Academic journal article College Student Journal

The College of Business and Technology's Course Embedded Student Outcomes Assessment Process

Academic journal article College Student Journal

The College of Business and Technology's Course Embedded Student Outcomes Assessment Process

Article excerpt

Student learning assessment is an integral part of effective teaching and quality student learning. With higher education being scrutinized so closely today, it is more important than ever for a university to have an effective student learning assessment process in place. The classroom provides an excellent opportunity to measure student learning. Instructors are the key to a successful student learning assessment program. If properly implemented, an effective student learning assessment process can provide instructors with information, which will allow them to improve their course, its contents and the delivery of the material in the classroom. Educators can gain a wealth of useful information by actively participating in the assessment process.

This paper presents an approach for a student learning assessment program. In the College of Business and Technology at Texas A&M University-Commerce a process to monitor and evaluate student performance in concepts deemed to be significant in the business common body of knowledge (core) courses has been established and has been operational for several semesters.

Introduction

"Institutional effectiveness", "assessment of outcomes", "continuous improvement", "institutional accountability," "assessment of student learning," were all catch phrases of the 1990's for universities. Accreditation and reporting standards based upon outputs and the measurement of the degree of goal and mission achievement were imposed upon universities by the public, state legislatures, boards of trustees or regents and by accrediting agencies. The good work of universities in providing an educated populace is no longer to be taken for granted, but is now to be systematically measured and demonstrated. Through this process, attempts are to be made to improve outputs continuously.

Outcomes assessment has many forms and meanings, but typically it involves a process of specifying the goals and objectives of a program and ways in which the attainment of those goals can be measured (Jennings, 1989). Through such a process, attempts are made to continuously improve outputs. A major component of any higher-level education outcomes assessment program would involve the assessment of student leaning. The assessment of student learning outcomes is also a focus of the Federal Government in that it is viewed as the pivotal piece around which school reform and improvement in the nation's schools turn. Student learning assessment was identified as a key piece of Goals 2000 (Roeber, 1996). The purpose of this paper is to describe a procedure to assess student learning utilitzed by The College of Business and Technology at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Background

Student outcome assessment is basically about quality assurance and doing what is necessary to achieve continuous improvement in the educational process. Educational administrators have received directives from state legislators and accrediting agencies to perform assessments to insure that quality graduates are being sent out to the work place (Seymour, 1996).

Developing a student outcome assessment plan requires a commitment to excellence and a willingness to improve processes to ensure students are equipped with the appropriate skill sets to compete in an ever changing business environment. To develop a student outcome assessment plan schools must: 1) establish standards to achieve objectives, 2) develop assessment methods to implement objectives, 3) evaluate the results of the process and 4) use the evaluation of the results to improve the process and the learning outcomes. Such a plan has been devised and implemented in the College of Business and Technology at the Texas A&M University-Commerce. This plan identifies desired learning outcomes, measures and assesses the degree of achievement of these outcomes and subsequently makes improvements to the student learning outcomes procedure. …

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