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Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Student Development – Part II
Student Development Division RetreatSUNY OneontaMay 27, 2008
Patty Francis, Associate Provost forInstitutional Assessment and Effectiveness
Topics/Activities for Today
Continued themes from May 9 division meetingDeveloping a unit assessment planWriting good outcomestatementsMeasuring student learning outcomesHands-on opportunity todevelopoutcome statements/measuresfor department
Continued Themes from May 9 Meeting
Assessment Basics and Rationale
Assessment as an ongoing, iterative process whichmustculminate with “closing the loop”Importance of congruence in the assessment processAssessment as an opportunity for ongoing dialogue, professional development and, most important, improving student services
Developing a Unit Assessment Plan
Overall, Unit Objectives Would Reflect:
Institutional effectiveness performance indicatorsDocumentation of all services and programs offeredTracking of use of services (andby whom)Student satisfaction with services/programsDirectimpact of services/programs on students
Writing Good OutcomeStatements
Issues to Address at the Outset
Consistency between college, division, and unit mission statement (and, ultimately, outcome statements)Do all staff have the opportunity to provide input?Who are all your constituents?What results do you expect your programs and services to produce?
Components of a Good Outcome Statement
Who is the target?What domain of student development is the target?What change is expected?
But Other Things to Keepin Mind
Do you have a program/activity in place to bring about outcome?Can desired change in students be measured?How will you know you were successful?Do external standards apply (i.e., in case of external accreditation/certification)?
Outcome Writing Rule #1: Focus on Student, Not Program
Good example: “Student workers will identify, provide, and implement technical equipment that is appropriate for specific union events.”Poor example: “College union work study program will teach student workers how to select and set up equipment for union events.”
Outcome Writing Rule #2: State Outcomes Using Concrete Language and Action Verbs
Good example: “Students will negotiate necessary academic accommodations with faculty members.”Poor example: “Our objective is to enhance students’ independence and self-confidence.”
Outcome Writing Rule#3:Focus on Results, Not Process
Good example: “Students will demonstrate increased job search skills (e.g., letter and resume writing, interviewing, employer research).”Poor example: “Students will participate in three 2-hour sessions on letter writing, interviewing, and employer research.”
Measuring Student Learning Outcomes
Basic Principles
Measurement techniques must be rigorous, since unreliable data are of minimal valueBest to use variety of quantitative and qualitative measuresQuantitative easier, but not often as richQualitative often more informative, but require check on scoring (e.g., rubrics)Rely as much as possible on existing data sources
Types of Information to Include
1. Normative/benchmark information whenever possible (external sources, own performanceover time)2. Locally collected data
Survey dataSUNY SOSNSSELocal surveys of student satisfaction/perceptionsNational benchmarking data (e.g.,ACUHO/EBI, ACUI/EBI)Performance-based dataFocus groups
General Types of Measures (Maki, 2004)
Direct measures – students actually demonstrate learning so that evaluators can match results to expectationsStandardized testsAuthentic, performance-based – embedded into students’ actual educational contextIndirect – students’perceptionsof learningShould never be used as sole indicator
From Measures to Criteria
Assessment criteria reflect your expectations about student performance (i.e., how you know you were successful)Set criteria at reasonable but challenging levelsOften take these forms:“90% of students will …..”“80% of students will score at least 70% on…”
Authentic, Performance-Based Assessment: The Value of Rubrics
Rubrics provide reliable means of rating student performance in more qualitative waySteps in developing rubricsUse entire staff to help develop and be as specific as possible in differentiating between performance levelsUse existing rubrics as guidePilot test to assure scoring is reliable
Rubric Example #1: Recreation & Sport Services (Univ. of W. Florida)
Rubric Example #2: Career Services (Interviewing)(Univ. of W. Florida)
Congruence in the Assessment Process: A Detailed Example
Handout #1
Your Turn!
Handout #2





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