Learning outcome(s) assessed
Selected findings (goals, means of assessment, results)
Action to be taken in 2011-12 as a result of these findings
Potential obstacles to achieving goals
Evaluate the action taken in 2011-12 (this section is completed one year after the initial summary report)
Human Diversity content
Six categories of non-Western knowledge were assessed via questions embedded in course exams in four difference courses. Student performance met or exceeded expectations in all categories, but student performance was lowest in the non-Western symbolic world category. A second means of assessment used a pre-test/post-test method to measure gains in knowledge and also yielded acceptable results. The department speculated on why the gains were not higher.
Will add Linguistics to the the courses assessed and will discuss the results.
Unexpected retirement of linguistics specialist.
Skill in one art studio specialty area. (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramcs, Jewelry, Photography, Computer Art, Graphic Design, Printmaking).
As part of a capstone experience, graduating seniors will present a body of work in a specialty area. The faculty committee (minimum of three) will evaluate and rate the quality of the work in the student’s specialty area.
Basic understanding of the laboratory techniques used in biochemistry and related areas.
Previous assessments used direct measures such as standardized tests. The 2010-11 assessment was based on a survey of senior Biochem majors.
Able to understand and appreciate the primary literature in biochemistry and be able to extract the salient features and advances from journal articles
Ability to undertake a literature search and use the sources obtained to create a logical, well-argued paper from them
Will seek to determine where this instruction exists in courses within the program. Using this information the department can determine if changes are warranted in courses or the program.
Demonstrate knowledge in the sub-disciplines of chemistry: physical, organic, inorganic, biochemistry, and analytical chemistry.
Substantial increase in student numbers and a decrease in department funding, no longer able to administer the Major Field Assessment Test (MFAT) as Primary means of assessment of this outcome.
Ability to effectively communicate scientific findings through written and oral reports.
Writing samples and oral presentations were evaluated by the chemistry department in Current Topics in Chemistry (CHEM 351) and Chemistry Senior Seminar (CHEM 352), both typically taken in the senior year. Students were evaluated by faculty using an appropriate oral and writing research rubric.
The department’s writing rubric will be monitored to see if it continues to give systematically lower average evaluations in the following yearly assessments; but the impression of recent graduates is quite positive.
Competency in the effective oral presentation of original ideas and supporting material
Student presenters in two classes were evaluated on a rubric by the instructor and by other students. At least 90% of students enrolled in upper-level Communication courses will either meet or exceed the three criteria of organization, expression, and presentation in public speaking assignments. While this year's assessment results show students are approaching this standard, we've not yet achieved it. Expression and presentation were scored lower than organization.
Most students enrolled in the courses were upper-level undergraduates in good academic standing.
Teacher as Accomplished Reflective Practitioner
Two reports of graduate assessment data are included to illustrate the proficiency of the students in the Literacy Graduate Program
This year’s sample consisted of one 200-level (ENGL 212) and two 300-level classes (ENGL 318 and ENGL 301/303). Instructors for each class applied the College’s Oral Discourse Rubric to an oral presentation; the rubric examines three categories: organization, expression, and presentation.
Responses to findings from Department faculty on wiki page. Suggestions include:
A French/Spanish major will reach the "Advanced" level of proficiency or higher in writing in the target language as described in the "Proficiency Guidelines" of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
The Department has a Departmental Writing Requirement Evaluation Form, which articulates the ACTFL writing proficiency guidelines with a grading rubric. The rubric evaluates content as well as form (grammar, syntax, organization, vocabulary usage and mechanics). There are two types of written assessment conducted each semester: 1) Assessment of individual 300 level courses that include an academic essay / final paper dealing with topics pertinent to that particular course by the instructor on record using the rubric; and 2) The written exit exam given to all majors usually in their junior year assessed by two faculty members working independently with the rubric.
Faculty agreed to ensure that composition courses stress the areas in which the students showed weakness. Additionally, all composition courses now include a unit of instruction on the process of investigating and preparing a research paper in the target language and observing the guidelines prescribed by the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. The submission of this research paper is now a final requirement of all composition courses.
Juniors and seniors appropriately apply geographic concepts and/or methods in professional or out-of-classroom experiences that provide opportunities for the application of geographic concepts and skills.
No program changes considered. This is a measure of participation, perhaps a proxy for student engagement, in the major and extracurricular activities, but helps to identify how well-rounded students are by their junior and senior years.
The assessment method does not specifically address whether or not students are ‘appropriately’ applying geographic knowledge in these realms.
Ability to locate, evaluate, synthesize, and convey geographical information from a variety of sources
Aware of major developments in the field, have an understanding of the evolution of the discipline, and demonstrate knowledge of the central debates in the discipline of Geography.
professional advancement through employment or graduate school as a demonstration of knowledge of geology and principles of science
Attempted to use capstone seminar (GSCI 391) as a direct means of assessment of major's "knowledge of geology and the principles of science." All students enrolled in this class are required to pose a geological question, collect data in an attempt to answer that question, interpret the data, and present it in both an oral and a poster format. Of the 28 students registered for GSCI 391, all 28 meet expectations.
80% criterion met only over a five-year period.
Have considered using a nation-wide professional geologist examination administered by Associate of State Boards of Geologists (ASBOG). At this time is too expensive and covers several areas that the faculty at Geneseo do not teach (e.g., Engineering Geology or Seismology).
communication of geological knowledge in written and oral forms commonly used by professionals
Rubric used to evaluate papers in GSCI 361 (Paleontology), typically taken during either the junior or senior year. The same rubric is used to assess Geophysics majors in GSCI 343 (Applied Geophysics) if they do not take GSCI 361.
communication of geological knowledge in written and oral forms commonly used by professionals
Students registered in GSCI 391, a required course, must give two oral presentations (one in the fall, one in the spring) and evaluate their peers. Talks are evaluated on three criteria (quality of content, quality of visuals, quality of delivery) and scored on a five point scale.
Learning Outcomes for the historical skills related secondary sources. Identify and locate appropriate secondary sources
Each instructor teaching Hist220: Interpretations in History, assessed all of the final papers from their section of the course. This is a direct measure of student learning by evaluating students' skill in locating and evaluating secondary sources and engaging in historiographical analysis. The papers were assessed based on a rubric.
Goals met in two of the three categories. Students typically struggle with the challenge of producing their own historiographical analysis, so it is not surprising that numbers were not quite as strong in this category. Having more than three-fourths of the students meet expectations is a fairly strong showing, though will continue to monitor and work on ways to more effectively help students develop this skill.
The required curriculum is divided into courses in Calculus, Algebra, Proof, and Analysis. Learning outcomes were identified in each area and were assessed via exam questions in a required course in each area.
Outcomes were assessed via exam questions in a required course in each of the four areas.
The roughly bi-modal nature of the distribution of total scores (0 – 20) is likely due to the difficulty encountered by students on the items involving line integrals. Students who were competent in this area tended to show competence “across the board,” once again indicating that instructors of Calculus III may need to increase their emphasis on this area of study.
Students will demonstrate aural comprehension of melody, harmony, rhythm, and form in various musical styles.
Students were submitted to multi-dimensional, “value added” assessment exams, one in the beginning to assess their strengths and weaknesses (pre-assessment), and one at the end for a comparison (post assessment). Each exam entailed three large sections, allowing us to be as comprehensive as possible: 1) aural dictation of melody, harmony, rhythms, musical forms 2) keyboard exercises in 4 part harmonic structures that required students to play outer voices while singing an inner voice and transposing 3) and singing 2 melodies in solfege: the first as a single line melody, and the second sung against another “voice” that students were to play on the piano at the same time (sing and play examples).
Low in work force numbers to help administer, collect and review the data.
Students will demonstrate skills in sightsinging of music from the Baroque through 20th Century.
Each item was graded on a rubric based on accuracy of: pitch, rhythm/tempo, articulations, dynamics, phrasing, memory, pedal use, fingering, and stylistic appropriateness.
The curriculum will reflect a change in emphasis to accommodate students who need more assistance in sight reading.
Awareness of and skill in researching current issues in music history.
32 students in Musc 222 and 9 students in Musc 333 were assessed, based on the current rubric from GenEd requirements. One Music History professor, with the assessment coordinator, reviewed the data.
Ability to solve physics problems.
In Fall 2010, 42 students took PHYS 352 (Quantum Mechanics). Of these, 36 students (86%) scored a 3 or higher for their solution to the embedded question (Schrodinger’s Equation); the average score was 3.21. This is well above target of 75%. Also, 17 students (40%) scored a 4, significantly surpassing our goal of 25%.
Physics and Astronomy
Physics graduates will be able to communicate scientific concepts and results
The rubric has six assessment areas (abstract, description, graphics, analysis/results/conclusions, grammar, and understanding), and scores are averaged over the six areas. Over 80% of reports written by Geneseo physics students should achieve a score of 2 or better.
Plan to make graphics quality a continuing emphasis in the PHYS 362 and PHYS 226 classes.
Physics and Astronomy
Geneseo physics students will be able to use scientific equipment and instrumentation.
For the second time, the success rate for category 5) is above target goal of 80%. This probably represents increased exposure in PHYS 362, PHYS 363, PHYS 372, and both paid and unpaid research experiences in the department. Averaged over all five categories, 69% indicated proficiency (or better), which is somewhat below our target of 80%. This result is driven by primarily two factors: the fact that spectrometers are used rarely in our labs and our research projects (except as noted two paragraphs above), and the fact that many of the students using equipment in the Advanced Instrumentation category believe they don’t have sufficient exposure to classify themselves as “proficient”
Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy will maintain a supportive community for all students, particularly women students and other under-represented students in physics
On the Annual Senior Survey, students are asked to rate several areas in the major. Item 17) asks them to rate the “Relationship between undergraduate majors and professors” on a scale of 1 (Excellent) to 4 (Poor). Item 23) asks “If you could start over again, would you still major in the same discipline?” Possible student responses are “Definitely yes”, “Probably yes”, “Probably not”, “Definitely not”, and “Wouldn’t attend College”. Item 29) asks students to report their gender. Criteria for Success 80% of respondents will respond to item 17) with a “1” or “2”, and there will be no significant difference between results from male and female graduates. 80% of respondents will respond to item 23) with “Definitely yes” or “Probably yes” and there will be no significant difference results from male and female graduates.
To increase fraction of female students, in the summer of 2009, faculty sent written invitations to incoming female freshmen with undeclared majors, asking them to consider physics at Geneseo.
Belief that this reduction reflects changes in the demographics for department: over the past decade, number of majors has more than doubled, while number of faculty has stayed constant (in fact, it could be argued that the number of faculty has been reduced, since our faculty members are frequently called upon to serve in administrative roles rather than teaching roles with the college, and are typically not replaced with full time faculty involved in teaching and research). Also possible that some of the dissatisfaction reflected on the college senior survey is due to the current economic situation in the country. If students are having trouble finding jobs within their area, it could impact their responses on the survey.
Increase in majors
direct assessment methods were used in PlSc 110: Introduction to American Politics.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, the Political Science and International Relations department updated the learning outcomes for International Relations to more closely parallel the learning outcomes for Political Science.
· Demonstrates the ability to express complex theoretical arguments in writing
direct assessment methods were used in PlSc PlSc 340: International Law and Organizations.
basic research skills which include the components of locate, evaluate, synthesize and argue
In this case, consensus was that students did best in selecting appropriate sources for the paper (evaluate) and finding sources independently (locate). In both cases, students were meeting (3) or very nearly approaching the standard. Student performance in relating sources to each other and to the thesis (synthesis) and articulating a clear, original argument supported with relevant evidence (argue) was not as strong. In both these cases, they were approaching to meeting the standard. Once again, students did very well on such skills as evaluating an argument and conducting independent research. For the higher level skills of relating sources to each other and constructing an argument to support a thesis, they did not do as well. Again, these are higher-level analytical skills which many undergraduates still struggle to
Students will demonstrate knowledge of and skill in the application of basic behavioral science research methods and the statistical analyses appropriate to analyzing data generated from them.
Used an online method of assessing both confidence in and knowledge of target learning outcome. This approach was a substantive departure from previous assessment methodology in order to assess the target learning outcome and explore a new methodology of assessment. The online survey tool was used to collect three kinds of data from students.
Department is currently examining how it will modify the requirements of the major if and when the college decides to switch to a course load model of student academic load. In the context of that possible change, the current data has helped to consider when students should complete the research methods requirements, as well as the total number of courses required for the major.
Students will develop an understanding of how sociological analysis could inform policy
Students in the senior seminar, a student doing a senior thesis, and a student doing a senior internship were asked in a senior seminar class to “identify some relevant sociological finding” and to “use this sociological finding to evaluate a social policy option.
1. The student will demonstrate analytical and writing skills requisite for admission to graduate programs or professional applications.
Faculty reflection upon students’ projects after their senior year.
second means of assessment
Students were asked to consider significant work undertaken in their senior year, including senior projects, honors projects, major class projects, and major roles or production work on main-stages or student produced shows. They were asked to
The second mechanism for assessment is something that should continue
Understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical analysis
87.4% of students assessed demonstrated proficiency
Application of scientific data, concepts, and models in one of the natural sciences
89.4% of students assessed demonstrated proficiency
the ability to analyze data
85.7% of students assessed demonstrated proficiency
Knowledge of either a broad outline of world history, or the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc., of one non-Western civilization
More than 70% of students are meeting or exceeding expectations.
As in past assessment years, the majority of Geneseo students are either exceeding or meeting almost all of the stated learning outcomes. In four of the five categories, more than eighty percent of the students either exceeded or met the stated learning outcomes. The only category with a slightly lower total was “an understanding of America’s evolving relationship with the rest of the world.”
Although the exceeding/meeting numbers for all categories are certainly impressive, the fact that a few faculty responded with zeroes or n/a to the category “an understanding of America’s evolving relationship with the rest of the world” demonstrates that not all faculty are actually addressing all of the stated learning outcomes. Why this is the case is unclear and should certainly be addressed by the U.S. Histories Core committee as well as the General Education Committee.
lack of participation by adjunct lecturers who teach courses in this gen ed area
please see results posted by individual departments on the Oral Discourse results page