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Campus Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Campus Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

General Education Plan

General Education Plan 

Plan for Assessment of General Education Learning Goals

A.  Principles of General Education passed by IU Northwest Faculty Organization 3/24/2006

The following general education principles guide the achievement of excellence in undergraduate education at IUN.  They describe university level capabilities, knowledge across disciplines, awareness of diversity and ethics that we believe every graduate of an IU Northwest baccalaureate degree program should attain.  These principles, as described in Vision Outcome 2, embrace learning experiences that prepare students for lifelong learning, ethical practices, successful careers, and effective citizenship (Appendix C).

Principle Definition

1. Foundations for Effective Learning and Communication

Fluency in reading, writing, and oral communication; mastery of the basic principles of logical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning; and literacy in information resources and learning technologies.

2. Breadth of Learning

Mastery of the core concepts, principles, and methods in arts and humanities, the social sciences, cultural and historical studies, and the mathematical, physical, and life sciences.

3. Critical Thinking, Integration, and Application of Knowledge

Logical analysis and synthesis of information and ideas from multiple perspectives; critical acquisition, integration, and application of knowledge in students’ intellectual, personal, professional, and community lives.

4. Diversity

Valuing the diversity of human experience, as exemplified in race, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disabilities; understanding how these categories are often used to create injustice; recognizing our common human heritage and the interconnectedness of communities in the region, the nation, and the world.

5. Ethics and Citizenship

Knowledge of the principles of ethics and the principles, history, and experience of the structures of governance; the application of the principles of ethics and governance to the larger society, one’s immediate community, or to individual conduct on campus and in society.

B. Outcomes for each of the five principles

Principle 1: Foundations for Effective Learning and Communication

Principle 2: Breadth of Learning

Principle 3:  Critical Thinking, Integration and Application of Knowledge

Principle 4:  Diversity

Princple 5:  Ethics and Citizenship

 C. General Education Assessment plan

Assessment plan elements for foundation courses of Principles 1-5

  1. Outcomes will be measured annually (across a 4-year cycle), starting with fall 2010, using methods recommended by Walvoord (2006). 
  2. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will serve as an ex-offico member of the General Education/Assessment Committee.
  3. Courses to be assessed will be determined by the General Education/Assessment Committee in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs. Letter will be generated in Academic Affairs with guidelines and deadlines. 
  4. Departments/Programs will design their own measures and collect results. We recommend procedures suggested by Walvoord (2006) for design and reporting.
  5. Plans and reports of results will be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs and campus assessment coordinator.  The assessment coordinator will consult regularly with the General Education/ Assessment Committee to insure that the plans document continuous improvement.  The General Education/Assessment Committee will recommend policy changes or process changes to facilitate this continuous improvement.

In addition to assessment developed in relation to coursework required for meeting outcomes, the assessment plan for Principles 3-5 may include the measurement resulting from co-curricular involvement and enriching educational experiences that may help students meet the outcomes implied by those principles and by the IU Northwest Values and Strategic priorities 1, 3 and 4.  These experiences could include service learning, study abroad, participation in student governance and other student leadership activities, performance, internships or volunteer student activities.  Data for both curricular and non-curricular activities will be collected from institution-wide Student and/or Alumni Surveys.

D. Timeline for Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes for General Education

 General Education Principle

Required
Courses

Co-curricular
activities

Time to begin the assessment cycle

 1. Foundations for Effective Learning and Communication

Foundation courses

To be determined

Fall 2010; Fall 2015

Advanced courses

To be determined

Fall 2012; Fall 2017  

 2.Breadth of Learning

To be determined

To be determined

Fall 2011; Fall 2016

 3. Critical Thinking, Integration, and Application of Knowledge

Capstone course

To be determined

Fall 2014; Fall 2018

 4. Diversity

To be determined

To be determined

Fall 2012; Fall 2017

 5. Ethics and Citizenship

To be determined

To be determined

Fall 2014; Fall 2018 

E. Matrix Showing Classroom-Based and Institution-Wide Assessment of General Education Principles 1-5 (Note:  ‘P’ below stands for ‘principle.’)

Assessment
Measure
(office where data originate

P1

P2

P3

P4

P5

How data are used for improvement

NSSE
(Institutional Research)

X

X

X

X

X

Results reported to Faculty, VCAA, Strategic planning committee (NW Council) to develop plans for improvement

Senior Survey
(Academic Affairs)

X

X

X

X

X

Results reported to Faculty, VCAA, Strategic planning committee (NW Council) to develop plans for improvement

Analysis of one student assignment  in a General Education class using a rubric based on outcomes
(Department/Division  offering the class)

X

X

X

X

X

Annual meeting by discipline of all faculty teaching a course to discuss students’ strengths and weaknesses, followed by discussion of pedagogical strategies and recommendations for improvement to divisional dean or assessment coordinator and General Education and Assessment committees