric.

College of Liberal Arts – History, BA

Cycle

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

Fall 2014

History majors will demonstrate broad understanding of the history discipline by gaining a solid foundation in both US and World History.

Midterm and final exams in required US and World History surveys (HIST 1001, 1002, 2501, 2502)

Exit survey to be completed by graduating history majors

In each semester, and for each of the four survey courses, 80% of history majors will receive an A or B average grade for their midterms and final exams.

80% or more of survey respondents will indicate they have gained 80% of the skills surveyed.

Spring 2015

History majors will demonstrate understanding of the history discipline by interpretation of primary source documents

A faculty-developed rubric (1-4 point scale) will assess a sample of assignments that require students to interpret primary source documents.

70% of students will attain an average score of 3.0 or higher

College of Sciences – Earth and Environmental Sciences, M.S.

Cycle

Outcomes

Measures

Targets

Fall 2014

EES Graduate students will be able to explain in technical written format an advanced understanding of concepts in areas related to their thesis research and area of specialty.

All graduate students will complete an oral and written assignment in the required Graduate Seminar course.

80% of the students will be rated satisfactory on their oral and written presentations.

Spring 2015

EES Graduate students will be able to explain in technical written format an advanced understanding of concepts in areas related to their thesis research and area of specialty.

All graduate students will complete a written assignment in the required Graduate Seminar course. These written assignments will be scored using a faculty-derived rubric and rated on clarity, organization, and scientific content. For each of these categories, the student's written assignment will rated as follows: Outstanding (Rating = 3); Good (Rating = 2); Fair (Rating = 1); Poor (Rating = 0).

Of all written assignments submitted by graduate students in Graduate Seminar in the reporting period, 80% of graduate students will have a rubric rating = 2 or higher for each of the following three categories: clarity, organization, and scientific content.

 

Table 3 provides the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 institutional effectiveness plans for all academic programs.    

Table 3.  IE Plans for all Degree Programs – Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

College of Business Administration

 

BS Business Administration

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MBA

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Accounting

BS Accounting

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Accounting

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Tax Accounting

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Economics and Finance

BS Finance

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Financial Economics

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism

BS HRT Management

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS HRT Management

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Management

BS Management

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Healthcare Management

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Marketing and Logistics

BS Marketing

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

College of Education and Human Development

Curriculum and Instruction

BS Early Childhood Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

BS Elementary Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

BS Secondary Teaching

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MAT Curriculum & Instruction

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MEd Curriculum & Instruction

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Curriculum & Instruction

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

BS Human Performance and Health Promotion

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MEd Counselor Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Counselor Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MEd Educational Leadership

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Educational Administration

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Special Education and Habilitative Services

BS Elementary Education – Integrated/Merged Option

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MAT Special Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MEd Special Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Special Education

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

College of Engineering

 

MS Engineering

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Engineering Management

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Engineering and Applied Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Civil and Environmental

BS Civil Engineering

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Electrical

BS Electrical Engineering

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Mechanical

BS Mechanical Engineering

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

BS Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

College of Liberal Arts

 

BA International Studies

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Anthropology

BA Anthropology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Arts Administration

MA Arts Administration

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

English

BA English

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MA English

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MFA Creative Writing Workshop

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Film and Theatre

BA Film & Theatre – Theatre Arts

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

BA Film & Theater – Writing for Production

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

BA Film Arts

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MFA Film Production

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MFA Theatre Design

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MFA Theatre Performance

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Fine Arts

BA Fine Arts – Art History

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

BA Fine Arts – Studio Art

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MFA Fine Arts

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Foreign Languages

BA Romance Languages

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MA Romance Languages

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

History

BA History

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MA History

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Music

BA Music Studies

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MM Music

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Philosophy

BA Philosophy

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Planning and Urban Studies

BS Urban Studies & Planning

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Urban Studies

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MURP– Urban & Regional Planning

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

Ph.D. Urban Studies

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Political Science

BA Political Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MA Political Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MPA Public Administration

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Political Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Sociology

BA Sociology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MA Sociology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

College of Sciences

Biological Sciences

BS Biological Sciences

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Biological Sciences

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD  Integrative Biology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Chemistry

BS Chemistry

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Chemistry

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Chemistry

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Computer Science

BS Computer Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Computer Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Earth and Environmental Sciences

BS Earth & Environmental Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Earth & Environmental Science

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Mathematics

BS Mathematics

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Mathematics

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Physics

BS Physics

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Applied Physics

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Psychology

BS Psychology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

MS Psychology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

PhD Psychology

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

Interdisciplinary Studies

 

BIDS Interdisciplinary Studies

Fall 2014 Plan

Spring 2015 Plan

 

Closing the Loop

The University acknowledges that many findings are being used to improve the assessment process itself (e.g. implementing embedded measures across all course sections or the establishment of a capstone course for the purpose of assessment).  This is logical in that many programs, especially those without program-specific professional accreditation, have discovered that their assessment results are either difficult to interpret or do not provide sufficient detail to inform a meaningful program improvement decision.  Implementing these action plans related to assessment methods will ensure that programs obtain more useful data in the near future.  Also, improved assessment data will indicate whether the assessment tool or related learning is the problem.

The professional development presentations and materials included detailed expectations regarding closing the loop:  all action plans should clearly map back to the original student learning outcomes and associated measures identified by the academic program.  The goal of student learning outcome assessment is to acquire data that can be used to inform improvement in instruction, ultimately improving student learning.  Faculty are encouraged to tailor their institutional effectiveness plans so that the data acquired can facilitate faculty discussions and decision making related to improving student learning.

Following are two randomly selected examples from each college of action plans based on data collected in Fall 2014. 

Table 4a.  College of Business Administration:  Accounting, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Students will demonstrate a proficiency in financial accounting and governmental accounting concepts. 

Examinations at the end of the courses. ACCT 3121, 3122, 3123, 3124

Sixty percent of the students met or exceeded 62.5% proficiency in each area of competency within the two intermediate accounting courses (ACCT 3121, ACCT 3122), which have finance majors in addition to accounting majors. Seventy percent of the students met or exceeded 70% proficiency in each area of competency within the advanced accounting and government accounting course (ACCT 3123, ACCT 3124).

 

Rosa Acct 3121: I will strive for continuous improvement by incorporating updates of the material into my materials. Houser Acct 3121: Next time I teach the course, I will continue giving out handouts, reviewing, and going over numerous problems relating to the covered material in order to maintain competency in the Concepts& Standards, Income Statement, Retained Earnings Statement and Revenue Recognition, Current Assets, and Noncurrent Assets areas. Berrigan Acct 3124 I will review materials and intensify teaching efforts for competency in nonprofit accounting and budgeting. Re-examine in 2015.

 

 

Table 4b.  College of Business Administration:  Marketing, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Undergraduate marketing majors will be able to successfully communicate marketing knowledge in oral form.

Assess marketing plan presentation in MKT 4580 

I (the instructor) evaluated each individual student' presentation regarding style (4 points), content (4 points), and overall impression (2 points). As you can see in the attached file (Yellow columns), when I applied the current target of 100% competency to BOTH style AND content (i.e., receiving 4 out of 4 points in style and content, respectively), only 4 out of 22 marketing seniors (18%) achieved this benchmark. That is, the current target seems to be set too high. Yet, when I applied 100% competency in EITHER style OR content (i.e., receiving 4 out of 4 points in either style or content), 11 out of 22 marketing seniors (50%) achieved this new expectation. Thus, we may need to consider making the target a little bit easier to achieve as follows (Under this newly proposed target, 50%, rather than 18%, of marketing seniors are achieving the goal): 

   
 

The target is viewed as too ambitious and will be updated as follows: 80% of marketing seniors will achieve 100% competency in either style or content as judged by the marketing faculty. Also, faculty will spend some class time discussing pointers on effective oral communication to refresh material previously covered in Business Communications. Lastly, when faculty return to campus, this finding will be discussed with Business Communication faculty to glean their insights.

         

 

 

Table 4c.  College of Education and Human Development:  Special Education, MEd – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Demonstrate ability to design and implement an applied project 

Scores on rubric in course taken within program of study (e.g., EDSP 6060 or 6981) 

85% of the students scored "acceptable" or above on the action research project rubric. 

   

Data will be reported which compares scores across categories within the rubric on the students' Action Research Project. Thus, we will be better able to determine which areas may need additional focus and concentration. Having said that, because the program has been combined with the C&I M.Ed. program, the scoring for the Action Research Project may be changed to reflect the decisions made by faculty from both departments. 

 

Table 4d.  College of Education and Human Development:  Educational Administration, PhD – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

All graduates will complete a research project of publishable quality by graduation as judged by a jury of faculty members.

Dissertation

For the Fall 2014 semester, 2 students successfully completed a dissertation research project. There were no failed defenses, and the target of 100% is met. Student1 Defense date: 11/13/2014 Student2 Defense date: 11/07/2014

In an effort to improve the quality of our Student Learning Outcomes, the faculty is revising the wording of this measure and creating an assessment rubric to be used for Spring 2015.

 

Table 4e.  College of Engineering:  Mechanical Engineering, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

1.  Graduates will demonstrate an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data 

 

2.  Graduates will demonstrate an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice 

Assessment of ability using outcome specific departmental rubrics applied to assignments in ENME 3716 (O.1) and ENME 3780 (O.2).

 88 % of students scored at "Criteria Met" (Rating of 3) or higher using the rubric with respect to the ability to perform experiments and analyze data. However, the main weakness observed in the assessment was in the writing of reports. 

Distribute the 'writing lab reports' instruction materials from ENGL 2152 Technical Writing to lab instructors. Increase instruction and scrutiny related to report writing in ENME 2711, the first ME lab.

 

Table 4f.  College of Engineering:  Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

Assessment of departmental rubric in all contributing courses

 This outcome is linked to the ABET Student Outcome (e): Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. In each class that addresses this outcome all graded work of students is assessed regarding this outcome and a minimum, mean, and maximum score is determined per course. At the date of reporting student outcome assessments have been completed only for the required 3000-level courses NAME 3120 Ship Hull Strength and NAME 3150 Ship Resistance and Propulsion. Minimum scores of more than 60% were achieved in both courses. The mean score was 82.4% for NAME 3150 but in NAME 3120 a mean score of 78.4% was recorded. The target was partially met. 

   

The mean score of 78.4% in NAME 3120 Ship Hull Strength falls short of the target 80%. Scores were especially low in HWs #4 and #9 and the quizzes. It seems that more time has to be allowed for completion of these tasks. Furthermore, the faculty of the School of NAME discussed the application of this measure and decided to implement measures that make the connection to the ABET student outcome (e) more transparent. At the same time assessment will be limited to the required 3000-level courses. It seems that scores in lower level courses are too volatile and will partially reflect the students prior knowledge rather than skill developed in the program. Change in measure implemented for Spring 2015. Adjustments of the course will be implemented in its next regular cycle in Fall 2015.

 

Table 4g.  College of Liberal Arts:  Creative Writing Workshop, MFA – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Students will learn to produce high quality work in their genres: fiction writing, poetry, nonfiction writing, screenwriting, playwriting

All graduates will take a comprehensive exam to be evaluated by a faculty committee of at least three members. 

Summer and Fall 2014: 14 students (or 100% of those who attempted the MFA thesis) successfully passed their comprehensive exam, thereby demonstrating the ability to produce high quality work in their genres. 11 of 14 students completed the thesis within four years for an acceptable rate of 79% (target is 80%). One of these students left school for years while having two children and then returned to finish the degree, bringing this percentage down a bit and not reflecting any lack of advising on our program's part. So, we consider this target met. We are thrilled that she returned to finish her degree.

   

The faculty in each genre has developed a rubric for the assessment of the comprehensive exams. These were discussed in program faculty meetings and designed by genre faculty. We will begin implementation in spring 2015.

 

Table 4h.  College of Liberal Arts:  Philosophy, BA – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Philosophy majors will demonstrate a willingness to entertain criticism, the ability to formulate and reply to reasoned objections, and the ability to present opposing views critically, yet sympathetically.

Faculty assessed analytical essay in 2000+ courses using departmental rubric.

Although most 2000-level PHIL courses require an essay as part of the degree requirements, not all such courses require an analytical text-based essay that is consistent with the type of text-based analytical essay that is required in our capstone course of PHIL 3030/PHIL 3001. It is hard to legislate that this and only this type of essay being an acceptable course requirement for any 2000+ course requiring an essay. 

   

Most 2000-level PHIL courses require an essay as part of the course requirements. But not all such courses require an analytical text-based essay that is consistent with the type of text-based analytical essay that is required in our capstone course of PHIL 3030/PHIL 3001. For 3000+ courses, things are different. We have abandoned the notion of a single essay rubric for all 2000+ courses. Faculty are aware that for a student to come to the capstone course with a body of essays from which to choose to be the basis of that essay, they must require that all upper-level essays be written in a manner consistent with the PHIL 3030 guidelines. This assessment will be abandoned in favor of the juried analytical essay that must be written by all majors for their capstone course. 

 

Table 4i.  College of Sciences:  Earth and Environmental Sciences, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Students will acquire fundamental concepts in areas of earth surface morphology, mineralogy, earth history and evolution, environmental science, and surface and subsurface earth processes.  

All senior level undergraduate students will complete pre- and post-course exams of the EES capstone course, Senior Seminar. 

 80% of students did not score a B or better on the exit interview and most students showed no change in their pre- and post-course exam scores (see attached data). Goal not met. 

   

The exit exam (or interview) has been historically graded on a simple 0 to 2 scale which may explain the reason for not reaching the goal.

We are currently developing a rubric whereby this scoring process can be improved. For example, if you peruse the attached supporting file, you can see that the exam is already being divided into different coursework and fields to better identify which need improved teaching.

 

Table 4j.  College of Sciences:  Biological Sciences, BS – Closing the Loop

Outcome

Measure

Finding

Action Plan

Learn core concepts of cellular and molecular biology

Pre- and post-course testing in BIOS 2114 using the IMAC Cell and Molecular Biology instrument (Shi, J et al 2010. CBE-Life Sciences Education 9: 453-461.) 

The instrument developed by Shi et al (CBE Life Sciences Education 9:4530461 supplement was administered unmodified to students during the final week of scheduled laboratory sessions. The items are intended to examine learning gains in topics commonly taught in introductory molecular and cell biology courses. Goal (stated) was 0.50 (or 50%) normalized learning gains on average for the 24 questions in the instrument developed by Shi et al (2010). This goal was chosen based on reported learning gains when the questions were used under high stakes conditions, embedded within hour tests during the semester. In the same study, these authors also found that the low stakes regime such as the one we used, detected learning gains of only 0.22 (22%). This figure is close to what we observed (0.18). This, our initial goal of 0.50 goal was unrealistic. Moreover, material tested by some of the items had not yet been presented in lecture at the time the test was administered (items 6, 17) or are not emphasized in our course (items 12, 13, 14, 15).

   
 

We have modified the instrument to better represent our own course learning goals, and will embed some of the new questions in the hour exams in Spring 2015. With these changes, the value of the assessment will be improved. We also will change the teaching approaches to some of the material on which the students do poorly but which we feel are important concepts in this course (items 11, 12, 13). 

         

 

Certificate Programs

There are only two certificates awarded by the University, each was launched in Spring 2015.  Following are the student learning outcomes for each program.  Faculty are currently identifying and/or developing appropriate assessments and related targets to be implemented in Fall 2015.

Graduate Certificate in Coastal Engineering

After successful completion of this certificate, students should be able to:

  • Utilize basic principles of wind and wave generation to understand beach formation, and littoral transport within coastal environments
  • Apply principles of coastal morphodynamics to deltaic and estuarine sedimentation, shoreline change, and marsh edge erosion
  • Apply basic principles of soil mechanics, fluid mechanics, fluid statics, hydraulic and seepage flows to problems associated with coastal and hydraulic structures
  • Design gravity dams, spillways, drop structures, stilling basins, sector gates, outfall structures
  • Design levees and analyze slope stability, settlement, and seepage
  • Design sheet pile walls, bulkheads, T-wall, and I-wall structures
  • Use numerical models to evaluate the transport of sediment load
  • Evaluate the environmental impacts of dredging for a project and compare different dredging methods for coastal restoration projects
  • Evaluate site-specific subsurface soil conditions during the dredging of borrow material

Graduate Certificate in Coastal Sciences

After successful completion of this certificate, students should be able to:

  • Utilize basic principles of wind and wave generation to understand beach formation, and littoral transport within coastal environments
  • Apply principles of coastal morphodynamics to deltaic and estuarine sedimentation, shoreline change, and marsh edge erosion
  • Use numerical models to evaluate the transport of sediment load
  • Evaluate the environmental impacts of dredging for a project and compare different dredging methods for coastal restoration projects
  • Evaluate site-specific subsurface soil conditions during the dredging of borrow material
  • Understand and apply appropriate management and mitigation approaches to barrier shorelines, beaches, deltas, and estuaries
  • Understand the regulations and politics of coastal management and mitigation approaches for coastal change and restoration
  • Apply principles of coastal geomorphology and numerical modeling to evaluate coastal processes
  • Understand the types of instrumentation used to examine and understand coastal morphology and processes                

 

 

 

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconFR_Back_to_School_Spring_2015Back_to_School_Spring_2015
Document IconFR_Coastal_Sciences_WebsiteCoastal_Sciences_Website
Document IconFR_DAR_AcctBS_Fall_2014DAR_AcctBS_Fall_2014
Document IconFR_DAR_AcctBS_Spring_2015DAR_AcctBS_Spring_2015
Document IconFR_DAR_AcctMS_Fall_2014DAR_AcctMS_Fall_2014
Document IconFR_DAR_AcctMS_Spring_2015DAR_AcctMS_Spring_2015
Document IconFR_DAR_AnthropologyBA_Fall 2014DAR_AnthropologyBA_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_AnthropologyBA_Spring 2015DAR_AnthropologyBA_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_ArtHistoryOptionBA_Fall 2014DAR_ArtHistoryOptionBA_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_ArtHistoryOptionBA_Spring 2015DAR_ArtHistoryOptionBA_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_ArtsAdminMA_Fall 2014DAR_ArtsAdminMA_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_ArtsAdminMA_Spring 2015DAR_ArtsAdminMA_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyBS_Fall 2014DAR_BiologyBS_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyBS_Spring 2015DAR_BiologyBS_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyMS_Fall 2014DAR_BiologyMS_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyMS_Spring 2015DAR_BiologyMS_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyPhD_Fall 2014DAR_BiologyPhD_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_BiologyPhD_Spring 2015DAR_BiologyPhD_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_BusinessAdminBS_Fall_2014DAR_BusinessAdminBS_Fall_2014
Document IconFR_DAR_BusinessAdminBS_Spring_2015DAR_BusinessAdminBS_Spring_2015
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemBS_Fall 2014DAR_ChemBS_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemBS_Spring 2015DAR_ChemBS_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemMS_Fall 2014DAR_ChemMS_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemMS_Spring 2015DAR_ChemMS_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemPhD_Fall 2014DAR_ChemPhD_Fall 2014
Document IconFR_DAR_ChemPhD_Spring 2015DAR_ChemPhD_Spring 2015
Document IconFR_DAR_CIMAT_Fall_2014DAR_CIMAT_Fall_2014
Document IconFR_DAR_CIMAT_Spring_2015DAR_CIMAT_Spring_2015
Document IconFR_DAR_CIMEd_Fall_2014DAR_CIMEd_Fall_2014
Document IconFR_DAR_CIMEd_Spring_2015DAR_CIMEd_Spring_2015
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