TAMU System Student Learning Outcome–Integration of Broad Knowledge
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.
The University uses both the CAAP and EPP on a biennial basis to assess the basic broad knowledge of our students across the core curriculum. Specifically, the skill levels of reading comprehension (RDNG), writing usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills (WRTG), mathematical reasoning (MATH), and critical thinking or analytical reasoning (CRIT) are assessed and compared to national norms. In addition, we collect student products in the upper disciplinary courses and score using common VALUE rubrics from AAC&U.
Sufficient. Testing 676 students in 19 different classes in the core curriculum, the following was found: CRIT National Average 59.8, WTAMU 60.2 (+0.4). MATH National Average 58.6, WTAMU 58.7 (+0.1). RDNG National Average 60.6, WTAMU 59.2 (-1.4). WRTG National Average 63.1, WTAMU 61.3 (-1.8). Differences of 0-5 are considered negligible and not statistically significant. Growth from Freshman to Senior populations were as follows: RDNG +2.2, WRTG +1.3, CRIT +2.2, MATH -0.5.
During the academic year 2013-2014 CAAP administration, a representative University sample showed our students scoring above the national norms in mathematical reasoning and critical thinking or analytical reasoning and below in writing usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills, and reading comprehension. There was growth in three of the four skill levels tested from the freshman level to the senior level, with the exception of mathematical reasoning. Through data analysis with faculty, it was theorized that lesser skilled senior mathematics students waited to take these required math classes at a later time in their matriculation process due to possible phobias. Regardless, the negative difference on the test of the two groups was negligible.
The first implementation of this methodology was conducted in the Spring 2014. Hence, it was recommended that no abrupt changes take place based on this data until the next CAAP administration. That administration was conducted November 3-14, 2014, and those results will be compared with the previous administration and necessary actions will be taken for learning improvement.
The University will use the EPP to provide similar measures as the CAAP for our online student population. The first sample will be taken Spring 2015 and results will be reported with the next cycle.