Assessing Student Learning at the Senior Level: AY 2019-20 [CAPS] Course Assessment Results

As reported in the AY 2019-20 [CAPS] Course Assessment Reporting Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), assessment results indicated that 83% of students met or exceeded expectations at the graduating undergraduate level for Critical & Creative Thinking. Additionally, 81% of students met or exceeded expectations for Written Communication. In courses where faculty members found enough elements to evaluate student learning on additional learning goals, instructors indicated that 88% of the students met or exceeded expectations for Oral Communication, and 88% for Diversity.

In place since 2015, UCORE [CAPS] Course Assessment Reporting is intended to gauge student learning on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals at the near-graduation level. For AY 2019-20, the CAPS report form focused on Critical & Creative Thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication (optional), and Diversity (optional). Note: For the spring 2020 semester, WSU made the emergency move to distance learning beginning March 23 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. While nearly 90% of spring 2020 CAPS instructors indicated that they made substantial changes to course assignments, learning activities, instruction, and/or grading, in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, roughly 90% of instructors also indicated that they had confidence in their ability to assess student achievement of these WSU Learning Goals spring semester.

A total of 159 reports were submitted by 132 instructors, representing 83% of CAPS courses and 84% of students enrolled in CAPS courses in fall 2019 and spring 2020. In 65% of reports, instructors indicated that their students were primarily (>90%) seniors. Instructors indicated that their students were primarily (>90%) majors in 73% of reports. Approximately 83% of students enrolled in all CAPS courses in fall 2019 and spring 2020 were seniors.

Learning Goals Demonstrated in [CAPS] Courses. Established as part of WSU’s general education curriculum (UCORE) beginning in 2012, Integrative Capstone [CAPS] courses bring opportunities for integration, application, and closure to the undergraduate experience. All [CAPS] courses require students to demonstrate at least four of the seven university learning goals: Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Depth, Breadth, & Integration of Learning, and Communication. In addition, Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Literacy, and/or Diversity may be included as appropriate to the discipline or course. In AY 2019-20, 71% of reports indicated that the course syllabus required students to demonstrate Oral Communication and 48% required students to demonstrate Diversity. 

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