Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coker College Cited in NSSE Report

Our core (liberal arts) skills assessment, which we call Faculty Assessment of Core Skills (FACS) was cited in the 2006 Annual NSSE Report.

In an innovative approach to measuring value-added learning,
the Coker College institutional research director coordinates faculty
assessments of core general education skills (FACS) of analytical
thinking, creative thinking, effective speaking, and effective
writing. Each course has rubrics to determine the levels of
achievement for areas relevant to the course. Faculty rate student
performance in these areas at the end of the term, with the
ratings being independent of grades. As expected, students’ FACS
scores increase from their first year to senior year. Individual
NSSE items related to general education outcomes positively
correlate at modest levels with FACS scores, except for the
item, “coming to class without completing assignments” which
was negatively correlated. The NSSE self-reported gain item,
“acquiring a broad general education,” correlated at .25 (p<.02) with FACS. Other relationships between FACS and NSSE items were generally in the expected direction, suggesting that engagement matters to desired learning outcomes.
You can find out more about this process, which I call Assessing the Elephant in presentations, here.

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