The Texas A&M University System delivers a common set/embraces a common view of important outcomes and is accountable for sustained measurement.
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.
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.
All criteria met and results exceed expectations with little room for improvement.
Most criteria met and results indicate mastery of objective with some room for improvement.
Acceptable number of criteria met and results meet expectations with room for improvement.
Some criteria met and results indicate need for improvement.
Few criteria met; results indicate need for significant improvement or no/insufficient results reported to measure performance of objective.
VALUE - American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education Ratings on the Written and Oral Communication Rubrics
ETS - Educational Testing Service - Proficiency Profile Reading and Writing subscale scores
NSSE - National Survey of Student Engagement responses to questions on “Experiences contributing to writing and speaking clearly and effectively”
IDEA - Individual Development and Educational Assessment ratings on question 8 “Developing skill in expressing myself orally or in writing.”
A&M-Central Texas’ students demonstrated sufficiency on the oral and written communication learning outcomes in Fall 2016, identical to the assessed level in Spring 2013. The university used the VALUE rubrics to directly assess students. IDEA and NSSE indirect assessments validated these results.
Students assessed in Summer and Fall 2016 using the Written and Oral Communications VALUE rubrics demonstrated sufficiency on both rubrics. Students (n=31) scored a mean rating of 2.7 on a scale of 0 to 4 on the oral communication rubric. Students (n=56) scored a mean rating of 2.3 on a scale of 0 to 4 on the written communication rubric. The mean ratings of above 2.0 suggest a rating of sufficient and approaching proficient. A marginal improvement over the university’s 2013 rating where students nearly met the national mean.
Students assessed in Spring 2013 using the ETS Proficiency Profile direct assessment measure demonstrated sufficiency with reading and writing. Students (n=148) scored a mean of 115.5 on the reading component compared to the national average of 116. Students scored a mean of 113.7 on the writing component comparted to the national average of 113. These results were within 0.5 percentage points of the national norms, suggesting a rating of sufficient.
Indirect NSSE assessments of seniors in Spring 2013 indicate students perceive themselves sufficient in written communication and emerging in oral communication. When asked how much their experiences at this institution contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in writing clearly and effectively, 78 percent (135 out of 173) of students responded “quite a bit” or “very much” at a rate 4 percentage points higher than students at other southwest public universities (n=3,007) and 3 percentage points higher than all students assessed (n=3,180). A response rate above 70 percent is considered sufficient. When asked how much their experiences at this institution contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in speaking clearly and effectively, 66 percent (113 out of 172) of students responded “quite a bit” or “very much” at a rate 3 percentage points below students at other southwest public universities (n=2,997) and 2 percentage points below all students assessed (n=3,169). A response rate above 60 percent is considered emerging.
Indirect IDEA assessments of faculty by students between Fall 2012 and Summer 2016 indicate students perceived themselves as sufficient in written and oral communication. Between 3,500 and 8,500 students responded each year to IDEA question 8 (developing skill in expressing myself orally or in writing) indicating they perceived substantial or exceptional progress at rates of 2013 – 74.8 percent (n=4,996), 2014 – 74.5 percent (n=3,570), 2015 – 76.3 percent (n=8,004), and 2016 – 76.2 percent (n=8,488). Percentages above 70 percent indicate sufficiency. Students’ perceptions are approaching the proficient level of 80 percent.
A&M-Central Texas elected writing as the topic of its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to provide a greater focus on improving writing.
A&M-Central Texas introduced a University Writing Center to support writing for graduate and undergraduate students in 2014. The Center is gaining popularity among students and staff and increased usage is expected to elevate students’ abilities.
A&M-Central Texas continues to grow its array of assessments. We based our assessment of this outcome solely on the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2013. We added three additional measures in assessing our students in 2016.