Assessing Student Learning in First-Year Experience Courses: Fall 2023 [ROOT] Pilot Assessment Results

As reported in the Fall 2023 [ROOT] Pilot Assessment Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), pilot assessment results indicated that that, on average, 63% of students met or exceeded expectations on the [ROOT] designator learning outcome performance criteria associated with Information Literacy. Additionally, on average, 70% of students met or exceeded expectations on the designator learning outcome performance criteria associated with Written Communication.

UCORE’s Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] courses provide a common foundational first-year experience that prepares students to understand the world around them using historical approaches, sources, and modes of communication. [ROOT] courses advance designator student learning outcomes associated with five of the WSU Undergraduate Learning Goals (Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, Written Communication, Diversity, and Integrative Learning) by asking students to explore and understand the historical and global roots of various issues facing the world today. Incoming first-year students complete History 105 to satisfy [ROOT], while History 305 is intended for transfer students that need to fulfill the [ROOT] requirement.

Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment is intended to provide [ROOT] faculty with information for program improvement, as well as gauge student learning on [ROOT] designator learning outcomes for UCORE general education assessment. In fall 2023, [ROOT] instructors completed a pilot assessment report to provide an assessment of student achievement of [ROOT] designator learning outcomes in their course (direct measure, using faculty expert judgement). For the fall 2023 pilot, the [ROOT] assessment report form focused on two designator learning outcomes (Information Literacy and Written Communication).

Twenty-one [ROOT] instructors participated in the fall 2023 pilot, representing 88% of [ROOT] instructors and roughly 89% of students completing [ROOT] courses in fall 2023. Of the 1,993 [ROOT] students assessed in fall 2023, roughly 88% were completing History 105 and 12% were completing History 305.

In AY2021-22 and AY2022-23, [ROOT] faculty worked to develop and test this new process for direct assessment. [ROOT] Assessment previously included the Final Papers Assessment (aligned with Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, and Integrative Learning) and the Diversity & Inequality Papers Assessment (aligned with Diversity and Written Communication). For additional information, see Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment.