Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Academic Outcomes Assessment Committee

Annual Report to Faculty Senate 2005-2006

submitted May 30, 2006 by Janet A. White, Chairperson

Name Representing Term Expires
Jim Valle, Elementary Education Education 2007
Marco Antolin, Foreign Languages Humanities 2006
Kendra Saunders, Counseling Non-School 2006
Yin Soong, Earth Sciences Science and Mathematics 2006
Chuck Geiger, Geography Social Sciences 2007
Janet White, Mathematics Chairperson 2007

The committee's previous normal meeting time had to be changed due to conflicts for the committee members. The committee met during the fall semester on the 2nd and 4th Mondays from 9:30-11:00am, and during the spring semester on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 12-1:30pm. The committee met nine times: on October 10 and 24, November 7 and 21, January 24, February 14 and 28, March 28, and April 25.

Motions forwarded to Senate:

Other Deliberations/Actions

  1. Selection of three General Education outcomes for assessment in 2005-06.
    1. The committee learned that pilot tests had been conducted during the previous year for four General Education outcomes: #2 (Written Communication), #4 (Quantitative Reasoning), #5 (Critical Reasoning), and #7 (Information Literacy). Of these, #5 had proved difficult. The committee agreed that #2, #4 and #7 should be assessed this year.
    2. For #2, it was agreed that an appropriate strategy would be to collect a sample of the first writing assignments during the Spring 2006 semester in several different "Upper Level Writing" courses, it was also determined that the committee would work with the English Department to determine how to possibly integrate some of their current assessments for general education purposes. Only 2 professors provided samples for the W courses, so analysis will be minimal at best. This will be revisited in the fall.
    3. #4 was assessed by targeting students in Perspectives courses (who should have completed a consistently substantial part of the General Education curriculum). Chuck Geiger and Yin Soong developed a short test that could be administered early in any Perspectives course. Approximately 200 samples of student work will be scored during the summer and analyzed at that time.
    4. #7 will be assessed this year utilizing the IL assessment results from the spring of 05. The committee will use this, as well as faculty input to seek other methods for assessment of IL in the future.
  2. The committee was asked by the Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee and the Social Science School Curriculum Committee to help create suggested guidelines or recommendations regarding what proposals, (objectives and assessments especially) might look like. This was created during the course of the year and will be shared in the fall with Senate before proceeding. It is also hoped that the web-page can have links to at least one good sample proposal from each school in order to help new proposers with the process.
  3. The committee was asked by the Assistant Provost for Planning and Assessment to review departmental degree specification matrices. The committee examined a sampling in order to be better informed for helping future departments in their assessment plans, if needed.
  4. The committee broke into 4 subcommittees to examine ways to assess the remaining four general education outcomes in the 2006-2007 year. A start was made to a Scientific Reasoning tool, which could be implemented similarly to the Quantitative Reasoning tool from this year. Communications department was contacted to solicit assistance and information regarding ways in which they may be able to assist in assessing Oral Communication. Technological Competency and Critical Reasoning posed the biggest concerns in the committee. ITEC was contacted for advice, and the committee also decided that it was important for them to gather more input from faculty.

Future Plans:
Continued work on the General Education assessments will continue in the fall. This plan includes gathering information from faculty. The idea is to have an assessment luncheon to be held early fall (perhaps early Oct). We will continue to work on fine-tuning plans for assessing the remaining 4 GenEd components next year, but then use the luncheon to garner faculty support and input into 2 or 3 areas. Those that are being consider: Critical Reasoning, and Technological Competency.

The chairperson thanks all members of the committee for their diligence and commitment throughout the year. Through many changes of focus and direction, the committee's hard work and thoughtfulness in task were greatly appreciated. Thanks also to faculty across the University for advising and assisting in the planning and collection of assessment data. Without faculty support, the efforts would have been futile. An additional thanks to Fred Foster-Clark, Jim Valle and Adam Lawrence for attending a Middle States Institute on Assessment and providing the AOAC with leadership and guidance following this conference.

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