Use of Student Learning Evidence

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

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. Decisions may include intentionally choosing to continue current effective practices, building on the program’s existing strengths, and/or making changes to the program.

Below are some examples of how student learning evidence, in the context of UCORE, contributes to decision-making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education.

Many Uses, Many Levels

Using assessment results to inform decisions and improvements is the most complicated “step” in the assessment cycle, since it includes multiple levels of use by faculty, program leadership, and university administration. 

Selected Examples of Uses of Linked to Key UCORE Assessments

Below are some examples of how student learning evidence from key assessments for UCORE contributes to decision-making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education. Click on the headings for more information about the many ways that UCORE assessment results are being used to advance and improve the student experience.

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 additional information, see Capstone [CAPS] Assessment for UCORE.

  • 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.

The Roots of Contemporary Issues Steering Committee and program faculty review assessment results each year and suggest actions for improved assessment or use to inform decision-making.

Below are some examples of how student learning evidence from Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment contributes to decision-making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education. For additional information, see Roots of Contemporary Issues [ROOT] Assessment.

In concert with the UCORE Director, the UCORE Committee and Subcommittee for Assessment review NSSE results following each administration. NSSE results are also reviewed by university leadership and disaggregated for undergraduate academic degree programs, colleges, and campuses to provide information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for students. NSSE reports provide participating institutions with results that compare their students’ responses with those of students at self-selected groups of comparison institutions. Universities can use their NSSE results to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience that can be improved through changes in policy and practice. 

Below are some examples of how student learning evidence from NSSE contributes to decision-making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education. For more information, see National Survey of Student Engagement.

Additional Selected Examples of Uses of UCORE Student Learning Evidence

Below are some examples of how UCORE student learning evidence on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals contributes to decision making at the institutional-level, intended to support student learning and quality education.

  • Learning outcomes assessment data, complemented by centrally collected indicators (such as EAB analytics, course pass and C-/D/F/W rates), have helped guide university-level initiatives and decisions to support teaching and learning, and quality education:
  • General education revision and adjustments to WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals

Below are some additional examples of how student learning evidence contributes to decision making intended to support student learning and quality education in the context of the UCORE curriculum. Click on the links for more information about the many ways that assessment results are being used to advance and improve the student experience.

  • Embedded Assessment Results Influence Teaching and Build Shared Expectations of Student Achievement in English 101 [WRTG] WSU’s Pullman English Composition Program has used English 101 (College Composition) assessment results to guide professional development for instructors and to start conversations across campuses to increase the shared understanding of instructors about the learning outcomes and expectations for student achievement.
  • Research Services Librarians Conduct and Use Information Literacy Assessment Information Literacy, one of WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education, refers to effectively identifying, locating, evaluating, using responsibly and sharing information for the problem at hand. The nearly thirty WSU research/public services librarians, across all campuses (including fully online WSU Global), provide library instruction to faculty, students, and staff. Subject specialist librarians and departmental […]
  • Using Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI) Results to Improve UCORE Courses Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI) results provide faculty with information about students’ grasp of science literacy. Wrong answers on the SLCI reveal students’ common misconceptions about science, information which can be used to direct and improve teaching related to science literacy. For example, responses to SLCI of students in a particular course may reveal that […]
  • Using Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI) Results to Inform Decision-making at Multiple-levels Faculty have used results from the Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI) in a variety of ways to inform and improve their science literacy instruction including adapting assignments and more explicitly addressing science literacy concepts in instruction. Academic degree programs have used the data to compare students at different academic levels. At the institutional level, SLCI […]

While difficult to capture, some impacts also cumulate and contribute over time to promoting student learning at WSU and are not immediately visible:

Increasing shared faculty understanding curriculum

Assessment activities and discussion of results offer ways for faculty to think about student learning in the curriculum and how to support it most effectively in their own classes, increasing shared faculty understanding of the curriculum. For example, norming on a rubric can deepen a common understanding of particular learning outcomes among faculty, and, over time, can help focus instruction and improve communication and feedback to students.

Sowing seeds that promote faculty learning

As avenues of organizational change, dialog and collaboration within the faculty collective on assessment-related activities can stimulate faculty learning and development — which over time feeds into continual improvement of teaching and learning. Though not immediately visible, influences may include: personal transformation in thinking about a particular aspect of teaching or learning, or how learning occurs; changes to faculty motivation or attitudes; disruptions to conventional wisdom which allow faculty to re-examine an issue in the future; or building communities of practice within key courses, programs or a department.

Reference: An Integrated Model of Influence: Use of Assessment Data in Higher Education [Jonson, Guetterman, Thompson] Research and Practice in Assessment, Vol. 9, Summer 2014