Using Assessment to Inform Decision-making in AY 2016-17 UCORE Capstone [CAPS] Courses

As part of AY 2016-17 [CAPS] Course Assessment reporting, instructors who indicated they had taught their [CAPS] course before were asked to report if they had made any changes to their course in fall 2016 and spring 2017 based on assessments from previous semesters. Additionally, instructors teaching their [CAPS] course for the first time were asked if they planned to make any changes in future semesters based on assessments from this semester. Overall, 62% of instructors indicated that they had made or planned to make a change to their course based on assessment

Most commonly the changes were to assignments or instructional approach. Below are some examples:

Use of Assessment to Make Changes: AY 2016-17 UCORE [CAPS] Report Summary Results

TypeQuotations - Selected Sample
  • "I changed a series of disconnected research projects to a scaffolded, shared subject research project that targeted UCORE and course learning objectives."
  • "The students struggled with the midterm paper; I plan on integrating an extra stage of drafting/revision."
  • "Added a rubric for all assignments."
Teaching or instruction
  • "More time was spent with students to develop their research writing skills."
  • "Closer consultation with students about their final research."
Course content
  • "Each time I teach this seminar I bring in new readings for discussion so that students connect to current issues in the field."
  • "Teaching project management and team management skills."
Course resources
  • "I provided a sample analysis and a sample exam essay, with clearer guidelines on expectations."
  • "Additional reading materials from the primary literature to provide students some context/background before they begin their own projects."
  • "Created an exam pool so we could randomize a large set of test questions"
  • "More emphasis on quizzes before class."
  • "I had to make changes to facilitate the online learning platform. Discussions were conducted as an online discussion forum rather than a face-to-face discussion."
  • "More regular timing of announcements, more concise announcements, more personal (conversationally-worded) communication with the class."

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 educational programs, including general education, see Use of Student Learning Evidence. See Key Assessments for additional information about UCORE Capstone [CAPS] Course Assessment.