Assessment EXPO 2016
Celebrating Continuous Improvement
April 1, 2016
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
HSC Sky Room
This year the Office of Assessment Services celebrated the 9th annual Assessment EXPO on April 1, 2016, with faculty, staff and students in the Holmes Student Center Sky room. The EXPO showcased nine outstanding NIU program assessment practices during an informal poster session. The campus community came and joined the celebration to congratulate their fellow colleagues!
2016 EXPO Featured Programs
College of Business
The College of Business
The College of Business refined its undergraduate learning goals and objectives using a grassroots, inclusive process. The process was designed to meet accreditation expectations, ensure market relevance of the undergraduate degree program and gain comprehensive stakeholder support of the learning goals and objectives.
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
Mechanical Engineering, B.S.
The instructors of the Senior Design Project course met in Spring 2014 to discuss the outcome results from Fall 2013 and other suggestions made by judges, industrial employers and alumni who had attended the Senior Design Day presentations. The Mechanical Engineering Assessment Committee discussed the assessment plan during Summer 2014 and recommended changes in the rubric. Instructors worked together to improve course delivery and the design project work to improve three student learning outcomes.
College of Health and Human Sciences
Proposed M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
Program faculty in the Rehabilitation Counseling and Speech-Language Pathology specializations used current program student learning outcomes, specialization requirements, and assessment data as the foundation for recognizing that the two specializations are very different. They have since proposed restructuring (splitting) the specializations. The proposal has been approved by the Academic Planning Council (APC) and is awaiting Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) approval.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The Biology program was curious to know if prior program improvement efforts had the desired effect. The program used BIOS 494 course-embedded assessment data to measure three program student learning outcomes—Biological Reasoning, Critical Thinking, and Technical Writing. Even though the desired target was not met on all outcomes, the faculty did see progress. Course-embedded assessments are providing data is being used in meaningful and productive ways.
The Department of English Graduate Studies Committee was interested in looking at the technical adequacy (reliability and validity) of key program assessments, in particular, the comprehensive exam and alternative paths. Insert specifics of what they did and what they found out.
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Art History, B.A.
Based on previous assessment results, the Art History division of the faculty made changes to the Capstone Course Sequence, Part One. Specifically, they added more opportunities for students to apply basic understandings and skills at the introductory and intermediate levels. This year’s annual assessment update report shows that the program improvement efforts were effective. The program demonstrated best practices in program assessment by looking back to see if previous efforts worked.
The M.A. in Art program instituted instructional changes one year ago (e.g., comprehensive list of monuments and auditing necessary lectures) to address knowledge gaps. Recent data suggested the changes were not having a sufficient impact; the program has since implemented additional instructional changes, such as assigning study groups with mentoring. The program faculty demonstrated best practices in program assessment by checking to see if previous program improvement efforts had the desired effect.
School of Music
The School of Music faculty recognized that they weren’t getting the quality of data they needed from some of their program assessments to adequately monitor student success and make tailored program adjustments (if warranted). The School of Music assessment committee began the process of fine tuning the Brass and Woodwind juried performance assessment by piloting a newly developed rubric with students in Fall 2015. The faculty are now in the process of using the assessment data to establish the reliability and validity of the juried performance rubric—and make changes to the rubric if needed.
Office of Provost
Investigating Writing Intensive Courses Using Course Activity Documentation (CAD) Data and University Writing Project (UWP) Assessment Data.
Data from the University Writing Project (UWP) and Voluntary System of Accountability shows that student writing performance is getting better from freshman to senior year. The following study addresses whether changes in the curriculum can help improve these positive results. The purpose of the study is to link faculty expectations of student writing to senior performance on the UWP.
Outcomes-Based Assessment: Integration of General Education, Major Studies, and Co-curricular Activities.
NIU is implementing an outcomes-based assessment strategy that gauges student learning in general education, major studies, and co-curricular activities. This longitudinal assessment approach begins in the foundational general education and first-year experience courses, then documents student achievement through their coursework in general education and the major studies, and their involvement in co-curricular activities. With assessment in foundational general education courses serving as a baseline, the contributions of general education, major studies and co-curricular/high impact activities on student achievement of specific learning outcomes will be documented.