Evidence Library - Assessment of Student Learning June 2020

Assessment Goals

Assessment Process

  • Use quantitative and qualitative results to demonstrate effectiveness of the new process (in progress)
  • Provide examples of improvements made based on results (in progress)
  • Show students are learning consistently across the institution in every modality and by every instructor (in progress)
  • Measure student preparedness prior to the assessment (complete)
  • Incorporate inter-rater reliability into the process (complete and in progress)
  • Report results for analysis and comparison across the institution (in progress)
  • Systematically and regularly scheduled process for assessment of general education and program outcomes (process complete)
  • Use student preparedness to inform the process (in progress)
  • Evidence of assessment informed decision making (in progress)
  • Use information from employers or students about the success of graduates to improve student learning (process complete)
  • Directly relate data used by faculty to make improvements (in progress)
  • Show systematic documentation (in progress)
  • Tie assessment data to institutional budgeting (beginning stages)
  • Include internal targets for measures and external benchmarks as appropriate (in progress)

Program Review

  • Review student learning outcomes during the program review process (complete and ongoing)
  • Program learning outcome achievements included in program review and documented to drive improvements in student learning (complete and ongoing)

Co-Curricular Assessment

  • A formal definition or process for identifying co-curricular activities and outcomes (complete)
  • A process that systematically identifies co-curricular activities and assesses them for effectiveness (process complete)

Assessment of Student Learning

M State is dedicated to quality academics and fostering a culture of continuous improvement to assess student learning at the course, program and institutional levels.

The assessment of student learning goals are to:

  • Improve student learning and engagement
  • Align course activities and materials with course competencies, program outcomes and core abilities
  • Provide evidence for programmatic and institutional accreditation
  • Ensure stakeholders' needs are met
  • Uphold high standards of academic integrity and excellence
  • Promote faculty professional development
This evidence library is a continually evolving repository for documents related to the enhancement of the assessment of student learning process at M State. The College will report to HLC on June 1, 2020 on continuous improvement assessment initiatives that enhance general education, program and co-curricular assessment.

Assessment Report Timeline

2018-2019

  • Develop action plans (by the end of spring 2019 term)
  • Collect student learning outcome data
  • Create assessment plan (fall 2019)
  • Define outcomes

2019-2020

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of action plans (by the end of spring 2020 term)
  • Collect 2nd round of data
  • Implement action plans

June 1, 2020 HLC report due

Academic Program Assessment

To date (spring 2019), the college has:

  • Researched best practices
  • Communicated the new assessment process, why the changes are being made and HLC reporting expectations (see the Duty Day Assessment Presentation - Fall 2018)
  • Created an Annual Assessment Plan and Reporting Framework form
  • Created technical program mapping worksheets
  • Provided work time during the fall Duty Day for faculty to map program outcomes and institutional learning outcomes (Core Abilities) and work on their Annual Assessment Plan and Reporting Framework
  • Invested in faculty assessment coordinators, whose duties have been formally reviewed and are supported by the Faculty Shared Governance Council
  • The Dean of Institutional Effectiveness/Technical Programs presented the new assessment process and expectations for dual modalities at Concurrent Enrollment Day on Oct. 3, 2018. Over 160 concurrent instructors, counselors, administrators and faculty mentors were in attendance.
  • Work time/question and answer session with faculty at the April 10, 2019 Duty Day (see the Duty Day Presentation - Spring 2019)
  • Revised the “Assessment of Student Learning” and “Co-curricular Activities at M State” sections in the Student Handbook.
  • Updated the M State Assessment Handbook to include the new Annual Assessment Plan and Reporting Framework, co-curricular assessment, tips on census, inter-rater reliability, sampling and more.
  • A team from M State attended the HLC Conference in April 2019, which included the accreditation liaison officer, dean of institutional effectiveness, administration, faculty and staff. Sessions attended included topics on best practices for assessment, co-curricular assessment, online learning and more.

Co-Curricular Assessment

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has three expectations related to co-curricular assessment: 1) Staff members providing co-curricular activities are appropriately qualified, trained and supported in their professional development; 2) Co-curricular programs are suited to the institution's mission and contribute to the educational experience of its students; and 3) The institution assesses achievement of the learning outcomes that it claims for its co-curricular programs.

M State Co-Curricular Definition

Co-curricular experiences enrich the student learning environment by providing opportunities for students to learn from intentionally designed activities, events, programs and services that extend and complement classroom learning. Through its academic and co-curricular programs, Minnesota State Community and Technical College provides diverse and purposeful learning experiences to support student attainment of educational goals and to support the college's vision of a success story for every student.

Co-Curricular Assessment

The development of an enhanced co-curricular assessment process is underway. The Co-curricular Work Group has been researching best practices and meeting to develop new processes. By improving co-curricular assessment, the college will have more meaningful quantitative and qualitative data to use for decision making to improve student learning through co-curricular programming and services.

To date (spring 2019), the work group has:

  • Strengthened the definition of co-curricular experiences at M State (see above)
  • Identified an assessment structure and cycle (see the Co-Curricular Assessment Structure)
  • Aligned the co-curricular assessment process with the academic assessment process as much as possible, recognizing there are unique elements to co-curricular assessment
  • Initiated conversations and communicated with departments and teams who will use the new process
  • Identified phase 1 co-curricular programs and services who will begin using the new assessment process during the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Identified phase 2 for additional co-curricular programs and services to start the new assessment process during the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Shared progress, updates and plans with stakeholders in meetings and via email
  • Made documents and resources accessible in the Employee Portal to keep the college informed
  • Held work group meetings 10/3, 10/12, 11/5, 12/21
  • Revised the “Assessment of Student Learning” and “Co-curricular Activities at M State” sections in the Student Handbook.
  • Updated the M State Assessment Handbook to include the new Annual Assessment Plan and Reporting Framework, co-curricular assessment, tips on census, inter-rater reliability, sampling and more.
  • A team from M State attended the HLC Conference in April 2019, which included the accreditation liaison officer, dean of institutional effectiveness, administration, faculty and staff. Sessions attended included topics on best practices for assessment, co-curricular assessment, online learning and more.

Institutional Effectiveness Council

M State's Institutional Effectiveness Council is charged with fostering and supporting a culture of continuous quality improvement and organizational effectiveness through regularly reviewing the mission and goals, analyzing the research that assesses how effectively the College is accomplishing its mission and goals, and broadly communicating results so that the College has a shared understanding of its strengths and weaknesses so as to best set and achieve its strategic priorities. The Council serves as a recommending body to the President's Cabinet. The council began meeting in person, on a monthly basis, starting October 2018.

2018-2019 Goals:

  • Developing a shared understanding of assessment
  • Understanding Higher Learning Commission standards and key components in achieving them
  • Promoting an organizational culture of institutional effectiveness by modeling and encouraging others to use assessment evidence to improve student success

2018-19 Outcomes:

  • Reshaped the council's charge and outcomes for 2018-19
  • Compiled resources and information, including Higher Learning Commission resources and Comprehensive Quality Review feedback, institutional research and assessment terms and information on the new process
  • Reviewed data and policies, including Drop for Non-Payment Policy, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy, Student Satisfaction Inventory, key performance indicators and the Minnesota State system dashboard metrics

2019-2020 Focus will include:

  • Assessment
  • Alignment between work plans, strategic plan, and the institutional mission and vision
  • Identify data sets that are key to accreditation evidence and review it annually
  • Review progress being made on 2020 Higher Learning Commission report
  • Continue to foster a culture of continuous improvement and share what the council has learned
  • Focus group training and deploying focus groups for a more qualitative view and depth of data to be used for continuous improvement