Student Learning Outcomes

We embrace a common set of student learning outcomes and we are accountable for sustained measurement of these outcomes

Tarleton State University: Communication

Texas A&M University System Student Learning Outcome–Communication

The Texas A&M University System delivers a common set/embraces a common view of important outcomes and is accountable for sustained measurement.

Institutional Effectiveness:

For all TAMU System universities, the rationale for assessing student learning outcomes (SLOs) originates primarily from efforts to maintain institutional effectiveness, which is defined as a process of identifying outcomes, assessing the extent to which they are achieved, and providing evidence of improvement based on their analysis.

COMMUNICATION LEARNING OUTCOME:

Upon completion of their degree program, students will be able to express ideas clearly and coherently orally, in writing, and electronically to a diverse range of audiences and interact with others in large and small group settings.

Generic Descriptions of Campus Assessment Results:

EXEMPLARY
All criteria met and results exceed expectations with little room for improvement.

PROFICIENT
Most criteria met and results indicate mastery of objective with some room for improvement.

SUFFICIENT
Acceptable number of criteria met and results meet expectations with room for improvement.

EMERGING
Some criteria met and results indicate need for improvement.

INSUFFICIENT
Few criteria met; results indicate need for significant improvement or no/insufficient results reported to measure performance of objective.

UNIVERSITY

Tarleton

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Tarleton requires the satisfactory completion of two discipline-based Writing Intensive courses for the bachelor's degree. Tarleton's Writing Intensive Committee assesses written communication using student artifacts produced in these discipline-based Writing Intensive courses. Each student artifact is assessed by at least two committee members using a standardized Writing Intensive program-developed rubric.

Every core curriculum course at Tarleton has communication as a key course based student learning outcome. Tarleton also supports the student learning outcome of communication by having two required composition courses and one required speech-based communication course within its core curriculum. Assessment of core curriculum student artifacts demonstrating the student learning outcome of communication (e.g. research projects, written assignments, presentations, etc.) is completed by core curriculum faculty members using a standardized rubric.

Tarleton also assesses communication at the program level. Most programs at Tarleton have discipline-specific student learning outcomes related to communication. Assessment of student artifacts demonstrating program student learning outcomes related to communication (e.g. research projects, written assignments, presentations, internship evaluations, portfolios, and other direct measures of student work) is completed by a panel of two or more faculty members within the discipline using program developed standardized rubrics or, in the case of internship reports, by a qualified outside evaluator.

RESULTS: 2016

This outcome was assessed at the Writing Intensive Program level using a rubric with a 0 to 4 scale. The rubric provides both summary evaluations for four key writing skill subareas as well as an overall evaluation:

Purpose 3.3
Organization 3.0
Rhetorical Awareness 2.8
Writing Standards 2.8
Overall 3.0

This outcome was assessed at the core curriculum level through the association of core curriculum courses with the following core curriculum student learning outcome:

1.6.1 Students will express ideas in written, visual, or oral forms to a range of diverse audiences in multiple settings.

75% of core program assessments of the communication subarea met their targets.

This outcome was assessed at the program level through the association of programs with the following two subareas of TSU's Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes:

2.1.1 Communicate effectively orally

79% of academic program assessments of subarea 2.1.1 met their targets.

2.1.2 Communicate effectively in writing

71% of academic program assessments of subarea 2.1.2 met their targets.

ANALYSIS

Tarleton's Writing Intensive Program outcomes related to communication have demonstrated substantial across-the-board improvement since 2013:

2016 2013
Purpose 3.3 3.0
Organization 3.0 2.7
Rhetorical Awareness 2.8 2.5
Writing Standards 2.8 2.0
Overall 3.0 2.5


Tarleton's core curriculum outcome related to communication has also demonstrated significant improvement since 2013:

1.6.1 Students will express ideas in written, visual, or oral forms to a range of diverse audiences in multiple settings.
2016: 75% of academic program met their targets.
2013: 42% of academic program met their targets.

Tarleton's program level outcomes related to communication have also demonstrated improvement since 2013:

2.1.1 Communicate effectively orally
2016: 79% of academic program met their targets.
2013: 71% of academic program met their targets.

2.1.2 Communicate effectively in writing
2016: 71% of academic program met their targets.
2013: 68% of academic program met their targets.

This would indicate that this is a Proficient area for Tarleton.

ACTION

1. Communicate results to all WI and core curriculum instructors and Tarleton faculty in general.

2. Encourage inclusion of greater emphasis on writing style and mechanics in core and program course curriculum.

3. Develop a First-Year Faculty mentor group to model, share, and encourage best-practice curriculum approaches that are associated with student learning improvement.

4. Successfully implement an annual university-wide Great Debate program. This initiative is in development now for a Spring 2017 launch. One of the key goals of this program is to engage the broad university community in issues related to oral and written communication by creating an intensive series of public debates initiated around the students enrolled in Tarleton's core curriculum communication courses. The intent is for these students to peer model rhetorical skills and practices to the broader university community and by doing so help to foster a culture of value around these skills and practices.

5. Have the Writing Intensive Program Director offer training to faculty on strategies to improve written communication skills, particularly the subarea of writing standards.

6. Develop more detailed and comprehensive standardized rubrics for assessing communication across the core curriculum.

COMMENTS

Since 2013, Tarleton has seen significant improvement at all levels in regards to its communication-related student learning outcomes. Three key factors have helped led to these improvements.

First, our 2013 action plans that called for creating Writing Intensive Program writing guides and modules for students and faculty and called for expanding faculty development opportunities related to Writing Intensive curriculum development and implementation were successfully implemented.

Second, the construction of a new addition to Tarleton's Humanities Bldg. (O. A. Grant) provides students with both an expanded Writing Center and a broad array of technology enabled private study rooms that allow for public speaking skill development. These additional resources have been widely embraced by students and faculty and have provided significantly increased opportunities for students to practice both guided and self-directed communication skills development.

Third, the implementation of the new state mandated core curriculum standards in Fall 2014 provided Tarleton the opportunity to systematically and thoughtfully implement meaningful communication student learning outcomes in each core curriculum course. This increased the centrality of this student learning outcome across the core curriculum and led to heightened curricular focus on communication within these courses.

Information by System Members
Texas A&M University
Prairie View A&M University
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Kingsville
West Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University Commerce
Texas A&M University Texarkana
Texas A&M University Central Texas
Texas A&M University San Antonio
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