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 Corpus Christi: 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

TAMUCC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Core Program Assessment: Measures and targets were identified by faculty of the respective core area. Measures included written assignments and embedded objective exam items.

Exemplary- Exceeding target by ten percent
Proficient- Exceeding target by at least five percent but less than ten percent
Sufficient- Meeting or exceeding target by less than five percent
Emerging- Missing target by less than ten percent
Insufficient- Missing target by ten percent or greater

RESULTS: 2016

Based on the definitions included in the Assessment Method section, the results are:
25% Exemplary
25% Proficient
13% Sufficient
0% Emerging
37% Insufficient

ANALYSIS

Most core programs did not assess critical thinking during the 2015-2016 cycle. This should change as they begin to follow the assessment schedule discussed in the Action section. Core programs were not included in the EmpowerU report from 2013, so there is no basis for comparison.

ACTION

1. The EmpowerU Objectives have been added to the WEAVEonline assessment reporting system that the University utilizes. All core curriculum programs have connected their student learning outcomes to these objectives. This will allow for assessment reports to be generated in WEAVEonline that focus on one or more of the EmpowerU Objectives.

2. An assessment schedule has been created that aligns with the EmpowerU Objective three-year assessment cycle. This schedule has been shared with the core curriculum programs, and all areas of the core will be following the schedule by the 2017-2018 cycle.

3. The Chair of the Department of Undergraduate Studies is working together with the Office of Assessment, Accreditation, & Compliance to give assessment feedback to each core curriculum program. Core curriculum programs will also be meeting with the Department Chair and the Institutional Effectiveness Officer to discuss the status of assessments and continuous improvement initiatives.

COMMENTS

The core curriculum program assessments of the EmpowerU Objectives were not reported in 2013, so comparisons are not available.

UNIVERSITY

TAMUCC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Scoring Session Assessment: The Office of Assessment, Accreditation, and Compliance collected and redacted samples of student writing from all colleges. Six faculty raters applied rubrics to these samples. Rubrics used included the AAC&U Critical Thinking VALUE rubric and adaptations of this rubric. Target: For each rubric dimension, aggregate ratings will average at least a 2.5.

RESULTS 2016

Zero of the five rubric dimensions applied met this target. Three of the dimensions were within 0.4 of meeting the target. Emerging

Explanation of Issues: 2.3
Evidence: 2.1
Influence of context & assumptions: 1.7
Student's Position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis): 1.8
Conclusions & related outcomes: 2.1

ANALYSIS

Performance was weakest in the Influence of context & assumptions and Student's position dimensions. Following the action plans outlined in the Action section will allow us to assess a larger sample. This will then allow us to make more confident assumptions based on the data.

ACTION

1. The collection of student samples will occur much earlier in the cycle, and therefore, assignments that better fit the AAC&U VALUE rubrics will be identified and used during the scoring sessions. the two objectives being assessed that cycle.

2. The scoring for both communication and critical thinking occurred during the same scoring session. For future cycles, separate scoring sessions will be held for each of the two objectives being assessed that cycle.


In summary, by 1) beginning the process of identifying and collecting samples of student work earlier in the cycle and 2) holding at least two scoring sessions instead of one, the data produced from this centralized approach of assessment will give a better picture of student proficiency in the area of critical thinking. This will lead to easier identification of strengths and weaknesses.

COMMENTS

In the 2015-2016 cycle, a pilot scoring session was held in order to uniformly assess samples of undergraduate student work. This will allow for comparisons between colleges. The pilot only consisted of a single scoring session which limited the number of samples that could be assessed. In future cycles, at least two sessions will be held where each is focused on the assessment of a single objective.

UNIVERSITY

TAMUCC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Core Program Assessment: Measures and targets were identified by faculty of the respective core area. Measures included written assignments and embedded objective exam items.

Exemplary- Exceeding target by ten percent
Proficient- Exceeding target by at least five percent but less than ten percent
Sufficient- Meeting or exceeding target by less than five percent
Emerging- Missing target by less than ten percent
Insufficient- Missing target by ten percent or greater

RESULTS 2016

Based on the definitions included in the Assessment Method section, the results are:
25% Exemplary
25% Proficient
13% Sufficient
0% Emerging
37% Insufficient

ANALYSIS

Most core programs did not assess critical thinking during the 2015-2016 cycle. This should change as they begin to follow the assessment schedule discussed in the Action section. Core programs were not included in the EmpowerU report from 2013, so there is no basis for comparison.

ACTION

1. The EmpowerU Objectives have been added to the WEAVEonline assessment reporting system that the University utilizes. All core curriculum programs have connected their student learning outcomes to these objectives. This will allow for assessment reports to be generated in WEAVEonline that focus on one or more of the EmpowerU Objectives.

2. An assessment schedule has been created that aligns with the EmpowerU Objective three-year assessment cycle. This schedule has been shared with the core curriculum programs, and all areas of the core will be following the schedule by the 2017-2018 cycle.

3. The Chair of the Department of Undergraduate Studies is working together with the Office of Assessment, Accreditation, & Compliance to give assessment feedback to each core curriculum program. Core curriculum programs will also be meeting with the Department Chair and the Institutional Effectiveness Officer to discuss the status of assessments and continuous improvement initiatives.

UNIVERSITY

TAMUCC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Scoring Session Assessment: The Office of Assessment, Accreditation, and Compliance collected and redacted samples of student writing from all colleges. Six faculty raters applied rubrics to these samples. Rubrics used included the AAC&U Critical Thinking VALUE rubric and adaptations of this rubric. Target: For each rubric dimension, aggregate ratings will average at least a 2.5.

RESULTS 2016

Zero of the five rubric dimensions applied met this target. Three of the dimensions were within 0.4 of meeting the target. Emerging

Explanation of Issues: 2.3
Evidence: 2.1
Influence of context & assumptions: 1.7
Student's Position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis): 1.8
Conclusions & related outcomes: 2.1

ANALYSIS

Performance was weakest in the Influence of context & assumptions and Student's position dimensions. Following the action plans outlined in the Action section will allow us to assess a larger sample. This will then allow us to make more confident assumptions based on the data.

ACTION

1. The collection of student samples will occur much earlier in the cycle, and therefore, assignments that better fit the AAC&U VALUE rubrics will be identified and used during the scoring sessions. the two objectives being assessed that cycle.

2. The scoring for both communication and critical thinking occurred during the same scoring session. For future cycles, separate scoring sessions will be held for each of the two objectives being assessed that cycle.


In summary, by 1) beginning the process of identifying and collecting samples of student work earlier in the cycle and 2) holding at least two scoring sessions instead of one, the data produced from this centralized approach of assessment will give a better picture of student proficiency in the area of critical thinking. This will lead to easier identification of strengths and weaknesses.

UNIVERSITY

TAMUCC

ASSESSMENT METHOD

Division of Student Engagement & Success Assessment:

Job Search Training: Post survey to evaluate the students' critical thinking as it relates to the job search process after meting with Career Services professional staff. Responses graded with a rubric. Target: The average rating on the post assessment will be 3 out of 4.

University Center Student Staff Decision Making Training:Case study analysis graded with a decision making rubric.
Target: 80% of respondents will score at the intermediate or advanced level on the decision making rubric

RESULTS 2016

Job Search Training:
Exemplary- 92% of the 479 students who met with a career counselor received a score of at least 3 out of 4 on a rubric evaluating critical thinking as it relates to job searching.

University Center Student Staff Decision Making Training:
Emerging- 70.2% of the respondents scored at the intermediate or advanced level.

ACTION

Additional training on decision making skills will be implemented.

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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