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K-State Today

November 1, 2012



Awards received for outstanding contribution to student learning assessment

By Frederick Burrack

The office of assessment recognized individuals and programs across campus for their outstanding contributions to student learning at the Institute for Student Learning and Assessment on Oct. 25.

The programs recognized included:

• The hospitality management and dietetics department revised the original student learning outcomes through the implementation of global assessment measures for the program's revised eight outcomes. Kevin Roberts, assistant professor of hospitality management and dietetics, was the assessment coordinator for the department. Roberts was recognized for redesigning the program's assessment plan and assessment measures to facilitate a programwide assessment of student learning. Enhancements to the program's assessment plan include: A student learning outcomes worksheet to provide comprehensive measurement of all program outcomes; refined core competencies; identification of senior-level courses for assessment of student knowledge and comprehension; and semester-by-semester tracking student achievement.

• The dietetics coordinated program was recognized for using high-impact practices as a primary means of student learning assessment. Amber Howells, instructor of hospitality management and dietetics, was the assessment coordinator for the program. The program is a prime example of using the high-impact practice of internships as a primary means of student learning assessment and effectively documenting levels of student achievement. This documentation provides the program with the necessary information for making programmatic decisions. The value of outcomes assessment for program improvement are thoroughly described and reported on their annual progress report.

• The Division of Biology was recognized for enhancing the program's assessment process by integrating course-embedded assessments. Robbie Bear, instructor of biology, was the assessment coordinator for the project. The division reexamined the student learning outcomes and revised their assessment plan to focus upon course-imbedded assessments. The new assessment procedure allows for continuous assessment across the curriculum and enhanced responsiveness to student learning needs.

• The geography program was recognized for effective use of student learning assessment for program improvement. Charles W. Martin, department head, assisted with the project. The assessment plan provides numerous opportunities for students to be exposed to and ultimately master the department's four student learning outcomes. Analysis of the direct and indirect assessment measures identifies specific areas of student learning deficiencies, even in the midst of longitudinal improvement in student scores. This resulted in the altering of curricular requirements and adjusting content instruction across the curriculum.

• The history department was recognized for redesigning the program's plan of assessing student learning. Heather McCrea, associate professor; Kristin Mulready-Stone, assistant professor; M.J. Morgan, adjunct professor; Brent Maner, associate professor; and Louise Breen, associate professor and department chair, were the assessment coordinators. The department has made significant progress revising the focus of program assessment by redesigning its assessment measures, focusing on capstone learning assessment, constructing a timeline to implement assessment of all student learning outcomes and devising a data collection process to make possible outside and state-level reviews.

• The kinesiology program was recognized for outstanding faculty involvement in using student learning assessment for curricular enhancement. Craig Harms, professor of kinesiology, was the assessment coordinator. The program implements an outstanding level of faculty discussion resulting in curricular decisions and course modifications. The program also revised the student learning outcomes in response to the program's vision for the future. They implemented an effective timetable for assessment of all student learning outcomes and consistently reports assessments of annual assessment findings clearly and thoroughly. The program website is easily accessible and intuitive to navigate.

• The music education program was recognized for longitudinal reporting and analysis of student learning assessment data. Phillip Payne is the chair of music education. The program has maintained longitudinal student learning data and annually reports the long-term trends. The program's template that maintains this data has been made available as a suggested template for the PRISM software reporting system.

• The technology management program was recognized for outstanding work in revising and updating the technology management student learning assessments plan and reporting process. The program is an interdisciplinary degree and presents certain challenges for assessment. Kaleen Knopp, instructor; Fred Guzek, associate professor; and Don Von Bergen, department head, have worked collaboratively over the past year to update the technology management assessment plan and to create a unified system of reporting within their program. Working together, these three have addressed these challenges head on and have developed a plan that will assist with comprehensive continuous improvement as we move forward.

• As director of the Academic Career and Information Center, Michelle Haupt and her staff have been enthusiastic in their support of student learning outcomes. The center was recognized for support of student learning outcomes and development of effective assessment processes. They created a robust set of outcomes and put in place mechanisms to gain information about improving the experience for students using their services and taking their classes. One particular point of achievement is the work Haupt has done with the Academic Majors and Minors Fair. This yearly event hosts more than 900 students, faculty and staff in providing students with information about majors at K-State. Haupt has created a questionnaire for fair participants to provide feedback, and this information is used to improve the event.

The following individuals were recognized for efforts in testing the computer software program, PRISM, during the pilot implementation: Jim Goddard, professor of construction science and management; Mitch Neilsen, associate professor of information systems; Irma O'Dell, associate professor of leadership studies; Troy Harding, professor of computer systems technology; Saeed Khan, associate professor in electronic and computer engineering technology; Matt Williamson, instructor of construction engineering technology; Julia Morse, associate professor in mechanical engineering technology; Barney King, professor of technology and aviation; and Don Von Bergen, department head of arts, sciences and business at K-State Salina. These individuals put forth extra time and effort in the piloting the new PRISM assessment reporting site. Their extra efforts made possible the tweaking of the technology and identification of problematic issues addressed prior to campus-wide implementation. We thank them for their duplication of effort in the past year, especially when the program updates resulted in lost data.