Student Learning Outcomes

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

Texas A&M University Commerce: Critical Thinking

Texas A&M University System Student Learning Outcome–Critical Thinking

Bold statement:

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.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING LEARNING OUTCOME:

Upon completion of their degree program, students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking, including the ability to explain issues; find, analyze, and select appropriate evidence; and construct a cogent argument that articulates conclusions and their consequences. Students will be able to utilize, qualitative and quantitative reasoning as a base for problem solving.

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

TAMUC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Currently looking back at the benchmark data of the ETS Proficiency Profile and following analysis of the comparative years has allowed us to identify a new method of assessment and encouraged us to go in a different direction as we do not find value in a comparative analysis. In 2016 looking back at the benchmark data of the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility (PPR) and following analysis of the comparative years has allowed us to identify a new method of assessment and encouraged us to go in a different direction. After further consideration the fact that the instrument is pass fail and not a comprehensive representation, it was determined that the Texas A&M-Commerce Graduation Exit Survey (GES) is a more appropriate assessment of this learning outcome than PPR and will be used moving forward. In 2013, had we provided longitudinal and baseline data for the ETS Proficiency Profile and PPR to establish a trend we would have been able to determine their appropriateness and continue assessing with these instruments. In Fall 2016, upper level administration determined that the Texas A&M-Commerce Graduation Exit Survey (GES) is a more appropriate assessment of this learning outcome than the ETS Proficiency Profile and TExES EC-12 PPR and will be used moving forward. The Texas A&M University-Commerce Graduate Exit Survey for Undergraduates in Spring 2016, Summer 2016 Fall 2016 was administered to all students who applied for graduation. The survey was delivered electronically via Qualtrics as soon as the application for graduation was completed. The survey closed on commencement day. For the Spring 2016, a total of 774 undergraduate students out of 897 applicants for graduation completed the survey, yielding an overall response rate of 86%. Final results included 91 (12%) that were partially completed, and 683 (88%) fully completed. For Summer 2016, a total of 200 undergraduate students out of 296 applicants for graduation completed the survey, yielding an overall response rate of 68%. Final results included 13 (7%) that were partially completed, and 187 (94%) fully completed. In regards to the GES administered in Fall 2016, a total of 446 undergraduate students out of 732 applicants for graduation completed the survey yielding an overall response rate of 61%. Final results included 27 (6%) that were partially completed, and 419 (94%) fully completed. Students were asked "As a result of studying at A&M-Commerce, how much progress do you feel you have made in the following areas: 1 Critical Thinking Skills- creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information" based on a 5 point Likert scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent.

RESULTS: 2016

Results for Spring 2016 Critical Thinking Skills - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information: Of a total of 685 responses, 95% reported "Good and above" (Good, Very Good, Excellent). Results for Summer 2016 Critical Thinking Skills - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information: Of a total of 186 responses, 96% reported "Good and above" (Good, Very Good, Excellent). Results for Fall 2016 Critical Thinking Skills - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information: Of a total of 419 responses, 93% reported "Good and above" (Good, Very Good, Excellent).

ANALYSIS

Although the Graduation Exit Survey is self-reported data, A&M-Commerce greatly values that an overall response rate of 86% (Spring), 68% (Summer) and 61% (Fall) and reported findings of 95% (Spring), 96% (Summer), and 93% (Fall) "Good and above" (Good, Very Good, and Excellent) for critical thinking skills, proves to be a reliable indicator of measuring the critical thinking/problem solving learning outcome. Finding that graduating students from A&M-Commerce report above 90% their progress of both areas of communication is good and above is overwhelmingly positive.

ACTION

From an institutional perspective the results of the GES have informed many of the goals and strategies included in the 2015-2020 University Strategic Plan. From a programmatic perspective, areas such as the College of Business Career Services and University Career Development utilized the results of the GES in an effort to provide services and programming specifically designed to address critical thinking. Moving forward, it is the idea that these student learning outcomes will be better emphasized and incorporated in programmatic initiatives across campus.

COMMENTS

The Graduation Exit Survey was administered between 2012-2014 outside of the Institutional Effectiveness and Research Department and ownership of the survey transferred to the IER Department in 2015. Prior to reaching the IER Department, the survey primarily focused on student engagement, involvement, and experience and as it transferred under the IER Department, the survey questions were updated to focus on student success, satisfaction, and experience. Therefore, readily comparable questions and subsequent responses do not exist to compare results from 2013 to 2016. However, the IER Department is committed to utilizing the Graduation Exit Survey as an assessment method of this student learning outcome and will ensure readily comparable data will be available when this student learning outcome is assessed again in 2018.

UNIVERSITY

TAMUC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Currently looking back at the benchmark data of the ETS Proficiency Profile and following analysis of the comparative years has allowed us to identify a new method of assessment and encouraged us to go in a different direction as we do not find value in a comparative analysis. In 2016 looking back at the benchmark data of the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility (PPR) and following analysis of the comparative years has allowed us to identify a new method of assessment and encouraged us to go in a different direction. After further consideration the fact that the instrument is pass fail and not a comprehensive representation, it was determined that the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a more appropriate assessment of this learning outcome than PPR and will be used moving forward. In 2013, had we provided longitudinal and baseline data for the ETS Proficiency Profile and PPR to establish a trend we would have been able to determine their appropriateness and continue assessing with these instruments. In Fall 2016, upper level administration determined that the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a more appropriate assessment of this learning outcome than the ETS Proficiency Profile and PPR and will be used moving forward. As the NSSE is administered to A&M-Commerce students every other year, the results of the NSSE 2013 are not available and 2016 results will be compared to 2012 results. The 2012 NSSE captured a total of 575 Seniors surveyed yielding a response rate of 21%.The 2016 NSSE captured a total of 534 Seniors surveyed yielding a response rate of 19%. On both the 2012 and 2016 NSSE, Seniors were asked to rate "How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas?" C. Thinking critically and analytically based on a 4 point Likert scale of Very Little, Some, Quite a bit, Very much.

RESULTS: 2013

NSEE 2016 C. Thinking critically and analytically: TAMUC 82% reported "Quite a bit and above" (Percentage of Quite a bit and Very much combined) compared to Southwest Public who reported 83%, Peer Group 82%, and Aspirational Group 85%.

ANALYSIS

Although the NSSE is self-reported data, A&M-Commerce greatly values the use of a standardized self-reporting instrument. The results of the 2016 NSSE that above 80% of seniors report that "quite a bit and above" (Quite a bit and Very much combined) that their experience has contributed to their thinking critically and analytically is not only positive but reaffirms that A&M-Commerce remains amongst its peers.

ACTION

From an institutional perspective the results of the NSSE have informed many of the goals and strategies included in the 2015-2020 University Strategic Plan. From a programmatic perspective, areas such as the College of Business Career Services and University Career Development utilized the results of the NSSE in an effort to provide services and programming specifically designed to address critical thinking. Moving forward, it is the idea that these student learning outcomes will be better emphasized and incorporated in programmatic initiatives across campus.

COMMENTS

*The comparison groups of Carnegie Class (NSSE 2012) to Peer Group (NSSE 2016) and NSSE 2012 (NSSE 2012) to Aspirational Group (NSSE 2016) are not readily comparable. NSSE 2012 Results How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas? C. Thinking critically and analytically: TAMUC 89% reported "Quite a bit and above" (Quite a bit and Very much combined) compared to Southwest Public who reported 86%, Carnegie Class, 89%; and NSSE 2012, 88%. NSEE 2016 Results How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas? C. Thinking critically and analytically: TAMUC 82% reported

"Quite a bit and above" (Quite a bit and Very much combined) compared to Southwest Public who reported 83%, Peer Group, 82%; and Aspirational Group, 85%. It is imperative to note that although percentages have decreased across the board from 2012 to 2016, A&M-Commerce still resides if not among but above its peer institutions.

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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