4.B.3 The institution uses the information gained from assessment to improve student learning.
The Academic divisions of the College (i.e., the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Nursing) prepare annual Assessment Status Reports that assess achievement of each school’s respective learner outcomes and fulfillment of the College Mission, as well as provide guidance for continuous improvement of academic offerings. These reports triangulate data from internal and external learning assessments with data from other sources to provide a snapshot of progress across the College. Internal surveys and assessments of student learning that serve as sources of data include the student electronic portfolio and individual course artifacts, the course evaluations, and the Exit Surveys completed by all graduating seniors. External surveys and assessments of student learning include the ETS Proficiency Profile, the Michigan Department of Education Teacher Preparation Institution Report Card, and results from the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Student achievement data in the School of Education are reported to the MDOE and USDOE through annual Teacher Preparation Institution Report Card and Title II reporting processes.
The Assessment Committee comprised of the Deans for each School, the Vice President, and representatives from the faculty and Student Services regularly reviews the effectiveness of each program by analyzing data and the Assessment Status Report for each School. Status reports are then shared during Academic Affairs meetings, Advisory Board meetings and with the Miller College Board. Assessment data, institutional evaluations and the results of these stakeholder dialogues are used to: evaluate student learning, improve student learning and teaching strategies, support recommendations for improvement of courses, degree programs, instructional resources and professional development, and ensure institutional effectiveness.
• Status Reports for each School (School of Business (208 KB, PDF), School of Arts & Sciences (207 KB, PDF), School of Education (306 KB, PDF), School of Nursing (209 KB, PDF))
• Minutes from Academic Affairs Meeting ( September 2009 (92 KB, PDF), January 2010 (129 KB, PDF), January 2011 (74 KB, PDF))
• Advisory Board Meeting (School of Business (87 KB, PDF) ,School of Education (103 KB, PDF), School of Nursing (197 KB, PDF))
The assessment committee meets monthly to review and discuss the learning outcomes of each program. The Dean of each School devises and maintains an assessment plan. These plans articulate Miller College’s Mission with each School’s Learning Outcomes (which, in turn, link to individual course learning objectives). The assessment plans identify the objectives established for each program, a variety of assessment tools, and a timeline for assessment and for providing feedback to students. The committee has adopted the ETS Proficiency Profile (MAPP) as an external assessment tool for some goals in general education and for some goals in program assessment. The assessment committee evaluates the ETS Proficiency Profile as a resource for assessing students’ learning. Status reports containing assessment data gathered by the School Deans are reviewed annually for the purpose of improving program offerings and enhancing student learning. Assessment Status Reports are shared broadly with internal and external stakeholders during regularly scheduled Academic Affairs meetings, Advisory Board meeting and Miller College Board meetings.
In response to the directive in the Advancement Section G from the 2007 Report of A Comprehensive Evaluation Visit for Initial Accreditation for the establishment of an “Assessment Data Book”, the assessment committee maintains a notebook as a repository for all of the hard copies of the assessment reports and data generated by the College. The sections in the book include Assessment Committee meeting minutes, Assessment Plans and Status Reports from each School, the General Education Assessment plans, Measures of Academic Proficiency and Progress MAPP (ETS Proficiency Profile) summary reports, the General Administration Assessment Plans and Assessment Status Reports, Students Services data, Survey Reports and Grade Distribution Reports. Reports are added to the book following approval by the Assessment Committee. The Committee refers to the data housed in the notebook when questions arise and during discussions. In addition the reports contained in the book are available resources of data accessed as needed for the many committee and board meetings within the College.
As addressed in Criterion 4A.1, special assessments are made when specific issues are identified. One issue that arose very early in the history of Miller College was that of student writing skills. The Chair of the Assessment Committee conducted an assessment of student writing ability. Business and English faculty made proposals to address the issue of student writing skills. The final result was that faculty developed a new course, LBAR 300 Junior Seminar. It is now a required Miller College Core course within the General Education Requirements and must be taken by all incoming Miller College students. Writing skills as well as essay, professional, and research writing are an important part of the course in addition to critical reading and thinking, oral presentation skills, and a major project. Students also learn expectations regarding their creation of electronic portfolios and their recording of information regarding their service learning.
Assessment plans guide the Schools in selecting appropriate learning resources and technologies to enhance student learning. Additionally, the President’s Office and Student Services have developed evaluations which provide useful indicators of institutional commitment to student learning. Miller College utilizes a Student Course Evaluation form as a tool to discover students’ views regarding the usefulness and effectiveness of learning resources. Students complete this form as an “exit” assignment from each course. The Student Course Evaluation form measures student’s perceptions of teaching effectiveness, course material, relevancy of the course, instructor knowledge and performance, and usage of resources and technologies. The evaluation is disseminated via BlackboardTM. Data is compiled into individual reports for distribution to instructors and administrators after grades have been submitted for each course. This information assists faculty in improving teaching and is considered in faculty performance reviews. It also provides useful assessment information regarding student perceptions regarding their learning.
Data from end of course evaluations is triangulated with other assessment data to inform continuous improvement of programs and courses. In the Binda School of Education, performance score data on the Elementary Education MTTC is disaggregated into subject area subsections (i.e. Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Math, the Arts, Health and Physical Education) to enhance continuous improvement decision-making processes about particular courses within the program of study. Student Teacher and Supervising Teacher Exit Surveys also provide feedback on candidates’ preparation in each of these areas, and evaluations of final candidate electronic portfolios highlight areas needing updating and enhancement across the program of study. For example, data from all of these sources showing that candidates’ mastery of science-related Elementary Education standards trailed performance in other areas led to the rewriting of the two science methods courses (EDUC 320 and 321) and the addition of more rigorous science content coursework in the General Education portion of the degree plan.
In the Schools of Business and Arts and Sciences, the Deans and instructors discuss the results of the course evaluations. Input from students, course performance assessment tasks and changes in the field comprise the sources for information used to evaluate courses and to make the appropriate changes. All course revisions are aligned with the Miller College Mission and the Learning Outcomes for the Schools. Additionally, the revisions must lead to the fulfillment of the course goals and course competencies.
Use of data received from course evaluations, senior seminar portfolios, and student performance in individual courses is compiled to assess the competency of students in the RN to BSN program. Each program outcomes is assessed with students’ performance data (i.e. critical thinking is assessed in BSRN 430, MATH 305, SCIE 330 and BSRN 410). Exit surveys are utilized to assess adequate preparation of the nurse with a BSN degree in the work place. This is done from both the student perspective and the employer’s perspective. This data is also compared between schools at Miller College to assure we are following the mission and vision of the organization. All aggregate data is required for continued CCNE Accreditation.
The Assessment Committee has expressed some dissatisfaction with the MAPP ETS Proficiency Profile as a valid and reliable measure of assessing General Education outcomes. Serious questions have arisen as to the degree to which students take the assessment seriously at both the Junior and Senior levels. In response to these questions, the Assessment Committee through an on-going process is investigating the feasibility of replacing the MAPP ETS Proficiency Profile with a course-embedded assessment plan, as well as mechanisms for improving the validity and reliability of the existing assessment strategy.
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