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CHSS Liberal Arts Learning & Assessment

Measure what we value, then value what we measure.

Why assess our students?

Assessment, first and foremost, addresses student learning — What is expected? What are students doing well? What requires attention? Of course assessment also addresses accountability, transparency, and accreditation, but more critically, we do assessment to help student learning.

In CHSS, departments have autonomy to design assessment instruments appropriate to the outcome.

Statement from the Dean

Instructors all engage in assessment of student learning, both formal and informal, to help inform teaching practices and the learning experiences created for students. But often this occurs in isolation. I believe there is significant value in faculty collaborating within and across disciplines to engage in course and degree assessment; simply put, it gives us the opportunity to learn with and from each other. I have enjoyed the many conversations that I have been part of related to assessment delving into questions such as: What is it we want all students to learn? How do we know that they've learned it? Does this assessment tool effectively measure our learning outcome? How do we effectively teach this learning outcome?

I know that many of us have experienced the frustration of assessment that feels like a box to check, empty of meaning or value. But I also believe that CHSS faculty, with their commitment to student learning (and awesome intellectual power), can implement an assessment system that enriches what we teach, how we teach, and ultimately what students learn.

I look forward to continuing the learning process with all of you on this journey.

— Erica Volkers, Dean

Why the lollipops?

The lollipop is the symbol for the Committee for Liberal Arts Learning and Assessment (LALA). It reminds us that assessment is continuous, not episodic, and that we should aim to close the loop and make use of assessment data. Materials for the 2014-15 CHSS assessment cycle:

What are the levels of Assessment in CHSS?

Individual course learning outcomes included in the syllabus

Faculty create assessment instruments for grades; some departments use common tools.

General education learning outcomes for AA & AS degrees

Communication, Math, Lab Sciences, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Humanities & Fine Arts

General education learning outcomes for AAS degrees

Written Communication, Math, Human Relations, Computer Literacy

Department-specific learning outcomes

Departments that do not have courses in the general education core, per SAAC policy, assess at the course-level.

Program-level outcomes for CHSS Associate of Arts degrees

What is expected of graduates of AA programs?

CHSS Degree Outcomes 2014-2015

What is expected of graduates of the Liberal Arts program?

Critical Analysis
Given new information, situation, and/or application, the student will:

    • identify main issues, concepts, problems, and/or techniques;
    • incorporate more than one perspective, source, method, technique, and/or approach;
    • demonstrate mastery by evaluating, analyzing, interpreting and/or synthesizing.

Effective Communication
In written, oral, numeric or visual formats, the student will:

    • demonstrate organization and/or coherence of ideas, content, and/or formulas;
    • produce communication appropriate to audience, situation, venue, and/or context.