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 an understanding of and use ethical reasoning for responsible personal and professional decision-making in a culturally and ethnically diverse world.
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.
TAMUK measures ethical decision making and social responsibility through (1) student perceptions as measured by prompts found in the “Academic Challenge: Reflective and Integrative Learning” section, and in “Learning with Peers: Discussions with Diverse Others” of the NSSE, (2) student performance on course-embedded assessment as indicated by program-level SLO measurements, and (3) student performance as indicated by General Education assessment. General Education assessment was carried out using AACU VALUE rubrics.
1a. NSSE: “Reflective and Integrative Learning”
“Connected learning to societal problems and issues”
(-10 compared to THECB peers). 52%
(-9 compared to THECB peers)
“Included diverse perspectives...”
38% (-11) 36% (-18)
“Examined the strengths and weaknesses of your own views.”
64% (+1) 60% (-7)
“Tried to better understand someone else’s views...”
1b. NSSE: “Learning with Peers”
“Discussions with diverse others”
(compared to the THECB peer mean of 37.2%) 40%
(equaling the THECB peer mean)
2. Program-level assessment: in 2016-2017 (the most recent academic year for which we have complete data): 15 programs directly measured ethical decision making and social responsibility. 14/15 programs (or 93%) achieved or surpassed the expected outcome as defined in the program reviews.
3. In Spring 2017, the College of Arts and Sciences ran a pilot program for General Education assessment. Social Responsibility was assessed in one course, and students partially met the standard. Ethical reasoning was assessed in two courses, and students met the standard in one course. The report from the other course indicates a need to improve assessment practices.
The University will work collectively to develop these concepts and teach them across the curriculum. The Center for Teaching Effectiveness, in conjunction with the university’s AVID for Higher Education liaison, will organize professional development workshops focused on ethical decision making and social responsibility for faculty members and relevant staff to incorporate into their courses and co-curricular activities.
Results from individual courses indicate that students are learning ethical decision making and social responsibility. The number of programs that assess these measures also demonstrates that programs across campus address these issues. The University needs to help students gain an awareness of skills and modes of thinking that they are learning over time in different courses. With the incorporation of professional development workshops, we expect to see an improvement in student performance on this measure.
TAMUK measures ethical decision making and social responsibility through (1) student perceptions as measured by the NSSE, and (2) student performance by program-level SLO measurements.
Assessment 1. NSSE data shows TAMUK in a positive light. Three NSSE prompts deal with the topic of ethical decision making and social responsibility. All measures show improvement from freshmen to seniors for TAMUK and in no case does TAMUK fall below scores of THECB peers. Notably, the one prompt dealing directly with a code of values and ethics shows a significantly higher score for TAMUK seniors than for the University's THECB peers. Assessment 2. In 2013-1014, 26 programs directly measured ethical decision making and social responsibility as a program-level student learning outcome. Some programs employ multiple measures. In about 3/4 of cases, students achieved the expected outcome as prescribed by the program faculty.
Personal responsibility and social responsibility are now core objectives for general education. We expect this emphasis to improve students' ethical reasoning for responsible decision-making. Moreover, individual degree programs continue to emphasize this learning outcome. At least two additional programs have scheduled program-level assessments.
A thorough assessment based on findings from the new general education curriculum is coming soon.