Exemplary Learning Outcomes Assessment
During their reviews of the Annual Learning Outcomes Assessment Updates, the Council for Learning Outcomes Assessment (C-LOA) identifies programs engaged in exemplary assessment work. Typically, no more than 10% of programs receive exemplary status each year. This section highlights a sample of programs that have received the exemplary designation.
Biochemistry - BS
The program's assessment questions are appropriately focused on student learning.
- How will we know that students can design a scientific process and employ the scientific method, demonstrating that biochemistry is evidence-based and grounded in formal practices of observation, measurement, and hypothesis testing?
- How will we know that students can execute quantitative analysis and mathematical reasoning to interpret biochemical data?
- How will we know that students can construct and utilize predictive models and simulations that define chemical relationships, as well as molecular interactions of complex systems?
Creative Writing - BALAS
Use of Assessment Results
The program assessed students' familiarity with contemporary literature through various courses after recognizing that students were not adequately demonstrating the ability to read, analyze, and discuss published works of literature, especially contemporary literature, from a craft perspective, identifying authorial choices and evaluating the effect of those choices on the work. The assessment results revealed that students needed more exposure to contemporary literature. In response to these findings, the department initiated a revision of the degree program. The revision makes room for additional courses in contemporary literature and will emphasize the importance of creative writing courses outside the workshop experience to further the goals of additional student learning outcomes. Workflow on many other changes has also been begun, including retitling and re-describing several courses to better illuminate the primary emphases of the program for students.
Neuroscience - PhD
Reflection on Growth or Improvement
In discussing their next steps, the program expressed a desire to improve data collection for student learning outcomes. The program has more clarity about what information is needed and where to get it. The program is considering several options including additional questions on student Annual Reports about awards, publications, grant or fellowship proposals, and methods; questions or simple evaluation rubrics for committees to complete after each of the major milestones, particularly the Qualifying Exam where knowledge and ability to synthesize information are evaluated; and a program exit survey to document students' first post-PhD jobs and professional preparation.