To gather evidence of student learning, faculty are encouraged to use a variety of assessment methods as means obtaining effective feedback regarding their students’ performance in their general education courses. The two commonly used assessment methods are direct and indirect.
Assessments that are based on an analysis of student behaviors and/or products in which they demonstrate how well they have mastered the knowledge and skills in the Performance Indicators for the general education SLOs. Direct assessments, whether formative or summative, quantitative, or qualitative, allow faculty to collect evidence of student learning or achievement directly from students and the works that they submit to as part of the course requirements. Examples include:
- Course and homework assignments
- Examinations and quizzes
- Oral Presentations (individual or group)
- Standardized tests
- Term papers and reports (individual or group)
- Reflection papers
- Observations of field work: Co-op/internship, service learning and clinical experience
- Research projects (individual or group)
- Case study analysis Rubric (a criterion-based rating scale) scores for writing, oral presentations, and performances
- Artistic performances and product development Grades that are based on explicit criteria related to clear learning goals
Reports of direct assessments are submitted at the end of each semester by faculty using a simple General Education Assessment Template. Click here to view the template.
Assessments that comprises analysis of reported perceptions about student mastery of learning outcomes. At OU, the general education assessment process utilizes the General Education Student Survey as a form of indirect assessment. The survey provides perspectives of student perceptions and experiences regarding acquisition of knowledge and skills in the performance indicators for the general education SLOs assessed in each general education course. In addition, the assessment process uses the General Education Faculty Survey to gather faculty perceptions regarding their pedagogical experiences embedding performance indicators for the general education SLOs in their course curriculums. Results of the indirect assessments are used to augment or supplement outcome of direct assessments.
Both surveys are deployed at least two weeks before the end of each semester. Besides incorporating outcome of analysis of both students’ and faculty general education surveys in the institutional General Education Assessment Report, data from the student survey is usually shared with faculty in each course as it provides a rich source of information that can be used for continuous improvement at the course level.