The assessment of GE program learning outcomes aims to improve GE courses, the GE program, and students’ learning. The GE Board will evaluate assessment results and recommend improvements to the program, courses, and process. An assessment plan includes both direct and indirect forms of assessment over a 3-years (six semesters) cycle. The first cycle was completed successfully in Spring 2013.
Direct and indirect forms of assessment were used for assessment of GE learning outcomes.
The direct forms of assessment are of two types: (a) Embedded Assessment using rubrics and (b) Standardized Testing:
- In using embedded assessment, the assessment data was collected using rubrics and analyzed. This calls for identifying the course learning outcome which aligns with a specific PLO and collecting relevant data for PLO assessment. Such data could be, but not restricted to test items, students’ assignments, essays, projects, etc. The GE courses which were selected for the assessment of GE learning outcomes are those that are required by many majors or have been registered by a high percentage of students. In order to validate this selection, statistical data about the graduates of spring term 2010 was used.
- In using standardized testing, the scores of the sample of students who have taken GE courses and participated in the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) standardized testing program were be investigated and reported. The CAAP is an achievement test that enables postsecondary institutions to measure, evaluate, and optimize the outcomes of their general education programs. It covers the following tests: Critical Thinking, Reading Comprehension, Math Reasoning, Science Reasoning and Writing. The Office of Institutional Research & Assessment (OIRA) administers the CAAP every spring to a representative sample of junior students. Scores on various tests were reported and compared for students at different levels of completing the GE program.
The indirect forms of assessment consist of surveys, focus groups, and interviews. A number of surveys are administered at AUB that are aligned with GE leaning outcomes and cover various levels of student development from undergraduates, to juniors and to graduating students. They include:
College Outcomes Survey (COS). The COS assesses enrolled students' perceptions of the importance of, progress toward, and college contribution to a variety of college outcomes; and it assesses satisfaction with selected aspects of the institution's programs and services. It is administered annually towards the end of the year to a representative sample of undergraduate students. Scores on items related to GE learning outcomes will be computed and analyzed with respect to their adequacy and progress made.
Exit Survey. As part of their clearance process, all graduating students must take an Exit Survey. Questions aligned with all GE learning outcomes were added to the Exit Survey.
The GE director and the GE assistant director are following-up on all the assessment processes. Upon the completion of the first assessment cycle, a GE Assessment report was generated and describes the successes, challenges, and the extent to which course and/or programs meet the GE-PLO’s. The report also includes recommendations for updating courses, programs, learning outcomes, processes, and/or the assessment methods.