Student Achievement Assessment Committee
A. School of HIVISLS Graduate Student Learning Outcomes*
At this point in time, this student is able to:
1. analyze, interpret, synthesize, and evaluate the literature appropriate to her/his area of study (through thesis defense or poster presentation)
2. integrate learning from courses taken in his/her area of study
3. write clearly, demonstrating grammatical precision and avoiding unnecessary jargon
4. speak clearly at a level appropriate for the listeners
5. articulate reasoned beliefs in a civil manner
6. demonstrate competence in those skills required of his/her area of study
7. provide leadership appropriate to her/his area of study
8. demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to interact with a diverse, multicultural, and global society
*The appendix of this report contains the instruments we use to assess the HMSLS graduate student learning outcomes.
B. Describe the Assessments that have been made, noting especially the measures that were administered and the setting(s) where data were
HMSLS Assessment Methods
Formative Assessment of Learning Outcomes
• The student learning outcomes and protocol are discussed with the students early in their experiences in the graduate program. Examples of opportune times for these discussions are advisee/advisor meetings early in the student’s first semester of courses, during a GradSTEP session specifically dedicated to the topic, and during advising meetings scheduled during GradSTEP.
• When students have completed 9-12 hours of graduate study, they meet with their advisors to go over the learning outcomes (at the same time they complete the TDP). Advisors inform advisees that, at the end of the 18-24 hours of study, both of them will complete the instruments.
• When students complete 18-24 hours of graduate credit, advisors and advisees complete the assessment instruments and discuss/evaluate the student’s progress. The advisor then submits the assessment forms to the Graduate Assessment Committee.
Summative Assessment of Learning Outcomes
• Upon completion of the graduate program, students self-assess their perceived levels of achievement of learning outcomes. Each student’s advisor also assesses the student’s level of achievement. Both the advisee and the advisor complete the assessment instruments and discuss the student’s level of achievement of the learning outcomes.
• The advisor submits the completed instruments to the Graduate Assessment Committee, who will tabulate the results and transmit them in the aggregate to the Graduate Coordinator.
Summative Evaluations of quality of Culminating Experiences
• Plan I (Thesis): Plan I students defend their theses at open meetings of faculty and students. Those faculty members in attendance complete an evaluation form for each student and submit it to the members of the Graduate Assessment Committee (see appendix for instrument used). The Committee members tabulate the results and transmit them in the aggregate to the Graduate Coordinator.
• Plan II (Directed Project): Each semester, Plan II students present their directed projects at the School of HMSLS Graduate Student Poster Session. The faculty members in attendance complete an evaluation form for each project and submit all forms to the Graduate Assessment Committee. The Committee members tabulate the results and transmit them in the aggregate to the Graduate Coordinator.
C. Present the results and conclusions you draw from your analysis of the assessments.
Results of Assessments and Conclusions Drawn Results
• In general, the quantitative and qualitative assessments have suggested that graduating students have achieved the student learning outcomes at the “very good” or “excellent” level.
• In general, the quantitative and qualitative assessments have suggested that graduating students have submitted “very good” or “excellent” theses and projects.
• Summative student learning outcomes assessments have been shown to present measurement problems and, therefore, possess limited value. First, students frequently are unaware of the learning outcomes and have made no conscious effort to achieve them. Second, although there is disparity among the levels of achievement of graduating students, evaluations usually have not differentiated among their levels of achievement (i.e, most students have received assessment scores of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Third, if individual students are assessed at lower than desired levels of achievement in any
category, there are no opportunities for them to improve because they have completed the program.
• Both formative and summative assessments of students’ levels of achievement of the learning outcomes are desirable.
D. Report actions that have been taken based on the assessment findings. This last step is particularly important.
Recommendations made and actions taken by Graduate Faculty Sub Committee on Assessment of Learning Outcomes:
1. Recommendation #1 of the May 2003 report was executed. The Graduate Assessment Committee was formed composed of one representative from each of the three areas of specialization. Actions taken by the committee during academic year 2003-2004 included monitoring the effectiveness of the assessment and evaluation program, reviewing the assessments and evaluations submitted by the faculty and students and providing feedback to the graduate faculty of the results of the quantitative measures and qualitative comments in aggregate form.
2. Based on recommendation #2 of the May 2003 report the graduate faculty operationalized our learning outcomes assessment tools in a more effective manner during the 2003-2004 academic year. Students were made aware of their projected learning outcomes at the beginning of their graduate program as this topic was specifically addressed during an HMSL GradSTEP session. Further action implemented during 2003-2004 included the following.
a. Assessment forms were revised making them more usable.
b. Copies of the graduate student’s internal academic summary will be distributed to individual advisors, in addition to storing them in the
graduate record’s office
c. Assessment results will be shared both with the student and advisors in a normative as well as individual form
Recommendations for 2004-2005
1. The Assessment committee will devise a plan to increase participation of graduate faculty in the assessment process. For the past three years few evaluation tools have been completed by faculty.
2. The HMSLS Graduate Student Thesis Defense Evaluation Survey will be revised.