Office of Academic Assessment

 

 

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An Overview of the Assessment of

Student Learning at UNI

 

Assessment Policy

Assessment in Academic Programs

Assessment for the Liberal Arts Core

 

Policy Statement for Academic Assessment

 

Assessment practice at UNI is guided by the Student Outcomes Assessment Policy Statement  that was first published for the campus in April 1991.  The policy directs departments to develop the following for each academic program area at UNI:

 

  • *Assessment philosophy and program goals
  • *Student outcomes and competencies
  • *Frequency of assessments
  • *Assessment methods
  • *Methods of evaluating and interpreting results
  • *Procedures for making use of information obtained from assessment processes in order to implement program and/or curricular improvements

 

Assessment in Academic Programs

 

Student outcomes assessment plans and reports of the assessment of student learning are reviewed by members of the Committee on Academic Program Review as part of the Academic Program Review  process for the department, which occurs at least once every seven years.  Departments collect and use assessment data for program improvement in between program reviews. 

 

Faculty from program areas are encouraged to collect both direct and indirect evidence of student learning, and programs may select the mix of assessment strategies that best fit their disciplines and intended learning outcomes.  Some approaches that have been used include surveys of graduating seniors, employers, and/or alumni; exit interviews with seniors; standardized testing or certification testing, such as the CPA Examination; student papers, research, projects, performances or portfolios of student work.

 

Some examples of direct measure of student learning include the following:

 

  • *In addition to their student teaching experience, education majors do an in-depth analysis of their teaching in a specific unit which includes evaluation of their students’ learning and how it might have been improved and a reflection on their teaching. 

*Papers written by history majors in an introductory history course and in a course taken by seniors are compared to see how students have grown in their ability to understand, analyze and write about historical events.

 

*The performance of social work majors in social work placements are evaluated by both the students and by their social work agency field instructor.   

 

*Finance majors develop written responses to financial management cases and make an oral presentation in class, both of which are evaluated according to desired learning outcomes for the major. 

 

  • *Theater majors in production design collect and present work that demonstrates their ability to create lighting, costume, or scenic design for a play, based on an analysis of the script and research to support their design concept.  

*Physics majors in the Bachelor of Science program complete a guided research project and make oral and written presentations of their work. 

 

 Assessment of Learning in the Liberal Arts Core

 

In addition to assessment of student learning in program areas within academic departments, student learning in the Liberal Arts Core is also assessed.  Overall learning in the Core is assessed through data collected through administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) from Educational Testing Services, and the Graduating Senior Survey.  (Click here for more information on these instruments.)

 

Learning outcomes for individual categories within the Liberal Arts Core are assessed through the Category Review process, which is similar to the Academic Program Review done by academic departments.  Category Review reports are reviewed by the Liberal Arts Core Committee and reports of results for each category review area are provided to the UNI Faculty Senate. 

 

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