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Wright State University’s assessment plans include gathering evidence of student learning in all academic programs, the general education Core, and select co-curricular initiatives as well as institutional measures for gathering evidence of student’s perceptions of the learning environments at both the Dayton and Lake campuses. Assessment plans are developed with the university’s mission and the program’s purpose in mind and act as guides for assessment activities.
Each plan begins with goals—called student learning outcomes—that define the specific learning students will attain by the time they graduate. All academic programs and select co-curricular initiatives are required to have measurable student learning outcomes and are required to assess all of them in a three to five-year cycle; many programs assess all learning outcomes annually.
The assessment plan also identifies processes and schedules for collecting evidence to demonstrate the degree to which students are successfully achieving the intended outcomes and goals. Academic assessment processes typically include annual faculty examination of student work products from courses that provide evidence of the program’s student learning outcomes (e.g. papers, projects, presentations, comprehensive exams, thesis, or portfolios). Rubrics or scales with descriptive indicators are often used as tools to aid in the measurement of the learning outcomes. Assessment of student performance in field or clinical settings by program faculty and/or site supervisors is also common. In certain disciplines, learning outcomes are measured by external exams such as those required for certification or licensure. Assessment processes in both academic and co-curricular programs also frequently include surveys or interviews to assess student or alumni perceptions of their gains relative to the learning outcomes.
All assessment plans include a description for how assessment results will be reviewed and shared with faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. The university recommends discussion of assessment of student learning during at least one faculty and/or staff meeting per year.
Wright State University continues to implement the general education Core assessment plan that was first developed during the Assessment Academy convened by our regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), from 2012 through 2015. The assessment plan is overseen by the Faculty Senate Core Oversight Committee and includes assessment of student mastery of the learning outcomes for each of the six elements of the general education Core, with assessment focusing on one element per year of a six-year cycle. The standardized assessment plan for each element includes faculty’s direct assessment of student work products using rubrics that were adopted and/or derived from the nationally-developed Valid Assessment of Student Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) rubrics from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). View the standardized template for the assessment plan and report (PDF).
Assessment plans for academic programs are outlined at the point of program creation in the university’s curriculum management system and are updated regularly as warranted. All academic programs are required by December 31 annually to submit a Program Assessment Report detailing their assessment activities, findings, and actions for continuous improvement. Program Assessment Reports collected through the Academic Assessment App are posted on the Evidence of Student Learning and Improvement Efforts webpage.
Co-curricular programs with identified learning outcomes are required by August 1 annually to submit a Co-curricular Assessment Report detailing their assessment activities, findings, and actions for improving student learning. Co-curricular Assessment Reports are collected through the Co-Curricular Assessment App and posted on the Evidence of Student Learning and Improvement Efforts webpage.
Wright State University gathers information about student perceptions of the learning environment and their overall experience through the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which has been in operation since 2000 and has been used at more than 1,600 colleges and universities in the US and Canada. NSSE surveys undergraduate students in their first and final years to assess how they spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Wright State University uses the NSSE data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience that can be improved through changes in policy and practice. Wright State University has participated in the survey in odd-numbered years since 2009.