Using Final Papers Assessment Project Results to Improve UCORE First-Year Experience [ROOT] Courses

The Final Papers Assessment Project results provide Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] faculty with information about students’ grasp of program outcomes. In this way, rubric scores from student papers evaluated by program faculty can be used to direct and improve instruction.  

Course Changes. Understanding student strengths and weaknesses helps instructors know how to target instructional improvements. To improve instruction, the Roots of Contemporary Issues faculty have made changes to their first-year experience [ROOT] courses, such as:

  • Reorganizing the scaffolded Library Research Assignments to allow students to assemble bibliographies for their research projects earlier in the semester
  • Revision of lesson plans to incorporate new scholarship related to connecting the global past to constantly changing contemporary issues
  • Coordinating lesson plans with other First-Year Focus courses to help students integrate learning across courses and disciplines
  • Integrating the content of the Common Reading Program book/content into lesson plans
  • Sponsoring the George and Bernadine Converse Lecture Series to bring leading nationally- or internationally- recognized authors or intellectuals to WSU
  • Developing a series of workshops to provide Teaching Assistant training related to scoring student written work using rubrics, helping students shape research projects early in the semester, and roles in day-to-day classroom activities

Assessment results inform continual reflection and discussion of teaching and learning; they contribute to decision making to ensure effective teaching and learning. Decisions can include choosing to make changes, continue current effective practices, or build on strengths.

For additional information about how student learning evidence contributes to decision making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education, see Use of Student Learning Evidence. See Key Assessments for additional information about Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment.