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Tidewater Community College's Model for Assessing Program and Student Learning Outcomes


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Title: Tidewater Community College's Model for Assessing Program and Student Learning Outcomes

"Tidewater Community College's Model for
Assessing Program and Student Learning Outcomes"
Effective assessment must begin with real
concerns of the stakeholders and result in useful
information and recommendations related to the
purpose of assessment. D.W. Farmer E.A.
  • Dr. Michael E. Bryan, CoordinatorOffice of
    Student Outcomes Assessment
  • August 13, 2004

Intended Outcomes
  • Audience will understand the Program/Discipline
    Review reporting process, including
  • History and driving forces
  • Supporting resources
  • Reporting process (e.g., deadline, schedule,
  • Report format with various components (e.g.,
    intended outcomes, assessment measures, analysis)

Many faculty have been doing assessment for
their own sake, and have not been overwhelmed
with the task, without particular experience in
evaluation methodology. O.J. Nichols (1995)
  • What is Assessment?
  • The systematic collection and analysis of
    information to improve student learning and
    program viability.

a learner-centered, teacher-directed approach
designed to improve student learning in the
individual classroom.
B.D. Wright (1991)
Why Assess?
assessment involves taking a second look at
materials generated in the classroom so that in
addition to providing a basis for grading
students, these materials allow faculty to
evaluate their teaching. B.D. Wright (1991)
  • Rationale and Driving Forces

The institution demonstrates that each
educational program for which academic credit is
awarded is (a) approved by the faculty and the
administration, and (b) establishes and evaluates
program and learning outcomes. The institution
places primary responsibility for the content,
quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with
its faculty. Principles of Accreditation,
Standards for All Educational Programs, Section
III, 1 and 12, August 2003
Reporting Mandates
Reports of Institutional Effectiveness (ROIE) is
an annual report required by the State Council of
Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and is
intended to provide meaningful information on the
academic quality and operational efficiency of
Virginias public institutions of higher
education. Each institutional report is
organized into five sections institutional
mission, college profile measures, system-wide
measures, and institution-specific measures, and
the core competencies. ROIE Homepage,
One of the most untruthful things possible, you
know, is a collection of facts, because they can
be made to appear so many different ways. -
Karl A. Menninger
Reporting Mandates
  • Assessment processes at VCCS colleges have been
    mandated for the past eighteen years. Senate
    Document No. 14, 1986 Virginia General Assembly,
    provided the legislative mandate for assessment
    reporting and SCHEV established the initial
    guidelines for colleges and universities to
  • The Final Report of the Governors Blue Ribbon
    Commission on Higher Education (February 2000)
    called for the creation of a Quality Assurance
    Plan to
  • (1) define core competencies for written
    communications, oral communications, quantitative
    reasoning, scientific reasoning, critical
    thinking, and information literacy
  • (2) identify measures to assess students
    knowledge and skills
  • (3) provide a vehicle to present results
  • Report of the VCCS Task Force on Assessing Core
  • July 18, 2002

Local Reporting Mandates
Annual reports will be produced to account for
what has been accomplished in enhancing current
programs and implementing new ones, and to
identify emerging developments that call for
updates to the curriculum planning process. TCC
Comprehensive Five-Year Curriculum Plan
(2003-2008), Page 1, August 2003
While you are experimenting, do not remain
content with the surface of things. Don't become
a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate
the mystery of their origin. - Ivan Pavlov
Local Reporting Mandates
  • Curriculum planning at TCC will occur in accord
    with the following principles
  • The curriculum will be structured and articulated
    in ways that provide students with multiple
    opportunities for connection and advancement as
    they enter, progress through, exit, and
    potentially return to the college.
  • The curriculum will be responsive to the
    distinctive needs of business, industry,
    government, agencies, and the larger community,
    continually reinventing itself in relation to the
    immediate requests and long-term developments in
    various occupational and technical fields.
  • The curriculum will be developed in consultation
    with employers and transfer institutions that are
    the direct recipients of graduates.
  • All curricula will be built and maintained on a
    foundation of excellence. In the college
    transfer area, the college will benchmark itself
    to the most rigorous standards of achievement in
    4-year baccalaureate degree-granting
    institutions. In the fields of occupational-techni
    cal study, the college will look to business and
    benchmark its performance goals to the standards
    of the relevant industries themselves (Bearings
    on the Future The TCC Strategic Plan).
  • TCC Comprehensive Five-Year Curriculum Plan
    (2003-2008), Pages 1 2, August 2003

Local Reporting Mandates
  • TCC will pursue the following corresponding
  • The college will regularly review programming at
    peer community colleges across the nation with
    the goal of identifying current and emerging
    curricular areas for possible development and
    implementation. As resources permit, faculty and
    administrative teams will bring back model
    programs and practices for adaptation and
    implementation at TCC.
  • Through focus groups, advisory committees, and
    other means of formal and informal relationships
    with employers and the higher education
    community, the college will actively solicit
    input for needed program enhancements and
    development as well as communicate the range and
    availability of existing programs.
  • The college will actively partner with those who
    are the primary stakeholders in the successful
    outcome of students, looking for ways to engage
    their support and sponsorship of students
    throughout the learning process.
  • The college will put into place a systematic
    process for assessing programmatic and student
    learning outcomes, the results from which will be
    used for continuous improvement of disciplines
    and programs. Other college activities,
    processes, and initiatives (e.g., faculty hiring,
    adjunct faculty initiative, accreditation,
    professional development and renewal, budget
    development, grant proposals, major gifts
    campaign) will be aligned with the pursuit of
    curricular excellence.

Recap Why We Assess
  • External Needs
  • Requirements for SACS Accreditation
  • Report of Institutional Effectiveness for SCHEV
  • Quality Assurance Plan for VCCS
  • Internal Needs
  • Curriculum Planning Process Annual
    Reports for TCC
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Professionalism

Supporting Resources
  • Consultation Services provided by the Coordinator
    for the Office of Student Outcomes Assessment
  • Assessment-centered assistance such as
    word-smithing intended outcomes or developing
    assessment measures
  • Related pedagogical assistance such as
    instructional strategies, syllabus design,
    recordkeeping or tracking data
  • OSOA Website
  • http//www.tcc.edu/welcome/
    collegeadmin/OIE/SOA/ index.htm

Recap Support Resources
  • Consultation Services
  • Writing intended outcomes
  • Selecting or developing assessment measures
  • Establishing performance targets
  • SOA Website
  • Homepage
  • SOA Reports
  • Assessment Clearinghouse
  • History, documentation, process, timeline, forms,
    toolkit, sample reports, articles,
    best-practices, etc

Reporting Process
  • Tasks
  • Lead Deans, in consultation with
    program/discipline faculty, complete in its
    entirety the Program/Discipline Review and
    Outcomes Assessment Report for each of their
    respective programs and/or disciplines scheduled
    for review.
  • Approved by the Vice President for
    Academic and Student Affairs on April 9, 2004
  • Provosts screen the reports and offer feedback
    prior final submission to the Vice President for
    Academic and Student Affairs.

One important distinction in assessment methods
is between techniques that directly determine
whether students have mastered the content of
their academic programs and those that ask
students to reflect on their learning. C.A.
Palomba W. Banta (1999)
Reporting Process
  • Annual Deadlines
  • April 1st draft report to Provost.
  • May 1st final report to VP.
  • Scheduled Program/Disciplines
  • Cohort 1
  • 4 Programs 2 Disciplines planning report
    during 02-03 implement plan during 03-04
  • Cohort 2
  • Additional 15 Programs 24 Disciplines
    planning report during
    03-04 implement plan during 04-05.
  • Cohort 3 - TBD

Report Format
  • Working with the Form
  • MS Word Template ? Online Form
  • Simply download the form from the OSOA website to
    begin working with it
  • http//www.tcc.edu/welcome/collegeadmin/
  • OIE/SOA/review/Form.htm
  • Discuss the sections elements then demonstrate

Report Format
  • Sections to the Plan
  • Background/
    Descriptive Section
  • Programmatic
    Outcomes Section
  • Student Learning
    Outcomes Section
  • Other Noted Data

Programmatic Outcomes
  • Programmatic Outcomes
  • Top portion of the report form (between the
    Background/Descriptive Section and the Student
    Learning Outcomes Section).
  • Apply same process to the non-student portion of
    the report.
  • Programmatic outcomes ensure your programs
    viability (e.g., FTEs, headcounts, modernized

Report Format
  • Elements to the Outcomes Sections
  • Intended Student Outcomes Knowledge, skills, or
    values students should be able to demonstrate
    after completing your program or discipline.
  • Intended Programmatic Outcomes Non-student
    aspects that contribute to your programs
  • Assessment Measures Tool or indicator that
    yields the most timely and accurate data used to
    determine attainment of a stated outcome.
  • Minimum Competency A standard that represents a
    satisfactory, acceptable-level of performance.
  • Actual Results The real results of the data
    collected for each assessment measure.
  • Highlights Analysis and cited evidence that
    confirms outcome attainment.
  • Enhancements Analysis and cited evidence that
    identifies areas for improvement strategies
    planned for the coming year to address these
  • Enhancement Update Describe the impact and level
    of success of each enhancement activity (COMING

Step 1 Outcomes
  • Writing Intended Student Learning Outcomes
  • Outcomes describe specific learning behaviors
    that students should exhibit in the context of
    the program/discipline/course.
  • Outcomes are the specific skills, values and
    attitudes students should exhibit that reflect
    the broader goals (e.g., for students in a
    freshman writing course, this might be students
    are able to develop a cogent argument to support
    a position).
  • Often in the assessment literature,
    objectivesand outcomes are used

A student drove himself so hard that he missed
the learning curve. - Pun of the Day
Step 2 Measures
  • Identify Review Existing Assessment Measures
  • What information on student learning/performance
    do you currently collect? What assessments are
  • Direct and Indirect Measures
  • How do these data sources relate to your newly
    articulated outcomes? Does the data provide rich
  • Are there gaps between the information you
    collect and your outcomes?
  • What other information do you need to have to
    understand whether students are meeting these

Step 3 Results
  • Establish Minimum Competency
  • What constitutes exemplary, satisfactory, needs
    improvement (e.g., rubrics/scoring guides with
    examples of A/B/C/F-level work)?
  • What are your realistic
    expectations (e.g., 90
    will graduate/pass)?

The great difficulty in education is to get
experience out of ideas. - George Santayana
Step 3 Results
  • Collect Data
  • Compute Actual Results
  • Determine when and how to collect the data.
  • For course-based assessment data ? faculty of
    selected courses/sections administer assessments
    and compile their results.
  • Lead Deans decide how to collect and enter the
    course-based assessment data for analysis.
  • Compare expectations against actual results.

You can observe a lot by just watching. We
made too many wrong mistakes. - Yogi Berra
Step 4 Highlights Enhancements
  • Closing the Loop Interpreting and Using the
  • Highlights
  • Analyze the assessment measure data and cite
    evidence that confirms the program/discipline/
    course is accomplishing its intended outcome.
  • Enhancements
  • Cite evidence that identifies areas for
    improvement and state enhancement
    strategies/activities planned for the coming year
    that address these areas.
  • Implement planned strategies the following year
    (Fall 04) and report their impact (Spring 05).

Step 5 Other Noted Data
  • Other Noted Data
  • Note all significant trends, developments,
    accomplishments, issues, opportunities, threats,
    etc.. that were NOT cited elsewhere in the
  • Make this the brag book portion of the report
    (e.g., faculty accolades, regional/state/national

Additional Information
  • Need Assistance? Clarification?
  • Visit the Student Outcomes Assessment (SOA)
  • http//www.tcc.edu/welcome/collegeadmin/OIE/SOA/
  • Call or Email
    Dr. Mike Bryan
  • (757) 822-1073
  • mbryan_at_tcc.edu

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