All of Oregon Tech's programs conduct annual assessment of their program student learning outcomes (PSLOs) -- the key knowledge and skills that programs are designed to impart and which set students up for professional success in their discipline. In program assessment, faculty examine student work with respect to these PSLOs and ask whether the program as a whole is adequately preparing students. In areas where improvement may be called for, faculty then develop and implement plans to modify courses, curricula, or student support and eventually reassess to confirm that changes achieved the desired results.
Program assessment is a way of making sure we honor our commitment to our students and continuously improve in the instruction we deliver in our programs. In each academic program, a program assessment coordinator leads these efforts with the collaborative involvement of all program faculty.
Program Assessment Report Guide
Key Deadlines for Program Assessment
At Convocation and early in the fall term, department chairs should:
- Program Assessment:
- Wrap up the previous year's assessment activity by reviewing results from the previous year and planning for improvements to be implemented in response to assessment data.
- Plan for the current year's assessment activity by identifying courses or experiences where student work should be collected during the coming academic year, and setting up plans for faculty to collect and evaluate that work.
- Email Rachel Hanan the name of the person who will be submitting and grading assessment reports for your program.
- ISLO Assessment: Work with program faculty to identify course(s) to be used for ISLO assessment.
- Student Exit Survey: Work with program faculty to review and, if necessary, update your program's questions in the student exit survey.
By October 31, each year, submit to the Office of Academic Excellence via the Canvas course shell here:
- Program Assessment: Your Program Assessment Report (see Program Assessment, below).
- ISLO Assessment: Which course(s) from your program will be used for ISLO assessment (see ISLO assessment, below).
- Student Exit Survey: Any changes to your Student Exit Survey content (see Student Exit Survey, below). If we don't hear from you, the previous year's content will be used
Contact the Assessment Committee here.
Program Assessment Responsibilities
Programmatic faculty should work together to:
Plan: Each year, update your program's annual PSLO assessment cycle to identify courses and assignments/activities used for program assessment and faculty responsibility for scoring and analyzing data (or for collecting data to "close the loop" and evaluate the effectiveness of improvements). Update the curriculum map.
Collect: Ensure that program faculty score and analyze student work as assigned (preferably collaboratively), and that student work and scores are collected in the Course Learning Outcomes Worksheet.
Analyze: Ensure that data from program assessment is shared with and discussed by all program faculty. Useful questions to consider as you reflect on the results together:
Reflection on Results
- For which assessments did students meet our department’s target? For which did they not?
- What surprises us about this data?
- What does this data reveal about our students’ strengths? What does it reveal about our students’ weaknesses?
Reflection on Curriculum:
- How can we strengthen the development of our students in these outcome areas, from their first year to graduation?
- What specific changes to courses or curricula would be needed to support these outcomes better within the curriculum? (If so, who would implement them and when?)
Reflection on Assessment Process:
- Should changes be considered to our outcomes and/or how we assess them?
- Do our outcomes and the way we assess them (courses, assignment, rubrics) capture evidence of our students becoming the sort of graduates we hope to produce – both with the knowledge skills to succeed immediately post-graduation and over the course of their career?
Act: Ensure that your program/department identifies a plan of action (to improve courses, assessment processes, etc.) in response to your findings and discussion of assessment data.
Report: Ensure that the above work is documented in your annual program assessment report, due by October 31 of each year. See the Program Assessment Report Guide section above for more details.
Plan: At the start of the academic year, work with program faculty to identify courses and coursework that best reflects the ISLO being evaluated during the year. For 2023-24 the ISLO is Quantitative Literacy & Inquiry and Analysis.
Collect: At the end of the course, faculty will enter student performance on the outcome into the CLO worksheet. Student performance may be evaluated either by the ISLO rubrics available on the Institutional Learning Outcomes webpages or by criteria determined for adequate performance on the assignment.
Performance criteria: The outcome will be determined to have been met by this coursework if 80% of students achieved the expected outcome on the assignment.
Analyze: Summarized data is presented to all faculty during convocation for action planning and analysis. The ISLO committee is analyzing actions suggested and assisting with implementations. See the Institutional Learning Outcomes page for past data. Program level actions taken should be summarized in the Annual Academic Assessment report.
Some actions that may be taken:
- Identify more courses that can/should cover this topic
- Continuing faculty education on topic
- Group work on rubric to improve assessment of this topic
- Encourage student engagement with community
Department chairs are the primary point of contact for coordination of the programmatic portions of the Student Exit Survey.
Each year, department chairs are asked to confirm or update the program's student exit survey questions and student solicitation message. (If this is not updated, the same questions and solicitation message will be reused from the previous year.) Communicate any updates to the Office of Academic Excellence by October 31.
The Student Exit Survey is distributed around week six of each term based on a report that pulls information from the Registrar's Office on the submission of Petition to Graduate. Summary results for each program are delivered during the summer to each department chair.
The Assessment Committee is asking all programs to submit one person to assist in review of academic assessment reports. Training and rubrics will be provided. Each person will be responsible for reading and grading no more than two reports. Reports will be reviewed during winter term.
The Office of Academic Excellence encourages all faculty to attend trainings on quantitative literacy and problem solving specific to their professions and interest area and to look for areas within the curriculum to provide applied research opportunities for students.