Fall 2013

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FROM THE ASSOCIATE PROVOST FOR ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Can you believe it? We’re back in operation for another academic year. I trust you had a pleasant and productive summer.

This fall we anticipate exciting changes/challenges/opportunities, which this issue of Assessment Showcase outlines. We’ve reported on these developments in earlier issues, but they are now finally about to happen.

I think you’ll find that a lot of hard work is coming to fruition, the most important of which is the re-structuring of the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC). The idea is to provide more timely and discipline-specific feedback on your plans and reports by colleagues in your college.

Another big step for assessment is the use of Pearson analytics in the web-platforms for UCOL 101, English 101 and 102, and Math 101, 107, and 108. The new instructional technology makes much, much easier the measure of student learning outcomes that we will be reporting to you in the coming year.

Finally, we are making another concerted effort to assess the impact of the College of Liberal Arts’ writing-intensive requirement. Writing Across the Curriculum is a longstanding program that deserves a thorough review. Preliminary results are promising, so we want to follow up.

So the best of luck to you and your students this fall. Like you, I’m really looking forward to the new semester. 

Jim Allen
Associate Provost for Academic Programs




Highlight

restructuringRestructuring the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC)

To provide academic programs with timely feedback on both their assessment plans and annual reports, the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC) will be expanding this fall to include College-Wide Assessment Teams (CWAT) and a Co-Curricular Assessment Team (CCAT).

College-Wide Assessment Team (CWAT)

The College-Wide Assessment Teams (or committees) will oversee the timely completion of the Assessment Plan Template for new degree programs (or when changes occur in approved assessment plans) and the annual Assessment Report Template. The CWAT shall also work with their faculty to review the results of annual Assessment Reports and in creating or making changes to Assessment Plans.

In effect, the Teams (or committees) will work collaboratively with the Office of Assessment and Program Review (OAPR) and the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC) to oversee the university’s assessment plans and to support uniform assessment practices and procedures.

Each Team (or committee):

  • reviews and evaluates the assessment results, reports, and plans in its College or School;
  • provides feedback to the assessment coordinator in each program and, where applicable, ensures that programs are meeting accreditation/certification criteria with respect to assessment;
  • submits all approved Assessment Plans and annual Assessment Reports, with the Team Review Rubric, to the OAPR; it also reports a summary to the CWAC;
  • works with the Co-Curricular Assessment Team to ensure that co-curricular activities are incorporated into curricular learning, as appropriate;
  • works with the OAPR and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to coordinate training for staff, directors, and other appropriate groups; and
  • meets with the Associate Provost for Academic Programs (APAP) at least once a semester.

Co-Curricular Assessment Team (CCAT)

The Co-Curricular Assessment Team (CCAT) will work collaboratively with the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC) and the College-Wide Assessment Team (CWAT). It ensures that the value of assessment for informing and improving curricula and student learning is integral to university culture. The CCAT is responsible for reviewing and approving co-curricular assessment plans and providing feedback to the relevant programs. The team will work collaboratively with CWAC and CWAT to oversee the university’s development and updating of assessment plans and to apply uniform assessment practices and procedures. It

  • reviews and evaluates the division or unit results, reports, and plans; and provides feedback to the assessment coordinators and directors to enhance their programs and, where applicable, ensure they are fulfilling accreditation/certification requirements;
  • submits all approved Assessment Plans and annual Assessment Reports, with the Team Review Rubric, to the OAPR; it also reports a summary to the CWAT and the CWAC;
  • works with the College-Wide Assessment Teams (CWAT) to ensure that co-curricular activities are incorporated into curricular learning, as appropriate;
  • works with the OAPR and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to coordinate training for staff, directors, and other appropriate groups; and
  • meets with the Associate Provost for Academic Programs (APAP) at least once a semester.

With the formation of these teams, we anticipate several brown bag luncheons to provide training and opportunities to share best practices.

Tablet Initiative and Pearson

The University has joined this Educause and Internet2 initiative to provide each first-year student this Fall a Dell Latitude 10 tablet loaded with e-textbooks and Dell LatitudePearson online laboratory products in English composition, college algebra, and the SFY success seminar. The analytics features to the Pearson products and the University’s learning management system, Desire2Learn, will enable programs to assess student learning in real time for more effective instruction and, over-time, for curricular revision. The Office of Assessment and Program Review will work closely with Pat Manfredi, Director, University Core Curriculum, throughout the semester to gather and analyze data.

Writing across the Curriculum initiative

The Office of Assessment and Program Review pilot-tested a modified AAC&U Written Communication rubric for the major assignments in writing-intensive courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts during the Spring 2013 semester. The following results were shared with the course instructors in June.

Content and Purpose

Development

Conventions

Sources

Syntax and Mechanics

Average

3.091

2.972

2.878

2.818

2.810

Evidently, our students are doing well with the content and purpose of their writing assignments, but they really need help with syntax and mechanics. We will be using the same rubric in writing-intensive courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts during the fall 2013 semester to see if student writing is improving.

University Core Curriculum Assessment - ENGL 101

With the approval of the Faculty Senate in Fall 2012, the University’s general education program, the UCC, has adopted the aacu logoAAC&U’s LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. The Core Curriculum Executive Council, in consultation with UCC instructors, will create indicators and rubrics to measure student learning for each outcome. For more on this process, see www.aacu.org/leap.

The Office of Assessment and Program Review is working with Pat Manfredi and Tara Hembrough, Assistant Director of Writing Studies, to pilot test the AAC&U Written Communication rubric for at least one major assignment in ENGL 101 and creating student portfolios that can be accessed during the students' senior year.

If you have any questions regarding the activities listed above, please contact me.

Sharon Walters, PhD
Assistant Director for Assessment and Program Review



You Should Know...

NILOA

The July 2013 newsletter from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) contains a timely and interesting Viewpoint, “Where is Culture in Higher Education Assessment and Evaluation?” The newsletter and website contain a wealth of information regarding assessment and transparency.

aacu logo

Without Inclusion, There Is No True Excellence,”
AAC&U Board of Directors Affirms in New Statement on
“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence

AAC&U Board of Directors Statement Issued in Support of Expanded AAC&U Mission Presents
Vision for Inclusive Excellence in Higher Education

 

Washington, DC—August 15, 2013—The Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) released today an official statement on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence.”  This statement explains AAC&U’s vision of inclusive excellence in light of its recently expanded mission statement and in support of AAC&U’s ongoing work on liberal education, inclusive excellence, and student success. Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.




Bragging Rights

ROTC


Fifteen Southern Illinois University Carbondale students attended the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, WA. LDAC is a very intense, 31-day course that both trains and evaluates each person's leadership performance and potential.  According to LTC Jon Sowards, Army ROTC, three of our Cadets received "Excellence" ratings, which are very difficult to achieve and worthy of praise.  This is definitely something to brag about!



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Upcoming Spotlights

Check out the Winter Assessment Showcase newsletter where we will provide you with details about the many assessment activities scheduled for the Spring 2014 semester.


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Questions

Each quarter we will present what we believe to be practical information regarding assessment practices. However, because we believe assessment works best when feedback is sought, we encourage you to submit any questions regarding any aspect of the assessment process (i.e., at the course level, department level, college level, etc.) to us at assess@siu.edu. We will attempt to answer these questions in the following quarterly's newsletter and post them on our website under FAQs.