Capstone [CAPS] Assessment for UCORE

Introduction

UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] courses bring opportunities for integration, application, and closure to the UCORE curriculum. Established as part of WSU’s UCORE general education curriculum beginning in 2012, [CAPS] courses require students to demonstrate at least four of WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals: Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Communication, and Depth, Breadth & Integration of Learning (with additional learning goals included as appropriate to the course and discipline). [CAPS] courses need to be at the 400 level and students need to be at least junior-level.

Assessment

Visual depiction of the NILOA Transparency Framework Current Assessment Activities Component.

In place since 2015, UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment is intended to gauge student learning on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals in the context of the UCORE curriculum at the near-graduation level. Each semester, [CAPS] instructors submit a short [CAPS] Assessment Report for UCORE. The report switched to a rotating format starting in AY 2019-20, with four learning goals evaluated per year, and asks instructors to provide an overall holistic assessment of student achievement of these goals in their [CAPS] course (see the spotlight blog post Efficient Assessment: Aligning Grading Rubrics with WSU Learning Goals in UCORE [CAPS] Courses to learn more about how one [CAPS] instructor uses her final project grading rubric to efficiently produce assessment data for UCORE’s [CAPS] reporting). Faculty are also asked to provide information about how well students are prepared for capstone level work and the kinds of changes they plan to make to their course based on assessment. For more information, see UCORE’s [CAPS] Assessment Reporting FAQs (PDF).  

To complement UCORE’s [CAPS] Assessment Reporting (direct measure, using faculty expert judgement), [CAPS] course enrollments and C-/D/F/W rates are also monitored (indirect measures, giving information about success and progress through the curriculum) for UCORE assessment. The Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness (ACE) coordinates the assessment, reporting, and data analysis for Capstone [CAPS] Assessment for UCORE. 

Evidence of Student Learning

Visual depiction of the NILOA Transparency Framework Evidence of Student Learning Component.

Annual results of UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment are compiled to provide a summary of student learning on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals in the context of the UCORE curriculum at the near-graduation level. Use the linked excerpts of summaries listed below to explore results from UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment. For more summaries of results from UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment, see Results of UCORE’s [CAPS] Assessment.

  • Student Learning at the Senior-level: AY 2021-22 [CAPS] Assessment Results As reported in the AY 2021-22 [CAPS] Assessment Reporting Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), assessment results indicated that 84% of students met or exceeded expectations at the graduating undergraduate level for Critical & Creative Thinking. Additionally, 82% of students met or exceeded expectations for Written Communication. In courses where faculty members found enough elements to evaluate student learning on […]
  • Student Learning at the Senior Level: AY 2020-21 [CAPS] Course Assessment Results As reported in the AY 2020-21 [CAPS] Course Assessment Reporting Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE, assessment results indicated that 82% of students met or exceeded expectations at the graduating undergraduate level for Information Literacy. Additionally, 83% of students met or exceeded expectations for Integrative Learning. In courses where faculty members found enough elements to evaluate student learning on additional learning goals, instructors indicated that 82% of the students met or exceeded expectations for Scientific Literacy, and 81% for Quantitative Reasoning.
  • 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, 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.

Uses of Assessment

Visual depiction of the NILOA Transparency Framework Use of Student Learning Evidence Component.

In concert with the UCORE Director, the UCORE Committee and Subcommittee for Assessment review results of UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment and suggest actions for improved assessment or use to inform decision-making. Additionally, as part of Capstone [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE, instructors indicate if they plan to make changes to their [CAPS] course based on assessment. 

Below are some recent examples of how student learning evidence from UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment contributes to decision-making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education. For more examples of how student learning evidence from UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment contributes to decision-making, see Uses of UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment.

  • Using [CAPS] Assessment Summary Results to Inform Decision-making to Support the UCORE General Education Program Assessment activities and results are intended to inform regular faculty reflection and discussion about effective teaching, learning, and curricula, and ultimately contribute to decision-making to support student learning. In concert with the UCORE Director, faculty on the UCORE Committee and Subcommittee for Assessment annually review results of UCORE’s Capstone [CAPS] Assessment and suggest actions for […]
  • Using Assessment to Inform Decision-making in AY 2021-22 [CAPS] Courses As part of AY 2021-22 [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE, instructors were asked if they planned to make any changes in future semesters based on assessments from the current semester. Overall, 57% of instructors indicated that they planned to make a change to their course based on assessment. Most commonly the changes were to assignments. Below […]
  • Using Assessment to Inform Decision-making in AY 2020-21 UCORE Capstone [CAPS] Courses As part of AY 2020-21 [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE, instructors were asked if they planned to make any changes in future semesters based on assessments from the current semester. Overall, 51% of instructors indicated that they planned to make a change to their course based on assessment.