Assessment Process
Data Analysis
Contact Information

Example of rubric to grade essays--in Word, so you can manipulate to fit your needs.

Example of a rubric to grade tests in Word--so you can manipulate to fit your needs.  (Developed by Christopher Hunt, Professor in the Department of Physical Science and Engineering


Examples of Departmental Use of Results

Action a department may take after assessment

How specific courses planned to change their courses after assessment

Change syllabi to prepare students for the rigor of the course


  English 223 Children’s Literature professors decided to emphasize the intellectual rigor and copious reading in the class in the syllabus to make students “aware” that the assignments and papers would be difficult.

Revise the course outcomes to include more higher-order thinking, greater intellectual rigor, and/or sufficiency

Many courses have merged similar outcomes, omitted outcomes based on their lack of intellectual rigor, and/or added language to outcomes based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of high-order thinking.

Based on results from assessment, add or reduce certain elements of the classroom exercises

Using the equivalent of an item analysis, the DVR 005 faculty noticed that many of the questions answered incorrectly on their assessment test were answered so because students could not “unlock meaning of unknown words” based on prefixes and suffixes. Hence, the faculty will investigate how to emphasize word parts in DVR classes.

Obtain more consistency in large multi-section courses

CIS 185 noticed that consistency in multi-section courses is difficult, given that Largo, Laurel, and Metro Center campuses do not have the same resources.  Although this analysis delivers a negative truth, it also is

one worth noting.

Reduce grade inflation by linking test and course grades to mastery of all outcomes


Assessment and analysis of Math 119 showed that students’ scores on the portion of the exam that was common among all students was not predictive of their final grade.  This portion, however, did not count toward the final exam grade. Thus, it was speculated that some students did not take that part of the exam as seriously as the weighted part.

Increase contact with adjunct faculty

Math 119 instructors also suggested that the master syllabus may not communicate the timing in which certain skills ought to be taught and this would present problems, especially to adjunct instructors who are not in contact with faculty as much as full time instructors.


Explore active learning strategies and other teaching methods

In Physical Sciences 121, the instructor has:  

Ø      Changed the sequence of course topics for better flow

Ø      Introduced additional worksheets for practice on skills

Ø      Spent more time discussing processes

Ø      De-emphasized memorization


Explore other ways of assessing outcomes

The DVR 005 Developmental Reading/English faculty decided that since they encourage students to annotate their texts, the same strategy ought to be applied when students are being assessed.  Because they were not aware of this possibility, the faculty hypothesized, students did not perform to their potential.

Explore technological enhancements (labs, equipment, CD tutorial, etc.), using the assessment evidence to support a request for increased funding CIS

MGT 160 has discussed organizing and cataloguing a library or videos relevant to the course to better support visual learners.

Conduct a retreat or workshop for instructors Biology 101 examined their course and came up with a plethora of questions. Based on this analysis, the faculty desires to contact an expert in assessment to find where and how to proceed.  The faculty emphasizes that their desire to seek further help is linked to their belief in assessment and its ability to enhance student learning.

Change the assessment tool





Change the number of outcomes in the course





Identify which outcomes give students a hard time and focus on them




Examine the nature of prerequisites for courses





Among other things, like course assessment with another course to benefit students





Find that their course was successful



Correlate attendance with student performance



Find which skills faculty can focus on for the benefit of students




See flaws in the process itself



Find new venues to discuss teaching strategies






Find new technologies and strategies to increase student performance








Make the classes within the course more uniform in their requirements



Link assessment with another course and identify variables outside of the test itself for reason for student performance













Discover new ways in which material is being taught in the discipline and integrate it into the curriculum








Make the classes within the course more uniform














MATH 241 After implementing assessment, faculty in the math department discovered weaknesses in the tool used.  They are revisiting the questions asked on the tool to be sure they refer to the course outcomes and that higher-order thinking is required of students.


HST 245 Faculty suggested that the course outcomes be reduced from nine to five.  They also saw that the assessment tool used did not measure students’ knowledge of the twentieth century, and so will develop a tool that does so and reassess the course in 2005-6.  Overall weakness in student reading and writing was noted as well.


HST 141 Faculty identified a specific outcome as giving students a hard time and subsequently will increase the amount of time spent on teaching that outcome during the semester.


CIS 111 From the assessment process, CIS faculty realized that certain outcomes were not being addressed by faculty.  They also gave this course prerequisite status to ensure that students took this course before entering into higher-level CIS courses.


BIO 205 Through a pre- and post-test, Biology faculty identified which outcomes students had more knowledge of.  This assessment examined the many variables affecting student performance, including preparation, outcome requirements, and revision of course materials.  Also, faculty will link this assessment with the assessment of BIO 206 to see where improvement in the course sequence can be made.


FOS 160 Faculty reinforced that their course was meeting the standards they wanted.


BUS 122 Faculty noted that attendance and participation correlated with class grades.


ART 156 Art faculty will continue dialogue concerning the amount of guidelines available to students in their final project and the emphasis to be placed in composition requirements of photography.


PHL 127 Faculty noted that course outcomes were being met by students, but that the low number of classes offered made assessment of the course difficult.

DVE 001:

Through their analysis of results, DVE faculty discovered that students needed work on transitional devices.  They plan to devote faculty meeting time to discussion about how to better teach this skill and also to reexamine text books to ensure that that skill is addressed sufficiently.


MATH 241:

Math faculty infused critical thinking requirements in its course and its assessment.  “In our courses, a writing problem…was included in our assessment.”  Faculty also discovered that including pictorial displays of information/data to be used in solving math questions greatly increased student success rate on their questions.  Last, faculty is grappling with ways in which to improve student ability to complete the test in the allotted time. 


ENG 102:

The English department continued its discussion of English 102 and decided to require a particular amount of pages to be written by students, rather than a set number of papers.


BIO 206:

After performing an analysis between BIO 205 and 206, faculty plan to “improve learning by creating better assessment tools, revising course outcomes, and finding ways to help students overcome poor preparation.”  Faculty also noted that performance on the two outcomes central to BIO 206 was exceptionally high while the two that are covered in 205 was lower.  The results re-emphasized that the prerequisite for BIO 205 may be set too low and be the reason for low performance in that course.  Likewise, students who perform poorly in that course often do not take BIO 206, which helps to explain the high performance in that course.  The biology faculty have changed the timing of administering the post-test for BIO 205 assessment to give students time to decompress after taking their final unit exam.  Finally, the results indicated a potential need to communicate the importance of emphasizing the difference between course objectives and course outcomes to the entire faculty. 


PHY 101:

Faculty found that they needed to “incorporate more of [interactive learning] into the instruction in [their] introductory physics classes” to enhance student learning of Newtonian concepts.  To do this, the faculty is currently reviewing literature about integration of these pedagogical skills with physics classes; experimenting with a Personal Response System, which allows them “to carefully select review questions during a lecture;” and experimenting with animated demonstrations of “physics situations.”


EGL 101:

The English 101 assessment revealed that more consistency in the requirements for the research paper could be offered.  Hence, from the assessment, English 101 now requires students to write research paper with a minimum of 1200 words and at least five reliable resources.  They also allow students to document sources according to MLA, APA, or Chicago format.  Last, the assessment has lead to a change in the policy-making structure of the English department, where each course will have a standing committee responsible for overseeing any academic issues associated with that course.  One of the responsibilities of each committee will be to make recommendations for department approval about revisions in the course’s master syllabus and any materials that appear in the adjunct handbook corresponding to that course.





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Last updated: 05/02/05.