Student Learning at the First-Year Level: AY 2014-15 Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Final Papers Assessment Project Results

As reported in the AY 2014-15 [ROOT] Final Papers Assessment Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), assessment results indicated that 97% of first-year students partially met, met or exceeded expectations at the first-year undergraduate level at the end of their UCORE first-year experience [ROOT] course on rubric outcomes related to Critical & Creative Thinking. Additionally, 96% partially met, met or exceeded expectations for outcomes related to Information Literacy and 85% for Diversity

Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] courses are foundational first-year experience courses for UCORE. The courses introduce students to five of the seven university learning goals (Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Communication, Diversity, and Depth, Breadth & Integration of Learning) by asking students to understand the historical and global roots of various issues facing the world today.

The Roots of Contemporary Issues Final Papers Assessment Project is intended to provide [ROOT] faculty with information for program improvement, as well as gauge student learning on the WSU Learning Goals at the first-year level. Each academic year, beginning in AY 2012-13, [ROOT] faculty evaluate a random sample of students’ final research papers from all campuses using a faculty-developed rubric. In AY 2014-15, the rubric was revised to include Diversity, in addition to the Critical & Creative Thinking and Information Literacy learning goals, and asked whether in these final papers students demonstrated the following skills:

  • using historical evidence to build an argument (Critical and Creative Thinking),
  • developing a set of sources relevant to the research topic (Information Literacy), and
  • demonstrating an understanding of how cultural or societal differences are influenced (Diversity).

For additional information, see Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment or contact the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning.