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One of the intended educational outcomes in Sociology is that students will demonstrate knowledge of basic descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis, inferential statistics, and use of statistical software.  To assess this particular learning outcome, several direct measures from two (2) sections of Socl 211: Statistics for Social Research in Spring 2007 were examined.  These measures include in-class exercises, exams, and data analysis projects.  Student work on each of these measures was evaluated as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  Those with satisfactory work are described as meeting the criterion and those with unsatisfactory work are described as not meeting the criterion.

Statistical Knowledge Assessment 2006-2007


Descriptive Statistics

Inferential Statistics

Multivariate Analysis

Statistical Software


60 (90.91%)

57 (86.36%)

51 (77.27%)

59 (89.39%)

Not Meeting

6 (9.09%)

9 (13.64%)

15 (22.73%)

7 (10.61%)

Total Number of Students





The table above indicates that the majority of students are meeting all four of the intended learning outcomes.  In fact, 49 out 66 students (74.24%) met all four criteria and 57 students (86.36%) met three out of the four criteria (based on data not shown).  The data also show that while the majority of students (77.27%) in the two classes met the multivariate analysis criteria, greater efforts need to be made by faculty teaching the course to convey the material more clearly.

Overall, we conclude that the great majority of our students are leaving our program with the intended level of statistical knowledge.  Based on this assessment, no major changes to our statistics courses are warranted at this time.

Note:  The learning outcome also includes probability issues.  However, it is not included as a stand alone criteria because it is closely tied with the inferential statistics and multivariate analysis dimensions of our statistics courses.


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