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 graduation, students will demonstrate mastery of the depth of knowledge required for their respective degrees.
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.
Program-level assessment and evaluation methods:
- certification exams
- content-area exams (i.e., Major Field Test)
- capstone exams
- practicums, internships, clinicals
- exit interviews and surveys
Sufficient to Proficient
The primary responsibility for assessing students' domain-specific knowledge falls to the academic programs. A sampling of the vast array of assessment methods and outcomes includes the following:
Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Data, and Analytics staff is working with academic assessment leadership to increase the depth of knowledge about student learning outcomes at the program level. For the 2017-2018 cycle, three foci have been adopted:
1. Review and revise program learning outcomes to create a more focused group of learning outcomes to be assessed (where applicable);
2. Increase the variety of direct/indirect assessment measures used for each learning outcome; and,
3. Dive deeper into data to understand strengths and weaknesses which drive actions for improvement.
Annual assessment processes will promote broader engagement of faculty and students in conversations around data, with the bulk of annual reporting focused on communicating substantive analysis, planned actions, and how the program has closed the loop.
The University requires an annual report of all learning assessment activity through a “home grown” electronic assessment reporting system. These annual assessment plans and reports show aligned learning outcomes, results, and actions taken for continuous quality improvement. In addition, the plans and reports are evaluated by the Office of Learning Assessment for planning, gathering of useful data, and progressive actions taken based on the results found.
A summary of all evaluation results are annual reported to the programs and administration.
Sufficient. A rubric scoring program assessment reports as either Exemplary, Acceptable, or Developing found that an overall 38% of programs submitted Exemplary reports and the remaining 62% were found acceptable. No programs submitted Developing reports.
While the evaluations of overall assessment reports yielded no developing scores, a more detailed breakdown of each of the six components of the assessment reports (mission, objectives, outcomes, methods, results, and actions) show that some components did not meet our criteria. We aim for 90% of programs to score either Exemplary or Acceptable on each component. The Mission component was met; the Objectives component was met; the Outcomes component was not met; the Methods component was not met; the Results component was not met; and the Actions component was not met. It was also found that the programs previously lacked sufficient feedback on their submitted reports to make significant changes to their assessment practices.
The University hired a full time Assistant Vice President to head the Office of Learning Assessment in the Office of the Provost in the Fall of 2013. The Office of Learning Assessment’s primary function is to monitor, assist, and report the progress of all learning assessment at the University to the Office of the Provost. In addition, the Office of Learning Assessment hosts an assessment workshop per semester with the academic program directors to reinforce best practices throughout the University. Furthermore, through the Provost Office and the respective Deans, multiple changes have been made to support improvement through the use of empirical evidence.