These resources are intended to supplement the overviews found in the “Unpacking Assessment” pages. Faculty and chairs will find information here on ways or constructing rubrics, links to relevant organizations and archives, and bibliographies. As with the “Unpacking Assessment” pages, we invite others to submit additional information or suggestions for these pages. (For example, while rubrics are commonplace in assessment, there are also recent theories of assessment that argue for alternatives to rubrics. We want these pages to reflect and point to the multifaceted and diverse world of assessment theories and approaches that exist in hopes of enabling faculty to determine which assessment models and approaches best fit their needs.)
|Demonstrate the ability to think critically|
|Identify issue(s) clearly and effectively|
|Identify the key components and perspective(s) of subject matter, both stated and unstated, and their relations to each other and to the issue|
|Integrate multiple perspectives and information to produce a new or original whole|
|Assess the value and/or usefulness of information or ideas|
|Use information and relevant knowledge to construct a valid argument or solution|
|Demonstrate proficiency in information literacy|
|Design a research objective appropriate to assignment|
|Locate needed information from a variety of sources|
|Critically evaluate information and sources|
|Situate primary sources in their historical context and articulate their continued relevance|
|Integrate information to accomplish the planned objective|
|Use information ethically and legally|
|Demonstrate the ability to write skillfully|
|Address assignment appropriately|
|Present well-defined claims|
|Compose well-organized work with logical flow|
|Use multiple, reliable sources, with researched support correctly cited, to support claim|
|Use effective word choice, sentence variety and standard written English competently|
|Reflect upon, evaluate, and revise one’s written work|
|Demonstrate skill in oral presentation|
|Use evidence and research appropriate to topic and organize the materials for presentation|
|Engage the audience, using language appropriate to audience and assignment|
|Use appropriate and effective supplementary materials|
|Utilize appropriate volume, rate, and length relevant to topic|
|Demonstrate the ability to use quantitative reasoning in a variety of contexts|
|Differentiate among interpretations of quantitative information, including causality and correlation|
|Interpret quantitative measures, including statistical significance and descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode)|
|Utilize quantitative measures (electronic, graphical, tabular or numerical) to make informed decisions in a variety of contexts|
These curriculum maps of the core courses indicate the competencies that have been approved by the University Core Curriculum Committee as “essential” or “suggested” for the common core and distributed core courses in the degrees offered by your College or School. All core curriculum course syllabi should include the designated competencies as learning outcomes.
Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Pharm D: Common Core Competencies
Pharm D: Distributed Core Competencies
BS: Physician Assistant Common Core Competencies
BS: Physician Assistant Distributed Core Competencies
BS: MedTech, Toxicology, Pathology Assistant Common Core Competencies
BS: Pathology Assistant Distributed Core Competencies
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
BA, BFA: Common Core Competencies
BS: Common Core Competencies
BA: Distributed Core Competencies
BFA: Distributed Core Competencies
BS: Distributed Core Competencies
|The Catholic and Vincentian mission of St. John’s University|
|The Catholic identity of St. John’s University and its dialogue with other religious traditions|
|The Vincentian value of respect for the dignity of all human persons|
|The responsibility to address poverty and structures of injustice through research, education, service and advocacy|
|The commitment, through research, education, service and advocacy, to foster peace and justice in metropolitan communities and global society|
|Philosophical traditions and concepts|
|Conceptions of human nature and of ultimate reality|
|Conceptions of the ultimate foundations and principles of morality and virtue and their pragmatic implications|
|Philosophical and/or religious implications of modern science|
|Christian traditions and contemporary issues|
|Historical development of Christianity as reflected in biblical, doctrinal and theological sources|
|Relationships between the church and the contemporary world|
|Perennial questions and issues in Christianity|
|Processes of scientific inquiry|
|Scientific methods of thinking and their limits|
|Historical development of scientific concepts|
|Scientific thinking in relationship to societal issues|
|Social and psychological dimensions of human behavior|
|Individual behaviors in social, economic, geographic, psychological and/or political contexts|
|Interactions of individuals and groups and their effects on society|
|Emergence of global society|
|Chronology of key events in the emergence of global society|
|Factors shaping cross-cultural relationships between Western and non-Western societies|
|Cultural, literary and aesthetic components of global traditions|
|Literary and aesthetic perspectives across cultures|
|Literary works within cultural contexts|
Interactions between languages and contemporary cultures
|Diversity and richness of New York City|
|Cultural and educational resources of New York City|
|New York as a dynamic, global city|
|Basic history of New York City|
Below are curriculum maps of the core courses. These indicated the knowledge bases that have been approved by the University Core Curriculum Committee as “essential” or “suggested” for the common core and distributed core courses. All core curriculum course syllabi should include the designated knowledge bases as learning outcomes.
Common Core Knowledge Bases by Course
Common Core Knowledge Bases: Pharmacy & Health Sciences Equivalents
Distributed Core Knowledge Bases by Course
Distributed Core Knowledge Bases: Pharmacy & Health Sciences Equivalents
Additional Distributed Core Course Requirements by College/School
Faculty who have used rubrics have found that a description of what constitutes a core competency is an exceptional aid to both the faculty member and the student for improvement of learning.
- Rubrics articulate in writing the various criteria and standards used to evaluate student work.
- Given to the student before an assignment clarifies expectations
- Used to evaluate that assignment and/or other assignments improves clarity of feedback and specification of areas needed for improvement both for the student and the faculty member
Each of the competency rubrics below is “read-only” and may be downloaded for use in classes.
- Critical Thinking Rubric (newly revised: 2/08)
- Writing Rubric (newly revised: 2/08)
- Oral Presentation Rubric (newly revised: 2/08)
- Quantitative Reasoning Rubric
- Information Literacy Rubric (newly revised :2/08)
The Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education offers numerous rubrics from institutions here.
Course Goals: the general aims or purposes of the course. Effective goals are broadly stated, meaningful, achievable and assessable. Goals should provide a framework for determining the related learning outcomes of a course.
Example: Students will (or begin to--depends on level):
I. Understand and can apply fundamental concepts of the discipline
(which are part of the course)
II. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
III. Conduct sound research, demonstrating proficiency in information literacy.
IV. Address issues critically and reflectively.
V. Create solutions to problems.
VI. Work effectively in a team.
VII. Gain realistic ideas of how to implement their knowledge, skills and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings
Learning Outcomes: the knowledge, skills, abilities, capacities, attitudes or dispositions you expect students to acquire in your course. Learning outcomes articulate suggested strategies for how the goals can be demonstrated. Clearly state each outcome you are seeking: What will the student be able to do?
Goal IV. Address issues critically and reflectively.
Possible Learning Outcomes
1. Apply concepts and/or viewpoints to a new question or issue.
2. Describe ______________.
5. Give examples of _______.
Goal VI. Work effectively in a team.
1. Demonstrate the ability to contribute, listen and cooperate with teammates
2. Define research needed for topic, aid in collection and share information
3. Identify and fulfill team role duties on time
4. Demonstrate that assigned work was shared equally
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Education Objectives (below) identifies verbs that faculty might use in writing learning goals:
Select methods or instruments for gathering evidence to show whether students have achieved the expected learning outcomes related to program or course goals. Methods of assessment will vary depending on the learning outcome(s) to be measured.
Following is a partial list of examples:
(Students demonstrate an expected learning outcome)
Scoring Rubrics: can be used to holistically score any product or performance such as essays, portfolios, recitals, oral exams, research reports, etc. A detailed scoring rubric that delineates criteria used to discriminate among levels is developed and used for scoring.
Capstone Courses: could be a senior seminar or designated assessment course. Program learning outcomes can be integrated into assignments. Performance expectations should be made explicit prior to obtaining results
Case Studies: involve a systematic inquiry into a specific phenomenon, e.g. individual, event, program, or process. Data are collected via multiple methods often utilizing both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Embedded Questions to Assignments: Questions related to program learning outcomes are embedded within course exams. For example, all sections of “research methods” could include a question or set of questions relating to your program learning outcomes. Faculty score and grade the exams as usual and then copy exam questions and scores that are linked to the program learning outcomes for analysis. The findings are reported in the aggregate.
Standardized Achievement Tests: Select standardized tests that are aligned to your specific program learning outcomes. Score, compile, and analyze data. Develop local norms to track achievement across time and use national norms to see how your students compare to those on other campuses.
Locally developed exams with objective questions: Faculty create an objective exam that is aligned with program learning outcomes. Performance expectations should be made explicit prior to obtaining results.
Locally developed essay questions: Faculty develop essay questions that align with program learning outcomes. Performance expectations should be made explicit prior to obtaining results
Reflective Essays: generally are brief (five to ten minutes) essays on topics related to identified learning outcomes, although they may be longer when assigned as homework. Students are asked to reflect on a selected issue. Content analysis is used to analyze results. Performance expectations should be made explicit prior to obtaining results
Collective Portfolios: Faculty assemble samples of student work from various classes and use the “collective” to assess specific program learning outcomes. Portfolios can be assessed by using scoring rubrics; expectations should be clarified before portfolios are examined.
Observations: can be of any social phenomenon, such as student presentations, students working in the library, or interactions at student help desks. Observations can be recorded as a narrative or in a highly structured format, such as a checklist, and they should be focused on specific program objectives.
Indirect Measures of Student Learning
(Students or others report their perception of how well a given learning outcome has been achieved)
Standardized Self-Report Surveys: Select standardized tests that are aligned to your specific program learning outcomes. Score, compile, and analyze data. Develop local norms to track achievement across time and use national norms to see how your students compare to those on other campuses.
Focus Groups: are a series of carefully planned discussions among homogeneous groups of 6-10 respondents who are asked a carefully constructed series of open-ended questions about their beliefs, attitudes, and experiences. The session is typically recorded and later the recording is transcribed for analysis. The data is studied for major issues and reoccurring themes along with representative comments.
Exit Interviews: Students leaving the University, generally graduating students are interviewed or surveyed to obtain feedback. Data obtained can address strengths and weaknesses of an institution or program and/or to assess relevant concepts, theories or skills.
Interviews: are conversations or direct questioning with an individual or group of people. The interviews can be conducted in person or on the telephone. The length of an interview can vary from 20 minutes to over an hour. Interviewers should be trained to follow agreed-upon procedures (protocols).
Surveys: are commonly used with open-ended and closed-ended questions. Closed-ended Questions require respondents to answer the question from a provided list of responses. Typically, the list is a progressive scale, ranging from low to high or strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Classroom Assessment: is often designed for individual faculty who wish to improve their teaching of a specific course. Data collected can be analyzed to assess student learning outcomes for a program.
Adapted from work done by Allen, Mary; Noel, Richard C.; Rienzi, Beth M.; and McMillin, Daniel J. (2002). Outcomes Assessment Handbook, California State University, Institute for Teaching and Learning, Long Beach, CA. and the APA Task Force on Undergraduate Psychology Major Competencies.
Below please find some resources which might be helpful in thinking about assessment and making plans to do assessment at a variety of different levels.
- For a start, here is a list of Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning.
- Online Resources for Higher Education Assessment
- The Association of American Colleges and Universities has a good website with links to a host of solid assessment resources.
- Jon Mueller has a great site called the Authentic Assessment Toolbox with information on a host of assessment types.
- Noel Entwistle has a good article on the relationship between assessment and deep versus superficial learning.
Assessment of Majors
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