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Example Measures and Criteria or Benchmarks

Note: All outcomes, instruments, criteria, and data are fictional and any resemblance to any department’s actual assessment plan is unintentional.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcome: Foreign language majors will increase their levels of speaking and listening proficiency in a foreign language.

Measure (direct)

Students take the Foreign Language Skills Test (FLST) in their chosen language on two occasions: upon declaring the major and during the last semester of their senior year. This oral exam is administered by a faculty member using the same interview protocol with each student. Data are collected year-round and analyzed every other spring.

The exam session is tape-recorded so that the FLST may be scored at a later time using a rubric based on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. Two faculty members score each exam, and a third faculty member is consulted if scores in any category differ by more than one point. Students receive two scores (speaking and listening), calculated as the average across the two faculty members.

Criteria

Outcome: Upon completion of the general education program, students will demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.

Measure (direct)

Students present a persuasive speech as the final assignment in COMM 250. The assignment and scoring rubric are standardized for all sections of the course, and the course is required for all students. Speaking times are scheduled so that two faculty members may be present to score each speech, and a third faculty member is consulted if scores in any rubric category differ by more than one point. Data are collected in fall and spring semesters and are analyzed in the spring.

Criteria

Measure (direct)

Students complete three writing assignments in CWRIT 300 – a business letter, a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, and a research paper. The assignments and scoring rubrics are standardized across all sections of the course, and the course is required for all students. Grading is “blind” in that names are concealed and faculty members do not grade the work of their own students. Data are collected in fall and spring semesters and are analyzed in the spring.

Criteria

Outcome: Students majoring in theater will demonstrate skills in acting, directing, and working in any of the technical areas of theater.

Measure (direct)

Each theater major will successfully complete at least 5 major productions, including acting in a major role in at least one production, directing one production, and taking responsibility for one of the technical areas of a production. Data will be analyzed each spring.

Measure (direct)

All theater majors will complete a public jury in the second semester of their senior year, which will allow students to demonstrate specific competencies in acting, directing and technical theater. The theater students will be judged by 3 raters as performing at a “good” level or better.

Outcome: Students will exhibit organizational and management skills in recreation.

Measure (indirect)

Eighty percent of the recreation graduates responding to the graduating student questionnaire (administered annually) will agree or strongly agree that they have organizational and management skills in recreation. Results will be analyzed every three years.

Measure (direct)

Eighty percent of the supervisors of internships for recreation students responding to an internship assessment survey will indicate that the students have demonstrated acceptable levels of organization and management skills in recreation.

(James O. Nichols, 1995, Assessment Case Studies: Common Issues in Implementation with Various Campus Approaches to Resolution, pg. 83, N.Y.: Agathon Press).

Operational Outcomes

Outcome: Foreign language majors and foreign language faculty will interact in ways that promote learning and personal growth.

Measure (indirect)

Students take the Foreign Language Skills Test (FLST) in their chosen language on two occasions: upon declaring the major and during the last semester of their senior year. This oral exam is administered by a faculty member using the same interview protocol with each student. Data are collected year-round and analyzed every other spring.

During the second testing occasion, three interview questions addressing student-faculty interactions are included.

Criteria

Outcome: The Admissions Office will recruit adequate numbers of qualified students to support the undergraduate program.

Measure (direct)

The applicant pool for first year students will be at least 1000 each year with a yield rate of at least 40%, resulting in a first year class of at least 400.

Measure (direct)

The average GPA of the entering class will be at least 3.45, the average ACT score will be at least 23, and the average SAT score will be 1080.

Measure (direct)

The number of conditionally admitted students will not exceed 30.

Outcome: The campus will be a safe and secure environment for students and employees.

Measure (indirect)

Students will agree that the campus is safe and secure. Eighty-five percent of students responding to the Student Satisfaction Inventory and Adult Student Priorities Survey will agree or strongly agree that the campus is safe and secure for all students.

Measure (indirect)

Employees will agree the campus is a safe and secure environment. At least 90% of employees will agree or strongly agree that the campus is safe and secure on the Faculty Staff Survey.

Measure (direct)

The number of violent and non-violent crimes committed on campus will not exceed [ insert benchmark values based on either peer institutions or campus history here].

Suggested operational outcomes and measurement strategies for academic programs