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: Discipline Specific Knowledge

System 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.

Discipline Specific Knowledge Outcome:

Upon graduation, students will demonstrate mastery of the depth of knowledge required for their respective degrees.

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

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Senior Survey: Each year, graduating seniors are asked to complete a Senior Survey immediately prior to their graduation. Graduating students were asked two questions specifically related to discipline-specific knowledge gained during their tenure at TAMU. The first asked students to indicate the extent to which TAMU contributed to "my ability to apply knolwedge gained from discipline specific coursework and learning experiences to solve problems" (based on a 5 point scale where 1 = none to 5 = very much). The second question asked students to indicate the extent to which TAMU contributed "to my ability to articulate the current research and problems in my field of study" (using the same 5-point scale). The responses from the May graduates who completed the survey (n = 3906; representing a 56% response rate) on these items are reported here as indirect indicators of depth of discipline-specific knowledge.

RESULTS: 2017

Proficient: The average response to the first question related to knowledge gained through discipline-specific coursework and learning experiences was 4.30 (SD = .73). For this item, apx. 88% indicated TAMU's contribution to be either quite a bit or very much. The average response to the second question related to their ability to articulate current field of study research and problems was 4.15 (SD = .79). For this item, apx. 82% indicated TAMU's contribution to be either quite a bit or very much.

ANALYSIS

The first question was not included on the Senior Survey in 2014, and thus no comparison is possible. However, when comparing results from 2014 (May graduates) with those from 2017 (May graduates) for the second question (regarding ability to articulate current research and problems in their field of study), the average response from 2017 was higher than that in 2014 (2014: 3.88, SD = .99; 2017: 4.15, SD = .79). The difference is more evidence in that in 2014, 68.4% of the graduating seniors saw TAMU's contribution to their ability to articulate current research and problems in their chosen field of study to be either quite a bit or very much as opposed to 82% of the respondents in 2017 reporting TAMU's contribution as either quite a bit or very much.

UNIVERSITY

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Survey: Every 2 - 3 years, undergraduates are asked to complete a comprehensive survey focused on their experiences at a research university. Included on the survey was a question asking respondents to indicate their perceived level of proficiency with respect to understanding their field of study/major both when they started at TAMU and currently (i.e., at the time they took the survey in the spring, 2017). Responses were based on a 6-point scale (1 = very poor to 6 = excellent). In the spring of 2017, 6,369 students responded to the survey (representing a response rate of apx. 11%), of whom 3601 where juniors and seniors (representing a response rate of apx 12%). The responses from juniors and seniors specifically are reported here.

RESULTS: 2017

Proficient: The average response was 3.15 (SD = 1.15) when they started at TAMU and 5.01 (SD = .866) at the point of completing the survey (for an average gain of 1.86). 77.2% of those responding believe their understanding of their field of study to be very good to excellent at time of taking the exam. In contrast, only 11.3% of the respondents believing they had a very good to excellent understanding of their field of study when they started at TAMU.

ANALYSIS

When comparing results from 2014 with those from 2017, the trend is consistent between the two years. Specifically, the average response was 5.03 (SD = .819) in 2014 and 5.01 (SD = .866) in 2017 with respect to perceived current understanding of their field of study (with an average gain from when they started at TAMU to the present of 1.96 in 2014 and 1.86 in 2017). Similarly, there was only a slight difference between the two years with respect to the percent of juniors and seniors believing their understanding to be very good to excellent (78.8% in 2014 v. 77.2% for 2017). Interestingly, respondents in 2014 were less confident in their understanding of their field of study when they started at TAMU in 2014 than in 2017 (8.1% believing their understanding to be very good to excellent in 2014 v. 11.3% of the respondents in 2017).

ACTION

The results from surveys such as the SERU survey and the Senior Survey (described below) are made available to university, college, and department leadership to help highlight opportunities for continuous improvement and potential areas of concern to be addressed.

UNIVERSITY

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Annual Program Assessment: Each academic program is assessed annually to determine the extent to which identified learning outcomes are being achieved by their students. Annual assessment reports indicate whether or not the learning outcomes are met based on established measures and targets. Findings related to students' ability to demonstrate mastery of discipline-specific knowledge based on the use of direct measures (e.g., exam or project grades, instructor or professional scoring of work product, results on standardized exams) are reported here.

RESULTS: 2017

Proficient: 90% of the baccalaureate academic programs align at least one program-level student learning outcome to the "master the depth of knowledge required for the degree" outcome. Of the 466 findings reported for AY16-17 that use direct measures to determine whether or not the learning outcome was achieved, 80% met the established targets, 10% were partially met, and 10% were reported as not met.

ANALYSIS

When comparing results reported in 2014, a larger percentage of programs assessed discipline specific knowledge at a program level in 2017 than in 2014 (90% v. 75%). However, a marginally higher percentage of targets were met in 2014 than those met in 2017 (82% v. 80%).

ACTION

In response to the targets either partially met or not met, a total of 54 action plans were developed in an effort to address identified deficiencies or gaps in discipline specific knowledge. One essential component of the annual assessment reports is to report on the implementation and emerging impact of action plans developed in the previous assessment cycle. As such, the net effect of each of these action plans will be reported in subsequent assessment reports (i.e., in the assessment report for AY17-18 or beyond depending on the nature of the action plan).

UNIVERSITY

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Percentage of baccalaureate academic programs aligned to the “master the depth of knowledge required for a degree” outcome (in WEAVEonline).

RESULTS: 2014

Proficient. 75% of baccalaureate academic programs aligned at least one program-level student learning outcome to the “master the depth of knowledge required for a degree” outcome. 82% of achievement targets were reported as “met.”

ANALYSIS

In their individual program-level assessment plans and reports, academic degree-granting programs are assessing discipline specific knowledge and are documenting improvements based on the results.

UNIVERSITY

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Student Engagement in the Research University (SERU) survey: Student ratings of gains for “Understanding of a specific field of study.”

RESULTS: 2014

SUFFICIENT: “When you started here” – 3.38/6. “Current ability level” – 4.75/6

ANALYSIS

Students reported an average gain of 1.37 on a 6-pt scale when responding to their “understanding of a specific field of study” comparing their current ability level to when they started at TAMU.

UNIVERSITY

TAMU (incl. TAMUG and TAMUQ)

ASSESSMENT

Student Research Week participants were given a survey after the event.

RESULTS: 2014

EXEMPLARY: 94%

ANALYSIS

94% of participants said they were able to apply knowledge of their research and other related information they gained in the classroom setting during their Student Research Week experience.

ACTION

More undergraduate students will be recruited to participate in the event (which has traditionally been for graduate students).

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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