Learning From Assessment
Updates on assessment efforts in departments, lessons learned, and actions taken based on assessment
- Outcomes Assessment in Academic Departments at UI
- Assessment Innovation Grants Awarded to UI Departments
- Lessons Learned: Examples of Using Assessment
This document provides a brief overview and examples of how UI departments were engaged in Outcomes Assessment during 2012/13.
This link takes you to an online database that is designed to let UI departments see what other departments are doing and learn from colleagues here at UI.
The database is searchable by department and by types of assessment in use. If you choose to view specific department documents that are linked to the Assessment Exchange, you will be prompted to log in with your HawkID and password.
To access the database in some browsers, you may need to adjust your settings to allow Pop-Up windows.
Recipients of 2011/12 Assessment Innovation Grants:
- The Department of Biology pis developing an assessment tool that will measure the depth of understanding of students enrolled in introductory biology. It is important to uncover deficiencies in understanding core biological concepts as mastery of foundational knowledge acquired in introductory biology contributes to a student's success in upper level courses. Assessment questions will be designed to uncover common biological misconceptions and to measure the depth of conceptual understanding that students achieve throughout the introductory biology course series. Results of this assessment tool will inform instructional change and serve as a baseline to measure gains in student learning as they progress through courses required for the Biology major.
- The UI Honors program counts among its members nearly a quarter of the University’s undergraduate population. Its goal is to provide the resources and community Honors students need to succeed — be it through social activities or academic opportunities. In order to better serve its members, the Honors Program performed a self-assessment from November of 2011 through June of 2012. The program used grant funds is to hire part-time qualified undergraduate Honors students to collect, collate, and interpret data in order to help us define what constitutes active participation in Honors at Iowa.
Recipients of 2010/11 Assessment Innovation Grants:
- The Division of World Languages is using grant funds for a one-and-a-half-day workshop on using the Center for Applied Linguistics Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) in French, German, and Spanish during Spring 2011. The two purposes of the workshop are (a) to train a cadre of faculty and graduate students to rate SOPIs in their respective languages; and (b) to build capacity at the UI in this area by apprenticing a faculty member to the trainer in each language at the spring 2011 workshop, so that future training sessions can rely solely on UI resources. We will also purchase the SOPI rater training kits in each language for future use. Grant funds will also be used to design and pilot an instrument to assess students’ growth in cultural awareness.
- Social Work is using grant funds to assist with two key assessment activities: 1) the development of rubrics for signature assignments and embedded exam questions in our practice courses (Fundamentals of Social Work Practice, Social Work Processes, and Interpersonal Skills lab); and 2) focus group evaluations of student field-placement learning contract procedures, in order to help develop rubrics and training methods for field instructors using these contracts.
For information about grants available for this year, see Assessment Innovation Grants for 2012/13
Lessons Learned: Examples of Using Assessment
Handouts from the April 2010 session, Learning From Assessment:
- The Sociology Department uses Senior Portfolios, compiled in their Capstone Course, as a primary vehicle for assessment. The department has also made use of interviews with internship site supervisors, alumni surveys, and exiting senior questionnaires to help them gain an overall assessment of student learning in the department. For a more complete description, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~soc/outcomes/
- The Department of Biomedical Engineering assesses student performance on a series of iconic exercises throughout the program and in their senior design course. The department also relies on senior surveys and on a course assessment report filled out be each faculty member at the end of a course. This variety of assessments is reviewed at regular faculty retreats and provides a basis for assessment of the program as a whole. For more information, see Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Assessment.
For brief reports of how other UI departments are using assessment, see the Assessment Exchange database.
For examples of using assessment at other institutions, see Using Assessment: Closing the Loop.