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Plan for Academic Assessment

Use the links below to access individual sections of Morningside's assessment plan or download the entire document as a pdf by clicking here.

         
Overview
Academic Programs
Distribution and Flags
         
Morningside Eight Student Learning Outcomes
         
Schedule of College-Wide Assessments
         
    
 
Overview
 
Academic assessment at Morningside College is the systematic and ongoing process used by faculty and students to gather, analyze and use information to improve student learning. Assessment activities are guided by the Morningside College mission and vision and seeks to improve the educational experiences of all Morningside College students.

 

Assessment is a collaborative process involving faculty, students, staff and other important stakeholders which provides them with opportunities to investigate and reflect on important questions about student learning. Assessment results are to be used to support curricular, planning, and budgetary decision making processes. To effectively improve student learning, information gathered through the assessment process must be combined with professional development activities designed to increase our understanding of effective pedagogical practices and human learning theory.

 

Assessment activities at Morningside College are focused upon three sets of student learning outcomes: academic program, distribution and flag requirements, and the Eight Morningside Student Learning Outcomes. Each academic program has developed a set of student learning outcomes, maintains a three-year assessment plan, and reports on assessment results to the Vice President for Academic Affairs on an annual basis. Courses approved as meeting distribution and flag graduation requirements engage in a course-embedded assessment process and reports to the Curriculum Policies Committee (CPC) on a cyclical basis. Finally, the Eight Morningside Student Learning Outcomes are a major focus of assessment activities conducted at both the program and institutional level. All three assessment areas follow the common process model depicted in Figure 1. Standard planning and reporting forms have been developed and are available for review through the Office of Assessment & Institutional Research (OAIR) website. An expanded version of Academic Assessment Guidelines are also available.

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Academic Programs
 
Academic departments are required to maintain three-year assessment plans for each academic major offered by the department. The primary purpose of those plans are to document the process and methods by which data on student learning are gathered, analyzed and used to improve the educational program and experiences. Academic departments are also required to report assessment results on an annual basis.

 

Since the OAIR is responsible for serving as a clearinghouse for assessment plans and reports, recent plans and reports will be available through the OAIR website. Academic departments will submit plans and reports to OAIR using standardized reporting forms available through the OAIR website. Departmental plans and reports will be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

In addition to maintaining copies of departmental plans and reports, OAIR will provide, to the extent possible, disaggregated data from college-wide assessment activities to the academic programs for their use. OAIR is also responsible for providing the Curriculum Policies Committee with aggregated data regarding departmental assessment of the applicable Morningside Eight Student Learning Outcomes.
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Distribution and Flags
 

Morningside College requires the use of course-embedded assessment of student performance in all courses.

McKinlay: Amendment: For the 2004-2005 academic year, the following courses, and others to be submitted by CPC, be approved to fulfill the various distribution requirements and flags in the new curriculum as indicated for that year alone, and that CPC insert a process for including assessment of course outcomes appropriate to the distribution rubric as part of new forms for faculty. (Meeting Notes May 5, 2004)

CPC is responsible for reviewing assessment approaches across courses and for evaluating the overall attainment of distribution/flag student learning outcomes. In order to manage resources for those courses that could be counted toward two or more distribution/flag requirements, CPC has selected to implement course-embedded assessment process that uses a review cycle for approved courses. While instructors should be engaged in assessment activities on a regular basis, the reporting on the results of those activities will only occur when their courses come up for review. An example of a such a review cycle is summarized on the following page.

In the year prior to a distribution/flag component's assessment year, faculty teaching courses in a particular distribution area will be brought together to review the distribution student learning outcomes, review assessment reporting requirements and discuss assessment strategies. The Director of OAIR will participate in each meeting and provide additional assistance as requested. Each instructor will then be responsible for developing a course assessment plan by which the distribution/flag learning outcomes will be assessed. The distribution/flag assessment plan identifies the assessment methods to be used and establishes performance expectations for students. These assessment plans will be submitted to CPC for review and formative feedback.

 

The distribution/flag course instructor is responsible for carrying out the assessment plan during the review year. The Director of OAIR will continue to serve as a resource. Within four weeks after the end of the term in which the course was under review, the instructor will send a results report to the CPC indicating the number of students achieving at each performance level, states whether the class as a whole achieved acceptable performance expectations, identifies areas where improvement is needed, and identifies a plan for improvement for the next time the course is taught. This report includes a representative sample of student work. A standardized form for reporting results is available through the OAIR website. Distribution/flag assessment reports are reviewed by CPC and formative feedback provided. During the next assessment cycle, an additional section to the assessment plan is added for reporting on the success of previously identified improvement efforts.

 

Proposed Distribution and Flag Course Review Cycle

***Needs to be Approved by CPC***

 

2005-06

 

D1. Quantitative

2005-06

 

D2. Ethics and Personal Values

2005-06

 

D3. Global Awareness

2005-06

 

D4. American Experience

2006-07

 

D5. Empirical Reasoning

2006-07

 

D6. Creative Expression

2006-07

 

F1. Service Learning

2006-07

 

F2. Religious Traditions

 

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