Student Achievement Assessment Committee
2002-2003 academic year
Keeping in concert with the mission statements for the undergraduate and graduate programs, the following specific learning outcomes have been developed:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences;
2. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in basic human communication processes and disorders thereof;
3. Apply critical thinking and analysis to issues in communication disorders, relating theoretical foundations to clinical practice;
4. Observe and critically evaluate clinical work in communication disorders;
5. Demonstrate qualifications for post baccalaureate entry into a health and human service profession not requiring a graduate degree, or a graduate program in allied health or related field, or a graduate program in communication disorders.
1. Learning (or Service) Outcomes assessed this year:
The goals during the 2002-2003 academic year focused primarily on identification of actual knowledge outcomes for each of the master’s courses currently in the CDIS curriculum. Specifically, the focus was on Learning Outcome 3): “Apply critical thinking and analysis to issues in communication disorders, relating theoretical foundations to clinical practice.”
CDIS began looking in-depth at course-specific learning outcomes as part of a requirement set forth by ASHA. ASHA’s new certification standard will be going into effect for all students beginning their graduate training during the fall of 2004. According to the new standard, each master’s level course will have course-specific learning outcomes that must be completed to obtain a passing grade in the course.
This new national certification standard dovetails nicely with the learning objectives of the department. Identification of learning outcomes for master’s-level classes is near completion. The focus of the assessment committee will turn during 2003-2004 to learning objectives associated with clinical training. This will relate directly to Learning Outcome 4): “Observe and critically evaluate clinical work in communication disorders.”
The specific learning outcomes associated with each of the master’s level classes were only recently identified. They have yet to be put into actual practice. Therefore, it was not possible to measure these learning outcomes. Instead, assessment this year focused on data collected from three survey instruments, and from results of the national PRAXIS exam. These evaluative tools are summarized in the next section.
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
The department of Communication Disorders has in place an Annual Assessment Plan. The plan evaluates all operations in the department and clinic. A departmental assessment committee was formed in 2001. Their initial charge was to identify current strengths and limitations of the departmental assessment program. At our annual fall planning meeting (retreat) in August, 2002, assessment was a key issue due to changes in certification standards. During the 2002-2003 academic year, the committee helped guide faculty discussion at faculty meetings.
Several measures are performed annually in order to determine how well the department is achieving its learning objectives. These include three survey documents: the Alumni Survey, the Senior Exit Survey, the Graduate Student Questionnaire, and the PRAXIS exam.
The Alumni Survey
The Alumni survey is administered 6-12 months post-graduation from the baccalaureate program. This survey helps to evaluate all five of the learning outcomes in CDIS.
The Senior Exit Survey
This survey is given to all graduating seniors in March of the year they are graduating. This document helps to examine issues related to learning outcomes 1), 2) and 5).
The Graduate Student Questionnaire
This questionnaire examines learning outcomes 2), 3), 4) and 5). It is administered in
March of the year following the year of graduation. Most students graduate during spring
The PRAXIS exam is a 150-item exam administered near the completion of each master’s student’s program of study (usually in March). This is a summative assessment of the student’s clinical and academic knowledge. Learning outcome 3) is primarily evaluated by the PRAXIS exam.
3. Inferences from Assessments:
Summary of Alumni Survey
Only 18% of 28 (N= 5) surveys were returned this year. Four items on the survey are
related to departmental learning outcomes. Each of the following items was judged on a 5-point scale:
Excellent = 5 Above Average = 4 Satisfactory = 3 Unsatisfactory = 2 Poor = 1
1. Overall Quality of your education at BGSU
2. Overall academic preparation in CDIS
3. Quality and content presented in your course work
4. Quality of clinical experiences
Since there were few surveys returned, the results only can be discussed in general terms.
The responses by alumni indicated that the respondents were generally satisfied with their academic training at BGSU and in the department. No respondent marked any item with a rating less than “3” for any of the four questions.
Open-ended comments suggested that there should be more required undergraduate course work in audiology, especially aural rehabilitation. Also it was suggested that there was not enough undergraduate clinical experiences available.
Summary of Senior Exit Survey
Eleven of twenty-six surveys were returned (42%). The same four items (given above)
were scored by each of the seniors responding to this survey.
The seniors felt the overall quality of their education at BGSU was “above average” (71.4%) or “excellent” (9.1%). Students ranked their overall academic preparation in CDIS, as “excellent” (9.1%), “above average” (72.7%), or “satisfactory” (18.2%). Students ranked the quality and content of their CDIS course work as “excellent” (9.1%), “above average” (63.6%), or “satisfactory” (18.2%). In terms of quality of clinical experiences, students said their experience was “excellent” (27.3%), “above average” (18.2%), “satisfactory” (27.3%) or “unsatisfactory” (27.2%). The apparent disappointment for some students’ rankings in this category stems from the fact that not all seniors are placed in a clinical practicum. This is an elective experience only for higher-achieving students in CDIS; placement in practicum is by application only.
Open-ended comments suggested the department should offer more undergraduate
clinical experiences, more course work in speech disorders, more lab-based courses, and an undergraduate aural rehabilitation course.
Summary of Graduate Student Questionnaire
Ten of twenty-three surveys were returned (43.48%). The graduate student survey focuses on quality of preparation as a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist. Graduates rank several categories on the following six-point scale: 1 = poor; 2 = fair; 3 = average; 4 = good; 5 = excellent. The categories include theoretical background, counseling clients/parents/spouses, research, diagnostic skill and competence, and treatment/remediation skill. Student rankings are provided below:
5 4 3 2 1
Theoretical background 6 3 1 (N = 10)
Counseling 4 5 1
Research 1 5 4
Diagnostic skill 5 1 3 1
Treatment skill 5 2 3
These data, albeit limited, indicate that graduate students feel their training is better than average, with many ratings in the “good” and “excellent” range.
The Graduate Student Survey also has several open-ended questions relating to strengths and limitations. Students were generally pleased with the scope and depth of their education and clinical training. Students did feel that they needed required course work in several areas that are not currently part of the curriculum, especially dysphagia, and augmentative and alternative communication.
Students in CDIS at BGSU have historically done very well on the national PRAXIS exam in Speech-Language Pathology. Passing score is 600, and the mean score of BGSU students this year was 668. From 1995-2002, 155 students have passed the PRAXIS exam, and only one student scored lower than 600 (pass rate = 99%).
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
Several changes are being made to the curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate
levels. These changes will be in effect for fall, 2003. Interestingly, these modifications
not only reflect changes being mandated by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, but also align well with comments received in student surveys.
Specifically, at the undergraduate level, we are adding a course in aural rehabilitation.
We are also adding a lab-based experience in CDIS 351 Language Assessment and Intervention. At the graduate level, we are adding required course work in the areas of dysphagia, and augmentative and alternative communication.