Instructional Program Assessments Summary

Program/Department PSLO/PSAO Course(s) assessed What did you learn from your outcomes assessment? Briefly describe the changes you will make based on your assessment. College-wide implications of your assessment project Assessment Reported
Biology Biology--Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to think critically about biology. BIOL 100, BIOL 102, BIOL 300, BIOL 307, BIOL 310, BIOL 342, BIOL 400, BIOL 410, BIOL 420, BIOL 430, BIOL 431, BIOL 440

Most students enter the program with unrealistic expectations of the scientific curriculum and biology themes; however, we see growth in their ability to accurately apply appropriate vocabulary and concepts to describe and explain biological structures and processes. We have observed a general trend of students successfully able to tackle more difficult critical thinking questions as the semester progresses; however, they still have difficulty relating course concepts to novel situations.  

Most of the students gradually use the Scientific Method to successfully explore hypotheses, design experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw qualified preliminary conclusions. 

We will continue to develop new teaching and assessment methods to help students apply course content to novel situations. For example, we will continue to develop new course content, add more current events into curriculum, and have students work on course-relevant case studies. We will encourage adjunct and full time faculty to attend professional development activities to enhance teaching and assessment skills. New supplies and equipment will be required to give individual students more relevant, hands-on biology experiences.

01/19/2018 view
Geology Geology--Geoscience issues GEOL 300, GEOL 305, GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 330

Assessed by assigning current articles to summarize, having students do poster presentations for GEOL 305

Expand assignment to have students summarize recent geoscience articles to cover all classes.  Right now only covers GEOL 310 & GEOL 330.

01/18/2018 view
Geology Geology--Geologic dimensions of time/space GEOL 300, GEOL 301, GEOL 305, GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 311, GEOL 330

Lecture is sometimes incomplete on this topic, sometimes not quite being able to cover the geologic time scale.  Other aspects of geologic time -- uniformitarianism, relative age dating, absolute age dating -- are regularly adequately covered.

01/18/2018 view
Geology Geology--Problem solving GEOL 300, GEOL 301, GEOL 305, GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 311, GEOL 330

Problem solving opportunities are seeded throughout most courses as part of assigned problem sets, an occasional verbal problem for lecture, lab assignments, and exam questions.  Problem solving situations take course concepts and attempt to apply them to real world situations.  It appears to improve engagement for many students.  Problem solving opportunities can be increased.

01/18/2018 view
Engineering Engineering--Engineering Problem Solving ENGR 420

This class (ENGR 420: Statics) assesses students engineering problem solving ability on a weekly basis through problem sets, in-class exercises, exams and a final design project. From this assessment, I learned that students tend to best implement what they learn theory-wise when put on the spot. This was done via asking students to solve problems on the board, work together in groups in class (where some students did the hw and others obviously didn't, thus motivating those that didn't to get up to speed). The design project proved to be pretty effective at this as well. One thing that was hard with the design project is that there were obviously some students that did a majority of the work in a group, while others tagged along for the ride. I need to figure out a way to mitigate this. Overall students demonstrated through homework and exams to be very adept at using math and engineering mechanics theory to solve problems on paper. 

I need to develop a new way of assessing students on an individual basis in their final design project groups. 

12/21/2017 view
Engineering Engineering--Design ENGR 312

The culmination of my ENGR 312: Graphics class is a final design project. In this project, students get to pick (with my input and sign-off) an assembly that they want to design in SolidWorks. Students get 2-3 weeks to design their creation. At the end of the semester the students present their work in front of the class and submit a final report and their SolidWorks files. Overall, students did very well with the actual design process. Students struggled/were less motivated in writing the actual report and creating drawings. I learned that I need to focus more on taking 3D solidworks designs and creating drawings, and the importance of these drawings. I need to make it more evident to students that orthographic projections (2D drawings of 3D parts/assemblies) are what are used by machinists to actually make their creations. 

I will focus more on the drawings portion of the class and ensuring that students understand the importance of creating proper drawings so that their designs can be made. 

12/21/2017 view
Engineering Engineering--Lab Experiments ENGR 412

I utilized my most lab-heavy class, ENGR 412: Properties of Materials, to assess engineering students' abilities to conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data. All labs required a written lab report be turned in 1 week from the lab date. The lab I focused on for this assessment was the heat treatment and hardness lab. Students were in lab groups of 4 and had to perform 1-2 heat treatments on an Al 6061 sample and then test the hardness. All data from the class was tabulated and shared in order to look at the effect of various heat treatments on the hardness/strength of materials. Students generally had no issue with the heat treatments (using the furnace and oven). Students struggled more when it came to hardness testing (even though I had provided thorough instructions on their lab handout). Since the hardness tester has multiple moving parts that need to be actuated in a precise manner, students with quick hands (just trying to get the lab done) would pull the wrong lever, or not wait long enough for something to happen, etc. This would result in an invalid data point. I need to spend more time with students reinforcing the idea that taking time to prepare the sample and conduct the test properly is of utmost importance, and not to rush the process. This was the first lab of the semester that I switched to a tech memo format for the lab report. This is a shorter (2 page), conside report. Students struggled, and I still received 10+ page reports (even providing a rubric). I learned from this experience that I need to be MUCH more clear with exactly how I want the tech memo to look, as this is important if students go on to work in industry. In addition, there were hardness values that did not make sense in this lab. I explained to students that labs don't always go 100% the way you expect. Many students did not want to hear this. I need to integrate into a lecture a better data analysis section that shows examples of experiments expected to go one way...

I will be integrating a new data analysis section into a lecture. I will be creating a tech memo template for lab reports. 

12/21/2017 view
Engineering Engineering--Professional Practice ENGR 420

In order to assess professional practice, I implemented a student capstone design project in ENGR 420: Statics. The project was designing in Solidworks and 3D printing a bridge within specified constraints. Students worked in teams of 4 and had to analyze their trusses using method of joints and method of sections analysis techniques from class. I assessed students ability to translate equations into an actual design and how they responded when issues arose during 3D printing/design/etc. Students exceeded my expectations in this regard. Most of the class seemed very well prepared and excelled in the iterative design process. I learned that I need to push the students harder next time in terms of tightening up constraints like bridge weight to get them to be more innovative in their designs. 

I am going to further refine the design project. A new loading profile will be specified to the students (compression instead of tension) in order to better utilize the universal tester on the bridges. Also, I will be lowering the maximum allowed mass of the bridge to encourage new designs. 

12/21/2017 view
Architecture Architecture--Sustainability ARCH 302, ARCH 303

 Arch 302 and 303 haven't been offered due to division FTE reductions.

 Arch 302 and 303 haven't been offered due to division FTE reductions.

11/26/2017 view
Computer Info Science: Database & Programming Computer Info Science: Database & Programming--Technology Skill Sets: CISP 430

The students from CISP401(Java) seem to behind the students from CISP400(C++) at the beginning of the semester.  By the end of the semester, the CISP401 students are compatible with CISP400 students.

11/16/2017 view
Accounting Accounting--Diversity ACCT 160, ACCT 161, ACCT 162, ACCT 301, ACCT 311

Accounting continues to serve a diverse group of students.  Emphasis on valuing all people must continue in all classes.

11/08/2017 view
Accounting Accounting--Ethics ACCT 160, ACCT 161, ACCT 162, ACCT 301, ACCT 311

Ethics is critical in accounting.  Students must be reminded that ethical decision making is critical in accounting and business in general.

11/08/2017 view
Nutrition and Foods Nutrition and Foods--Research NUTRI 300, NUTRI 303, NUTRI 310, NUTRI 322, NUTRI 331, NUTRI 340, NUTRI 350, NUTRI 360, NUTRI 370

Overall Program Assessment Summary (of 2014-2015):

Please also see Dept. of Nutrition and Foods Retreat summary of 2015 and Program SWOT Analysis

Several methods were implemented spring 2015 semester in NUTRI 300 and other courses to encourage retention and student success.  NUTRI 300 is the course that we offer the most number of sections per semester.  As a result, a change in NUTRI 300 (positive or negative) can heavily influence the overall success rate/achievement of the SLOs.  The overall effect made in NUTRI 300 did not significantly change/increase the success of PSLO 1, 2, and 3 (although % did improve slightly).  A new textbook (Visualizing Nutrition-WileyPlus) was adopted Fall 2013 (from Discovering Nutrition).  We approach our 3rd year utilizing this textbook (2nd edition) but plan to adopt a different textbook (Contemporary Nutrition, McGraw-Hill) Fall 2016 since an overwhelming increase in student achieving the SLO was not observed.  In addition, a few of the faculty expressed interest in implement the SmartBook (individualized online assessment of textbook content) with Contemporary Nutrition.

PSLO 4 and 5 are only measured in NUTRI 370 and we obtain our highest success in these PSLO’s.  Our lowest PSLO is seen with PSLO #1 Demonstrate independent learning and effective communication skills (72.5%).  This PSLO is measured in every NUTRI course.  The lower percentage is not a surprise since student retention and commitment to the courses have been challenging.  We identified certain two major obstacles for student success:

a.  Purposely choosing not to attend class and not complete coursework

b.  Unprepared for college work


Our assessment shows that students who actively participate (by attending/logging to class...

Update on the Action Items from the Summer 2016 Retreat:

1.  Host the annual Welcome Reception to develop the sense of community for the students (to encourage persistence and success).

Update:  The Welcome Reception held Spring 2016 for NUTRI students was successful.  Unfortunately, it was more time consuming and required more resources than we have.  Wassmer applied for another CRC Foundation grant but was not awarded the grant (since it was for a similar function).  Instead, we emphasized the TOP meeting as a unique way of interacting with students on a regular basis (every Wednesday at noon).  The TOP meeting is highly attended (averaging 25-35 students) each week.  Kudos goes to Timaree Hagenburger for all her work with TOP.  For more information and meeting/topic schedule, go to item completed.

2.  Continue to participate in the NE corner Task Force to establish the sustainable garden (with outdoor kitchen and food processing area).

Update:  Wassmer served on the Task Force. The College has approved the sustainable garden.  Funding from COB and other grants will help establish this learning lab.  The first HORT 313 Sustainable Agriculture course will be offered Spring 2018.  (At this time, HORT 313 will only be offered spring semester.)  The Task Force has completed its mission and has been dissolved; Action item completed.

3.  Obtain the equipment and make modifications to the current PHARM lab (Winn Center) into a multipurpose kitchen lab for NUTRI 331.

Update:  After several conversations and meetings with Administration, it was determined that the best solution is to relocate NUTRI 331 to the Culinary Kitchen/Cooking Lab (shared...

09/28/2017 view
Sandbox --My New PSLO SBX 100



09/28/2017 view
Sandbox --Win the World Series SBX 100



07/31/2017 view
Communication Studies Communication Studies--Listening Skills COMM 301, COMM 311, COMM 325, COMM 331, COMM 361, COMM 363, COMM 480

Based on the course assessments of the four faculty members in regards to this PSLO on "Listening Skills," there is a general consensus that student feedback to other students and/or to the instructor of the course, in terms of comments of another student's speech presentation or group discussion (face to face or online), is helpful to students because of the "focused effort" toward listening that class assignments and exercises bring to one's attention about listening skills.  It is typical in a communication course to have small group discussion (face to face or online within a discussion board or chat room) that provides a discussion topic or scenario (case study, simulation, etc.) that involves diverse settings and people and has a venue for communicative interactions.  This allows a context of communication that is a direct observation by the faculty member to determine the student's ability to consider multiple perspectives while communicating and responding to other communicators.  The consensus is that a high majority of students, as much as 90% of students in these courses, are proficient in listening skills (in terms of indicating comprehension of spoken messages, as well as being able to analyze information critically, and to provide feedback that displays a consideration of multiple perspecitves toward the communication context, messages and interpretations of meaning.  The exam results in the communication courses assessed also indicate that students can identify and/or explain the stages in a listening process, the obstacles to listening, types of listening, and components of effective listening strategies (such as active listening, DESC, paraphrasing, etc.).  In the online format of a course in Communication Theory, Ellen Arden-Ogle noted the challenge of having an online class exercise that provides a rich enough field or experience for listening and analyzing the discourse of the participants (students) in a real-time during a simulation that is...

The faculty members each concluded that no changes are necessary in the course material, instructional planning and methods of instruction or evaluation in terms of teaching and assessing the students' abilities in listening skills.  For an online format of a course, Communication Theory, it has been noted that there is a challenge of having an online class exercise that provides a rich experience for listening and analyzing the discourse of the participants (students) during a simulation that is intended to have assessment by direct observation for the faculty member.  The faculty member is considering technology or avenues on the learning management system that could "record" the discussion of the participants in audio and visual (video) so that students' abilities in listening skills could be easier assessed.  Yet this may be a matter of waiting for efficient and affordable technology to become available that could be easily compatable with a learning management delivery system.

05/31/2017 view
Communication Studies Communication Studies--Oral Communication COMM 301, COMM 311, COMM 321, COMM 331, COMM 361, COMM 363, COMM 480

Per the direct observation by each of the faculty members of students presenting an average of five speeches through out a semester, there was a general consensus that students' performances in oral communication progressively got better with each presentation as the semester went along.  In terms of successfully earning a grade of "C" or better for a course in oral communication, a large majority of students, approximately 85%, were proficient in oral communication skills by the end of the term of a course in oral communication.  At about that same percentage, students wrote in reflective writing assignments or some type of assessment for self-reporting that they learned and/or refined in coping skills to deal with speech anxiety (communication apprehension), which agrees with the assessments of the faculty members.  The typical challenges among students that earned less than an "A" grade on speech presentations and/or group discussion to public formats continues to be that challenged students did lack a clear thesis statement (preview) in their speech or comments being presented, and similarly lacked transitions to connect points within oral presentations.  In presentations that required source documentation with a bibliographical format (MLA, APA, etc.) and/or verbal source citations, challenged students did not provide an accurate format of source documentation.  In one assessment of exam results in a course, it was noted that 30% of the students did not have a clear understanding and/or recall of different types of language usage, such as aliteration, antithesis, parallelism, etc. 

Each of the four faculty members concluded that little change is necessary as the challenges that some students face are the typical areas of speech organizational designs, providing a clear preview, transitions, and accurate, complete source documentation.  The teaching methods in terms of lecture material and perhaps additional instructional material (readings, clearer examples, etc.) are hopeful to provide the necessary resources to help students improve in these areas of speech organization in oral communication.

05/31/2017 view
Physics/Astronomy Physics/Astronomy--Use appropriate tabular and/or graphical methods PHYS 360, PHYS 380, PHYS 411, PHYS 421, PHYS 431

We evaluated the quality of student-produced graphs.  In lower division physics courses, proper graphs should have data on the correct axes (vertical vs horizontal), titles, axis labes with units, and best-fit lines including coefficients of regression.  We decided major errors included missing best-fit lines or graphing data on the incorrect axes, whereas minor errors included missing labels, units or titles.  Graphing is generally taught in the first semesters or our sequences, PHYS 350, 370 and 411.

The introductory course in Spring 2017, PHYS 411, performed relatively well.  75% of students produced graphs with no errors, 20% had minor errors and only 6% major errors.

More advanced courses fared considerably worse.  PHYS 360, 380, 421 and 431 produced graphs with no errors only 56% of the time.  36% had minor errors and 8% had major errors.

We assumed, incorrectly, that because our students were making graphs correctly in the introductory classes, that they would retain these skills in subsequent courses.  They did not.  As such, we will now make it a point to review the basics of graphs in our more advanced courses.

05/16/2017 view
Geology Geology--Problem solving GEOL 300, GEOL 301, GEOL 305, GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 311, GEOL 330

A need to have more varied problem solving 

I will research and explore ways to introduce more problem solving techniques and opportunities in the course curricula.

05/16/2017 view
Geology Geology--Geologic dimensions of time/space GEOL 300, GEOL 301, GEOL 305, GEOL 306, GEOL 310, GEOL 311, GEOL 330

Not all students have a clear understanding of key principals of geologic time.  In general, time and focus needs to be better built in to the courses, especially the lecture courses and GEOL 311, Historical Geology Lab, to be better able to explain and work with students on the concept and context of geologic time.  Some of this has been taking place in the current academic year, 2016-17.  Some key concepts that we are looking for is understanding of Earth's age (~4.6 billion years), uniformitarianism/actualism, relative age dating, numerical age dating, and the geologic time scale.

This is fine-tuning of concepts, mostly as presented in the geology lecture classes.  

05/15/2017 view
Chemistry Chemistry--Demonstrate Content Knowledge CHEM 309

A large majority of class members correctly solved chemistry problems that used math together with chemistry principles, to calculate quantities of matter from chemical reactions, and amounts to measure out in order to make a sample  of a specified composition. These problems included several kinds of solution concentrations that Allied Health students typically find difficult, such as parts-per-million and equivalents. These results suggest that the Allied Health track of our program is strong in teaching the appropriate level of quantitative problem solving.

A majority of students also demonstrated knowledge of the structures of biologically-active substances such as proteins. They were able to write a correct amino acid structure, complete an organic chemistry reaction of two amino acids linking into a dipeptide, and write the hydrolysis reaction of a tripeptide. Despite most class members being able to perform these tasks correctly, there was still a significant number who could not. In my observation, the currently-used lab manual  leans heavily on open-ended questions whose wording is sometimes ambiguous. The students who had difficulty with the above tasks would have benefited from a manual whose questions were direct and more clearly worded, with the analysis portion of the experiment prompting the student to write more structures and reactions.

I will look into different texts, to find one whose associated lab manual incorporates a larger number of direct practice questions.

05/11/2017 view
Health Care Information Technology Health Care Information Technology--Environment HCIT 100, HCIT 140, HCIT 162, HCIT 164

Overall students are meeting the Program SLOs.

05/11/2017 view
Health Care Information Technology Health Care Information Technology--Environment HCIT 100, HCIT 140, HCIT 162, HCIT 164

Overall students are meeting the Program Student Learning Outcomes.

05/11/2017 view
Mathematics and Statistics Mathematics and Statistics--Quantitative Reasoning MATH 400, MATH 401, MATH 420

The quantitative reasoning student learning outcome is being met by our students.

05/10/2017 view
Art/Art History Art/Art History--Conceptual Framework ART 300, ART 304, ART 320, ART 327, ART 370, ART 372, ART 394, ART 402, ARTH 303, ARTH 309, ARTH 311

The majority of our students are able to acquire analytical skills and a conceptual framework for the future. Students can analyze and describe a work of art.  We have noticed that students are making the connection between the thisng they are learning in one class and apply them to other classes.  There is an interconnection between what the students are learning in class and what they are experiencing with art in public places. 

Consider providing information in a variety of formats.

05/10/2017 view