Student Learning on WSU’s Seven Learning Goals: AY 2016-17 [CAPS] Course Assessment Results

As reported in the AY 2016-17 [CAPS] Course Assessment Reporting Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), assessment results indicated that 76% of students met or exceeded expectations at the graduating undergraduate level for Critical & Creative Thinking, 78% for Information Literacy, 79% for Depth, Breadth & Integration of Learning, and 76% for written communication. In courses where faculty members found enough elements to evaluate student learning on additional learning goals, instructors indicated that 83% of the students met or exceeded expectations for oral communication, 80% for visual communication, 78% for Scientific Literacy, 86% for Diversity, and 79% for Quantitative Reasoning.

First piloted in 2015, the UCORE Capstone [CAPS] Course Assessment Reports are intended to gauge student learning on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals at the near-graduation level. [CAPS] courses require students to demonstrate at least four of the seven university learning goals: Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Communication, and Depth, Breadth, & Integration of Learning (with Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Literacy, and Diversity included as appropriate to the discipline or course). [CAPS] courses need to be at the 400 level and students need to be at least junior-level.

[CAPS] course instructors were asked to complete course assessment reports for fall 2016 and spring 2017. The report asked instructors to provide an overall holistic assessment of student performance (direct qualitative measure, using faculty expert judgement) of all students in their [CAPS] course. AY 2016-17 was the first semester that instructors had the option to a) report on Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Literacy, and Diversity, and b) distinguish separate levels of achievement for written, oral, and visual communication.

A total of 139 reports were submitted by 119 instructors, representing 86% of CAPS courses and 86% of students enrolled in CAPS courses in fall 2016 and spring 2017. In 66% of reports, instructors indicated that their students were primarily (>90%) seniors. Instructors indicated that their students were primarily (>90%) majors in 62% of reports. Approximately 80% of students enrolled in all CAPS courses in fall 2016 and spring 2017 were seniors.

Learning Goals Demonstrated in [CAPS] Courses: All CAPS courses (100%) required students to demonstrate Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Depth, Breadth, & Integration of Learning, and Communication. Additionally, instructors reported that students demonstrated Scientific Literacy in 55% of courses, Quantitative Reasoning in 48% of courses, and Diversity in 45% of courses. Instructors were also asked to report on the Communication skills that students demonstrated in their CAPS course; while all CAPS courses (100%) include written communication, instructors reported that 78% of their courses also included oral communication and 49% included visual communication.

Student Preparedness for Learning Goals: Instructors reported on the extent students were prepared at the beginning of this CAPS course for the WSU Learning Goals demonstrated in their course. Overall, CAPS instructors indicated that 48% were well prepared for Critical & Creative Thinking, 48% for Information Literacy, 45% for Depth, Breadth & Integration of Learning, 50% for written communication, 54% for oral communication, 50% for visual communication, 55% for Scientific Literacy, 56% for Diversity, and 51% for Quantitative Reasoning. In Spring 2017, instructors had the opportunity to provide suggestions of how student could be more prepared for their course. Instructors most frequently indicated that students could be more prepared in the areas of written communication, critical & creative thinking, information literacy, and integrative learning.

For additional information, see UCORE Capstone [CAPS] Course Assessment or contact the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning.