Texas A&M University System Student Learning Outcome–Critical Thinking
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 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.
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.
DIRECT: ETS Proficiency Profile
INDIRECT: National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) items aligned to Student Learning Outcome (SLO)
DIRECT: Seniors taking the ETS Proficiency Profile scored above the mean for Master's institutions in the comparison group (112.2 versus 112.0) on the Critical Thinking portion of the assessment.
INDIRECT: Seniors participating in the NSSE rated WTAMU similarly to the average for all three comparison groups provided by NSSE (Southwest Public, Carnegie Classification, and all NSSE participants) on the majority of items aligned to this SLO. On Item 17i (How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following area: Solving complex real-world problems?), WTAMU students rated the University higher than all three comparison groups at a statistically significant level (p<.01).
The actions being taken as a result of this assessment cycle involve increasing student participation while also expanding the types of direct assessments utilized. For the ETS Proficiency Profile, the assessment committee is identifying senior-level courses across academic disciplines in which to administer the exam in order to capture a representative sample that will increase reliability and validity of the collected data. For the NSSE, enhanced marketing strategies are being implemented for the spring 2017 administration, along with the addition of incentives. Finally, specific senior-level courses are being mapped to this SLO from which student artifacts will be collected and evaluated using the adopted AAC&U LEAP Value Rubric.
In 2013, seniors scored between the 46th and 54th percentiles compared to an aggregated sample of 4-year college students, while seniors in 2016 scored at the 48th percentile on the two different external direct assessments instruments used. Further comparisons are limited by changes in assessment methodologies for 2016. The new assessment instruments (ETS PP and NSSE) provided baseline data for future internal benchmarking. By adding course-embedded assessment artifacts that will be evaluated using a common rubric, WTAMU will have a more robust, comprehensive assessment process that will inform actions to be taken based on triangulated data sources.