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 synthesize knowledge from general and specialized studies.
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.
Texas A&M University-Texarkana uses a mixture of direct assessment measures and one indirect measure to assess integration of broad knowledge. In terms of direct measures, TAMUT collects outcomes information pertaining to: 1) internship portfolios; 2) capstone assignments; and 3) student teacher evaluations. This data is provided by academic programs who have aligned these types of outcomes with discipline-specific knowledge. In terms of indirect measures, TAMUT collects data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
Regarding direct measures, we first collected the most recent data made available by academic programs who monitored internship portfolio performance. One academic program provided this data. Results indicated that students from this aligned program met the acceptable student performance standards established by that program. Next, we collected the most recent data on student capstone projects. Three academic programs provided this data. That data revealed that students from 66% of the three aligned programs met the acceptable student performance standards established by those programs. Finally, we collected student teacher evaluations. Two academic programs provided this data. Results revealed that students from 100% of the two aligned programs met the acceptable student performance standards established by those programs. Regarding indirect measures, NSSE respondents indicated that they very often or often combined ideas from different courses when completing assignments (50%), and that they connected ideas from their courses to their prior experience and knowledge (74%).
Proficient. Results on direct measures overall indicate that students are mostly successful in demonstrating learning/application of broad, integrated knowledge. Results on indirect measures were mixed, indicating that students may be more likely to apply course lessons to existing knowledge than they are to combine lesson ideas from different courses.
All academic programs will continue to monitor performance in these domains on an annual basis (and will determine and implement program improvements on an annual basis as well). For example, we will encourage programs to identify opportunities (e.g., capstone projects and the activities leading up to their completion) for students to integrate knowledge obtained from previous courses. TAMUT will also identify additional ways of collecting richer indirect sources of assessment data. For example, we will insert new items into our Graduating Student Survey as a means of clarifying/corroborating our NSSE findings.
The results reported here appear to be slightly more positive than our previous results from December 2014. Students appear to be meeting or exceeding the acceptable student performance standards more frequently now, though there is still room for improvement. The inclusion of the NSSE findings has enriched our assessment compared to our previous findings by identifying at least one area to focus on (combining ideas from different courses) as a means of improving student learning.
Multiple assessment measures are used: internship portfolios, capstone assignments, and student teacher evaluations.
Sufficient. Results were mixed with some departments reporting student achievement nearing the goals set by the program and other departments reporting students met or exceeded the goals.
In two programs with low results, small numbers of students in the assessment cycle contributed to missing the target goal. Two other programs reported marked increases in results, primarily due to curricular changes made in previous years.
Programs with low results will monitor results for the next assessment cycle to look for trends in assessment results and/or develop more refined assessment measures to identify areas for improvement.