Moraine Valley Community College || Assessment of Student Academic Achievement || General Education Assessment

General Education Assessment Plan
AQIP Action Project 2009-2013

Work to Date

From December 2009 to January 2011, a team of faculty and administrators developed a General Education Assessment Plan in order to assess student learning across the General Education Core Curriculum.

AQIP Action Project Team:

  1. Nancy Cure, Dean, Enrichment Programs and Services, Co-chair
  2. J. Gabe Estill, Director of Academic Assessment, Co-chair
  3. Michael Bates, Faculty, Science, Business, and Computer Technology
  4. Tina Carney-Simon, Transfer and Articulation Coordinator
  5. Mark Derdzinski, Faculty, Communications
  6. Aileen Donnersberger, Faculty, Liberal Arts
  7. JoAnn Jenkins, Assistant Dean, New Student Retention
  8. Lisa Kelsay, Assistant Dean, Liberal Arts
  9. Susan Langwell, Faculty, Career Programs
  10. Bob Palagi, Director, Testing Center
  11. Gary Piercy, Faculty, Enrichment Programs and Services
  12. Beth Reis, Director, Institutional Research and Planning
  13. Jerimi Walker, Faculty Science, Business, and Computer Technology
  14. Leslie Warren, Faculty, Learning Resource Center

From February to May 2011, a team of faculty and administrators from Moraine Valley Community College, Joliet Junior College, and Kankakee Community College participated in a general education assessment development process facilitated by AQI, a non-profit education services group, and funded by LiveText, a web-based outcomes assessment service provider. The project, titled Eureka, developed a pilot assessment plan for general education at each college. The Moraine Valley team has incorporated elements of the Eureka project into its AQIP Action Project Plan.

Eureka Pilot Project Team:

  1. Nancy Cure, Dean, Enrichment Programs and Services, Co-chair
  2. Tom Dow, Liberal Arts Faculty
  3. Gabe Estill, Director of Academic Assessment, Co-chair
  4. Jim McIntyre, Liberal Arts Faculty
  5. Michelle Miller, Research Analyst, Institutional Research and Planning
  6. Jana Svec, Science, Business, and Computer Technology Faculty
  7. Amy Williamson, Liberal Arts Faculty

The Eureka Team developed three rubrics (writing, speaking, and information literacy) based on the college’s general education learning outcomes. Faculty from nine general education core curriculum courses used a condensed version of the writing rubric to assess student learning on a writing assignment of their choice. Faculty from the following courses participated in the pilot:

  1. COM-102 (4 sections)
  2. EAS-120 (1)
  3. EAS-125 (1)
  4. GEL-150 (1)
  5. HIS-101 (2)
  6. HIS-201 (2)
  7. NAT-111 (1)
  8. PSY-101 (3)
  9. SOC-101 (1)

The pilot results include writing scores for 322 students. Faculty evaluated students according to two categories: support and clarity. The mean score for support was 3.11/4. The mean score for clarity was 2.95/4. The average score for both categories was 3.03, which equals a 75% score.

The rubric (See attached example) has been developed so that it can be applied and useful in all disciplines and courses.

Plan for General Education Assessment

This General Education Assessment Plan is designed to be coordinated with, and provide support for, other college processes such as:

  • Curriculum development,
  • Program review, and
  • Course and program level assessment of student learning.

Pre-Cycle Work Fall 2011

1.) Form Assessment Team. This group will review course, program, and general education assessment methods and procedures, share innovative assessment ideas, and advocate for strong assessment practices at the college.

Member selection – Faculty and Admin/Professional Staff. The team will include faculty members from multiple disciplines and be co-chaired by the Director of Academic Assessment and a faculty member.

2.) Share General Education Assessment Purpose Statement with wider college community in order to introduce participants to the project.

Assessment of general education at MVCC assures alignment of the institution’s curricular expectations with student learning. It provides evidence of the comprehension and application of the general education goals and objectives across academic disciplines.

3.) Form Outcomes Team to focus on assessing specific general education goals. These teams, comprised of faculty members from the disciplines most closely associated with the general education outcome under review, will be used during Phases IV-VI of the Gen Ed Assessment Cycle. (See Outcome Work Plan below for description of Phases IV-VI.)

General Education Outcome Teams – four teams will be formed over the next four academic years

Group I: Communicating, Reasoning, Information Literacy, and Sustainability (Social Responsibility) – AY 2011-12
Group II: Quantitative Analysis, Scientific Awareness, Technological Competency – AY 2012-13
Group III: Social Sciences Perspective, Literary and Artistic Insight – AY 2013-14
Group IV: Valuing Diversity, Global Awareness, Social Responsibility – AY 2014-15

These four groups of outcomes constitute a cycle that will be repeated on an ongoing basis and ensure continuous assessment.

4.) Research a web-based assessment management system to store the large amount of data that the Gen Ed Assessment project will generate. A web-based assessment management system will have the ability to benchmark the College’s data to other colleges. A system will also allow the College to easily share longitudinal data with accrediting bodies, faculty, students, and the wider college community, and set annual benchmarks for students to reach. The approximate costs range from $30,000-50,000. These figures fluctuate based on enrollment and desired software features.

Outcome Work Plan Beginning Spring 2012

Over the course of one academic semester, the following steps will be applied to each group of outcomes.

Phase I Gen Ed Outcome Review

  • The Assessment Committee reviews current group of general education outcomes. This review period will include review of the outcomes’ language in order to ensure their measurability as well as their relation to the General Education Core Curriculum.

Phase II Course Inventory

  • The Assessment Committee will compile a list of General Education Core Curriculum courses that include the appropriate general education outcomes in their Master Course Outline.
  • The committee will determine which courses include these general education outcomes most frequently and work with the applicable academic department to answer the following questions:
    How do these outcomes fit the course’s curriculum?
    *Why were these outcomes selected?
    *How does faculty instruct students so they can demonstrate learning and proficiency in these outcomes?
    *How are these outcomes measured?
    *Do changes need to be made?

As a result of this work, the appropriate department may change the General Education outcomes assigned to that course.

Phase III Course Selection

  • The Assessment Committee will select two or three courses that will be used to measure each of the general education outcomes.
  • The Assessment Committee will select the members that will serve on the Outcomes Teams. The Outcome Teams will be comprised of faculty content experts most closely associated with the outcomes under review.

Phase IV Rubric Development

  • The Outcome Team will develop a scoring rubric based on the applicable outcome(s) and create or adapt an assessment device that can be used to assess student learning of the outcome. The rubric and device will be distributed to the instructors who teach the selected courses linked to that outcome. The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ rubrics will serve as guides during the rubric development process:

Phase V Data Collection and Analysis

The Outcome Team will collect and analyze the data generated by the rubric and device. The Outcome Team will report this data to the Assessment Committee. The data analysis will include:

  • Determining areas of persistently lower than desired student achievement
  • Determining student achievement of applicable learning outcomes
  • Determining how to benchmark the data to other colleges

Phase VI Improvement

  • The Assessment Committee and Outcome Team will share the assessment data with the appropriate subdivision deans and faculty. The departments will make and report changes, based on the assessment data, to the following areas: curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the General Education courses and programs.