Essays were submitted and were assigned to instructors for evaluation (Each instructor’s class set of essays were evaluated by another instructor). Essays received a score based on a 10 point scale. See attached rubric.
Out of the 89 student responses, 77 essays received a score of 6 or higher (equivalent to the stated goal of a score of 3 or higher on a 5 point scale). Therefore, 86.5% of students completing this evaluation process met or exceeded the goal of scoring 60% or better on this assessment.
The goal for HIS 131 was successfully met.
Instructors expressed the following concerns:
The assessment tool, writing an essay, has strong support among instructors as an instrument which reflects writing skills as well as content mastery. However, inherent differences in classroom situations may naturally produce essays of ranging quality. Seated classrooms may allow for more control over responses, where online classes may allow time and information access opportunities that impact the quality of responses. This may affect the scores on the essays.
Instructors generally found the stated goal difficult to work with, as its focus is too broad for history. Typically, history instructors emphasize historiography, and spend more time on other aspects of history, including an examination of the impact of historical events on the culture at large, and attempt to connect past events with the present. In the future we would like to find a way to align the assessment goal more closely with what we teach.
Instructors would like to be informed about which classes are selected for assessment prior to the beginning of the semester, so that the assignment can be integrated into the syllabus. If an instructor teaches multiple sections of HIS 131, then other classes may not have this particular assignment, and it needs to be weighted accordingly so that students will appreciate the impact on their grade.
With the 2004-2005 assessment process, instructors attempted to apply the grading criteria of this assignment evenly across all sections, but idiosyncrasies within the HIS 131 classes prevented the essays from being weighted equally. Much effort was given to address this issue, and improvements were made over past administration of the assessment but instructors wish to continue to improve this aspect of process. The essays used for the assessment more closely represent a sample of student work rather than a reflection of what whole classes might have achieved.
The psychology assessment was given to seven randomly selected sections of Psychology 150, sections 03, 05, 12, 16, 18, 21, and 85. The average score of the 194 students who took the test was 7.18 (71.8%) and 121 (80.7%) students scored 7 or higher.