Student Learning Outcomes that are measurable or observable:

The “Operational” CCS outcomes as distributed at the 24 February 2015 meeting:

  • Explain information presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, and tables).
  • Convert relevant information into appropriate mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, and tables)
  • Solve problems using arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, or statistical methods.
  • Evaluate mathematical results for reasonableness and validity. 

Direct evidence of student learning, though in addition indirect evidence may be used:

Successful problem-solving within the course environment, with problems keyed to each of the four outcomes.

Student products or performances that give us this evidence:

Exam questions, homework questions, or similar work in each Q course. For each of the four learning outcomes, two such questions would be assessed for each of the four outcomes, for a total of eight assessed questions per course. These questions would typically be part of the normal run of the course—for example, questions that would be used as part of a summative exam and used for student grading. The course instructor would select the questions to be assessed and would ensure that these particular questions are appropriate for assessing the Q learning outcomes.

Collection points for these products and performances:

The questions to be assessed would be collected as part of course work in the same way as all other work in the course.

Procedure for evaluating this evidence:

The course instructor would develop a rubric for assessing each question, would rate the student responses to the question, would summarize the results, and would determine a threshold for acceptable integrated class performance as a means of determining success in achieving each learning outcome. Individual student responses to the questions would not be retained.

Procedure for using this evaluation to improve student learning:

The course instructor would write a one-page report listing the questions and a summary of the assessed student performance on each question. This report would be distributed among instructors of the course being assessed, instructors of similar courses, and other interested parties.

Is entire cycle as short as possible, but no more than three years long?

The entire cycle would be only one semester long.

Other observations and suggestions:

We feel it is important that the assessment not be a large burden. We recognize that assessment of Q courses is relatively easy compared to other outcomes given the nature of student work in Q courses, some of which naturally lends itself to outcomes assessment.

The goal of these procedures is to create a database of information (the one-page reports) that will be used to evaluate and improve instruction in individual courses and in the Q courses as a whole. We did not feel it would be necessary or productive to create a rigorous audit trail (e.g., retaining examples of student work for some length of time after completion of a course).

It is not clear how this procedure will be overseen above the course instructor level.