Outcomes Assessment

Use the menu to the right to find detailed program outcomes assessment information.

College Assessment Activities Operate within four major areas: General Education Assessment, Major/Program Outcomes Assessment, Continuous Improvement Assessment (CIP) and Placement Assessment. The most recent College Assessment report is available here. Below are highlights from that report.

I. Assessment of LAS Learning Goals in General Education

Consistent with the University’s promise that students will build their own intellectual adventure at ISU, the college has a distributed general education model designed to allow students to experience the habits of mind and ways of approaching intellectual tasks that are distinctive within the Arts and Humanities, Mathematical and Natural Science Disciplines and the Social Sciences. General Education Learning Goals are listed here.

General Education Course Assessment

While students have many course options within each of these general areas of study, analysis of enrollment patterns makes it clear that a key set of courses provide this intellectual breadth to a large number of ISU students. The High Enrollment CIP Report includes details about some of those larger enrollment courses within each area of learning goals and notes a current assessment project within each course.

Programmatic Assessment of ISUComm

ISUComm is Iowa State’s university-wide program that leads efforts in the teaching and assessment of the University’s Communication Proficiency requirement. The Foundation Communication courses ENGL 150 and 250 use a WOVE Pedagogy (Written, Oral, Visual and Electronic) to prepare twenty-first century communicators. The course uses rubrics to support students and the faculty who work with them to focus on the core communication competencies of multi-modal communication. Students create ePortfolios in the course. English 150 and 250 Outcomes Assessment report.

Programmatic Assessment in the Natural Sciences

Large-scale reform within the natural sciences was driven by assessment. Most striking has been the transformation of science labs from ‘recipe labs’ to inquiry labs.

Among the most important assessments for the college, in terms of general education, is the documented improvement of students on the Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry (SUSSI). In courses on the general education list, such as Astro 250, Biol 256, Geol 100L, and Chem 201L, there is clear evidence that students are making true gains. Inquiry labs and improving student understanding of the nature of science is a key part of the overall LAS goal that students experience and appreciate scientific and mathematical ways of thinking and generating knowledge.

Programmatic Assessment in Mathematics

Mathematics is another area where assessment has been a key part of curricular transformation. As a provider of general education and required coursework for many programs on campus, the Mathematics department has been focused on identifying pathways to student success. Assessment work in mathematics has led to revision of the ALEKS scores required to be placed in the appropriate math course. The Math Innovations in Instruction report has a brief summary of curricular innovations in Mathematics that have grown out of assessment work in the department.

II. LAS Learning Outcomes of Majors

Each program in the college has identified its learning outcomes for majors and established ways to assess student success. (See program links in right hand column)

Highlights of assessment work of some departments in the college:

The Greenlee School of Journalism in keeping with the expectations of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) has fully developed outcomes assessment plan. The school also annually posts results of its direct and indirect measures.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures has several programs within its purview. All of the programs are guided by the Standards for Foreign Language Learning. On its website, each language area shares the programmatic alignment to the standards and the assignments that are used in their assessment of student learning. (See Spanish 101 and 102 for an example of the programmatic alignment of course outcomes).

The Computer Science department, like the math department, has used assessment work to improve and redesign course offerings particularly for courses that are taken by many departments around the university. Recent report of Computer Science assessment activities.

III. Course Level Learning Outcomes

In Spring 2013 the LAS College began work to implement a Continuous Improvement initiative that asks high impact courses to regularly report on the results of assessment in those classes.

In June 2014, 103 LAS courses filed continuous improvement reports with the Provost Office. In June 2015, 150 LAS courses will report, and in June 2016 the assessment reporting system will be fully implemented with over 250 LAS courses making regular reports. Abbreviated summary of CIP report data.

IV. Student Success after ISU

Among the most important outcomes of a university is the success of students after graduation. The strongest feature of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences assessment of student outcomes is made visible in its annual survey of students six months after graduation.

This data is publicly available through LAS College Career Services. LAS reports contain overall college statistics as well as placement data from individual majors. In addition, each major can see a list of recent employers of graduates from their program. A five year rolling average report is also available to help smooth out information gathered from some of our smaller majors.

V. Faculty Resources to Support Assessment

Continuous Improvement Course Level Assessment Support Documents for LAS Faculty

Curriculum Mapping and Planning Guide

Example: Greenlee School Assessment Website

Assessment Commons: Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment

HLC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences SOA

Program outcome assessments

Air Force Aerospace Studies

The Department of Air Force Aerospace Studies does not offer an academic degree and is embedded within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as an inter-disciplinary program. The mission of the department is derived directly from documents governing Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC), which are issued by Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and are therefore not modifiable at our level. The overall objectives of the Department of Air Force Aerospace Studies are to provide qualified students the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer in the active duty Air Force, and to build better citizens for those not interested in joining the Air Force.

The general learning outcomes are to:

  • Understand and demonstrate a basic knowledge of the United States Air Force
  • Understand and demonstrate a basic knowledge of AFROTC
  • Understand the general aspects of air and space power from a historical perspective
  • Understand and demonstrate leadership and management skills required of an Air Force junior officer
  • Demonstrate the communications skills required of an Air Force junior officer
  • Understand the national security policy and process
  • Understand Air Force doctrine
  • Understand and demonstrate Air Force customs and courtesies

Within each general learning outcome are numerous lesson objectives.

Asessment Measures

  • Passing grade in AFAS courses
  • Formal faculty counseling sessions as to both academics and military aptitude. These sessions are conducted by members of the departmental faculty each semester. These discussions cover the entire spectrum of each student’s performance at ISU, and are designed to be a positive learning experience for the student as well as an assessment opportunity for his/her class advisor.
  • Course evaluations at end of each semester.

Anthropology

Anthropology graduates will acquire the ability that includes:

  • Develop an understanding of the processes of human cultural and biological development.
  • Acquire an appreciation of cultural and biological diversity in the past and present.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge about micro- and macro-evolutionary changes that involve the interface of the environment, organic species, and humans.
  • Demonstrate competence in using appropriate tools, laboratory equipments, and skills to study and comprehend human conducts.
  • Develop a level of empathy and sensitivity toward cross-cultural differences.
  • Develop the necessary abilities to communicate anthropological ideas to enrich the community’s cultural awareness.

Assessment Measures

  • Regular in-class examinations to assess knowledge level, skills and academic achievement relative to career/academic goals.
  • Alumni and graduating student surveys and exit interview with department chair
  • Laboratory exercises and hands-on projects.
  • Faculty-supervised independent research, internships and field experience, including ethnographic and archaeological field schools and study abroad experiences.
  • Pre- and post- student survey for capstone courses.
  • Department curriculum retains accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS).

Computer Science

This document describes the policies and procedures regarding outcomes assessment for the undergraduate program in computer science. The primary purposes are to ascertain the effectiveness of the undergraduate program and to improve the instructional process to enhance student learning. To that end, this document specifies the desired educational objectives, identifies the procedures that will be used to assess the actual outcomes of the program, and describes the manner in which the results of the assessment will be used to improve learning and instruction.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Within the context of the goals of a liberal education in the arts and sciences, as defined by the College, the educational objectives of the undergraduate program in computer science are stated as follows:

  1. Majors will acquire an education in computer science that will prepare them for life-long learning and continued professional development.
  2. Majors will learn the fundamental concepts and theories of the discipline of computer science.
  3. Through laboratory experiences, majors will apply theories to the synthesis and analysis of computing systems.
  4. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue advanced studies in computer science and/or assume professional computer science positions in business, industry, and government.

The following outcomes were formulated in Spring 2001 in response to an accreditation recommendation after a review of our program in Fall 2000. These intended outcomes quantify our educational objectives in a manner that makes them amenable to measurement and assessment.

A. Obtain an understanding of the basics of our discipline

Each graduated student should know

  1. Fundamental principles of computing,
  2. Basic foundations of mathematics, statistics, and physical sciences
  3. Design and implementation of programs.

B. Develop proficiency in the practice of computing

The graduated student should be able to

  1. Formulate and solve problems in computing,
  2. Understand design and performance requirements of software systems,
  3. Apply sound principles to the synthesis and analysis of computer systems.

C. Prepare for continued professional development

Our students should

  1. Engage in lifelong learning and expect to embrace change,
  2. Communicate effectively and think critically and creatively, both independently and with others,
  3. Be aware of social and ethical issues of computers in society.

Assessment of Intended Learning Outcomes

Several methods are used to assess the outcomes of learning and instruction to determine if departmental objectives are being achieved.

  1. Accreditation Reviews of the Undergraduate Program: The Bachelor of Science program is nationally accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB), which has now recently merged into the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The process of accreditation requires periodic external reviews of the undergraduate program by computer science educators and professionals, each review consisting of a detailed examination of the depth and breadth of the curriculum and an examination of the department/college/university infrastructure to insure effective delivery of the curriculum. The content and quality of subject matter in each course required of majors is ascertained through an examination of course descriptions, textbooks, and sample homework and examinations. From personal vitae, university data, classroom and laboratory visits, and interviews with students, faculty, advisors, and administrators, the quality of the supporting infrastructure is examined – including required supporting coursework in other disciplines, faculty resources, and laboratory space and equipment. The quality of the program is contrasted with nationally established standards for accreditation.
  2. Senior Questionnaire and Survey: For the purpose of assessing student outcomes prior to graduation, all graduating seniors are invited to complete and exit questionnaire and an outcomes assessment survey. This provides students with the opportunity to assess, from their personal learning experiences, the effectiveness of the program in achieving the objectives and their own expectations. Survey PDF
  3. Employment Data: From information derived from senior questionnaires, enhanced by information from academic advisors and the placement office, annual statistics are compiled on the number of graduating majors who have been successful in finding professional employment or have elected to continue their education with graduate studies.
  4. Student Forums: We host student forums once a semester to get valuable student input. Students are encouraged in an open, friendly manner to comment on course strengths and weaknesses and areas of concern in the curriculum. Faculty attend the forums and students have direct interactions with faculty. While the format is anecdotal rather than systematic, we find out where problems exist in a manner that we simply cannot do otherwise.
  5. Alumni Survey: Beginning in Fall 2001, an annual survey was sent to computer science alumni. This survey allows graduates, in the context of their professional experiences, to reflect on their undergraduate learning experiences and to assess the effectiveness of the undergraduate program in achieving its stated objectives. Survey forms are also given to alumni when during their campus recruitment visits. Survey PDF

Use of Outcomes Assessment Data

Assessment data gathered from all accreditation reviews, student and alumni questionnaires, student forums, and employment information are given to the department’s Undergraduate Committee and distributed to the faculty for subsequent modification of the curriculum. Summary results are shared with students and with higher administration.

Major Changes in the Curriculum (1996 – 2005)

  1. Language change in frontier programming courses to two semesters of C++ instead of first semester in Scheme and second in C++ (1996).
  2. Adoption of a Premajor program so that incoming students would be able to decide by the end of their first year whether or not they should continue in the discipline (1998).
  3. Interaction with industry (1998-99): Faculty participated in a workshop with industry professionals. The continued need for fundamentals combined with practical programming experience and the need for software engineering issues were discussed. The immediate impact was to shape two courses – 309 and 430 to address the concerns raised by industry.
  4. To keep up with changes in the discipline, new courses on object-oriented analysis and design (362), and database management systems with introduction to XML (363) were introduced in 2001. Advanced 400-level electives are continually updated to cover new concepts such as Web Services, and to improve students’ abilities in problem solving. An optional course in Linux (252) was introduced in 2003.
  5. With the objective of improving the programming experiences of students, the undergraduate committee proposed and implemented a transition to Java in the frontier programming courses, 227 and 228 (2005). A third course in C/C++ (229) is also required.
  6. Ongoing upgrades to equipment and laboratories are made on the basis of five-year equipment plans approved by the LAS College. We are currently in the last semester of the current 5-year plan and are submitting proposals for the next cycle of upgrades.
  7. The undergraduate labs have been upgraded with much faster workstations. A Terminal Server cluster gives users remote WinXP access 24/7. Additionally, our open hours have increased from 110 to 148 per week. Disk space and printing quota have been increased several folds. Future plans include faster, dual core machines and increased quotas. Number of labs will increase from 3 to 5.
  8. The LAS College has recognized and supported our need to maintain a student/TA ratio of 30:1.
  9. The institution is keenly aware of the critical space needs of the Department of Computer Science and is doing everything within its power to improve it. Since the arrival of Dr. Chang in July 2002, several news areas of Atanasoff Hall were converted into Computer Science space. In roughly a year’s time, the department will acquire an additional 9,000 square feet.
  10. A joint software engineering curriculum has been developed with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This will address the concern of improving the proficiency of our students in developing software systems.

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English

Graduates in English Education will be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to enhance academic performance and support for implementation of the school district’s student achievement goals
  • Demonstrate competence in content knowledge appropriate to their teaching position.
  • Demonstrate competence in planning and preparing for instruction.
  • Use strategies to deliver instruction that meets the multiple learning needs of students.
  • Use a variety of methods to monitor student learning.
  • Demonstrate competence in classroom management.
  • Engage in professional growth
  • Fulfill professional responsibilities established by the school district.

Bachelor’s graduates in Literary Studies will be able to

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of literature and the roles it plays in culture and the expression of culture.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relevant working language of the discipline of literary study and the ways literature is defined, described, and classified.
  • Analyze and interpret important literary texts written in English, particularly British and American literature
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literary study as a discipline that makes use of specialized terminology and involves specific multiple intellectual perspectives, various analytical strategies, research, and writing.
  • Situate literature in historical, theoretical, aesthetic, social/political, ethical, and other contexts.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of skills in reading, writing, speaking, and research that are fundamental to the disciplined study of literature
  • Demonstrate knowledge of language as constantly changing and fundamental to cultural expression.

Graduates in Rhetorical Studies will be able to:

  • Understand the history and major theories of rhetoric as an intellectual field, with particular emphasis on the relationship of rhetoric to democratic government, philosophic views of language, and the ethical and cultural dimensions of discourse.
  • Make persuasive written, oral, and visual arguments, including those for networked electronic environments.
  • Demonstrate the learning skills (e.g., research, analysis, synthesis) and rhetorical competencies (e.g., presentation, collaboration, production, assessment) essential to disciplines where success depends primarily on effective discourse.
  • Investigate the nature and practice of discourse: develop heuristics, identify arguments and evidence, analyze rhetorical situations, address ethical issues, recognize discourse restraints, analyze culturally significant documents, and justify rhetorical decisions.
  • Function as productive citizens and life-long learners.

Graduates in Technical Communication will be able to:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of specific ways in which the discipline of technical communication has emerged in the latter twentieth century, in the United States and internationally.
  • Understand, analyze, and act upon humane and ethical issues, especially as they entail decisions facing technical communicators in an increasingly complex, technological society.
  • Apply their historical and theoretical understanding necessary of the discipline to assess the impact of specific technologies upon communication within complex organizations.
  • Synthesize their strategies for problem-solving and their skills in rhetorical analysis in designing, composing, and evaluating technical documents, including those for electronic, networked environments.
  • Integrate oral, written, and visual skills to produce effective technical communication in the contemporary workplace.Master’s graduates in literature will be able to
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literature written in English and its traditions, schools, and movements, from various historical periods
  • Demonstrate knowledge of origins and major movements of modern and postmodern literary criticism.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literature’s cultural and historical contexts, with particular reference to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and linguistic difference as cultural phenomena.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of primary and secondary research in the field, and discipline-specific research skills.
  • Write persuasive expository prose about literary texts and contexts by applying close-reading, theoretical and critical methodology, and historical and cultural contextualization.
  • Speak persuasively, in both formal and informal styles, about literary texts and their contexts.

Master’s graduates in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication will be able to:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of specific ways in which the disciplines of rhetoric, composition, and professional communication have developed.
  • Analyze the appropriateness of specific technologies for meeting communication goals in the workplace or the classroom.
  • Employ critical thinking skills to solve communication problems within complex organizations and institutions.
  • Collaborate in designing, composing, and evaluating academic and professional documents, including those for networked environments.
  • Apply written, oral, visual, and electronic skills to produce effective communication in a variety of academic, professional, and civic contexts.
  • Reflect on their professional practices in a variety of contexts.

Master’s graduates in TESL/Applied Linguistics will be able to

  • Demonstrate how language is structured and used and apply this knowledge to their curricular emphasis.
  • Apply principles of second language acquisition and development.
  • Undertake research on second language learning, teaching, and use in academic, professional, and vocational contexts.
  • Understand how context – cultural, societal, political, community, situational – affects language use and learning, and apply this understanding to their curricular emphasis.
  • Understand principles and methods in second language teaching and plan and modify instruction plans in relation to second language learning principles and learner variables.
  • Use and apply a variety of technological materials in their curricular emphasis.
  • Teach and work effectively in the classroom.

Ph.D. graduates in Applied Linguistics and Technology will be able to

  • Synthesize fundamental issues and concepts in applied linguistics.
  • Use computer technology for constructing and implementing materials for teaching and assessing English.
  • Conduct empirical research and engage in critical analysis to evaluate computer applications for English language teaching and assessment.
  • Engage in innovative teaching and assessments through the use of technology.
  • Evaluate multiple perspectives on the spread of technology and its roles throughout world, particularly as they relate to English language teaching.

Ph.D. graduates in Rhetoric and Professional Communication will be able to:

  • Comprehend fundamental issues, theories, research methods, and concepts in rhetoric and professional communication.
  • Effectively use a variety of media (including oral, written, visual, and electronic) for designing and implementing communication in professional environments.
  • Analyze and critique communication in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Synthesize multiple perspectives on the value and use of rhetoric and professional communication.
  • Design and conduct research that makes a significant contribution to rhetoric and professional communication.

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International Studies

Measures

  1. Student performance in 235
  2. Student performance and portfolio in 430
  3. Foreign Language assessment (with Dept FLL)
  4. Senior/alumni survey and/or student focus groups
  5. Placement data
  6. Degree program analysis

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES MAJORS WILL:

  • Understand general factual knowledge about world economic and political systems, events, cultures, and geography.
    (1, 2, 4, 6)
  • Understand and be able to analyze the critical topics in international affairs and global issues.
    (2,4)
  • Understand interconnections between local and global issues and events
    (2,4,6)
  • Understand, interpret and articulate the major processes, theories and problems of a selected contemporary global issue.
    (2,4,5,6)
  • Understand, interpret and articulate the major culture, values and issues of a selected geographical area.
    (2,4,5,6)
  • Be able to read, write and speak a language other than their native language at an intermediate level.
    (3,6)
  • Effectively communicate with persons of cultures than their own.
    (4,6)
  • Appreciate the impact of their own cultural and educational experience on their perception of the world.
    (4)
  • Become effective citizens through knowledge and comparison of the cultures and issues of the United States and those of other states and peoples.
    (4,5)

Matrix (PDF)

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Mathematics

Mathematics graduates demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of fundamental methods of calculus and differential equations
  • Knowledge of fundamental methods of advanced algebra
  • Understanding of mathematical methods for problem-solving
  • Ability to prove theorems and to reason logically
  • Communication skills using mathematics
  • Awareness of the breadth of mathematics
  • Ability and desire to apply mathematics outside the classroom

In addition, mathematics graduates obtaining secondary certification to teach mathematics understand and demonstrate

  • Knowledge of methods for teaching mathematics

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome:
Knowledge of fundamental methods of calculus and differential equations
Relevant courses: Math 165, 166, 265, 266, 267, 414, 415
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Survey of Math 415 instructors
  • Grades in relevant courses

Outcome: Knowledge of fundamental methods of advanced algebra
Relevant courses: Math 301, 302, 307, 317
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Survey of Math 302 instructors
  • Grades in relevant courses

Outcome: Understanding of mathematical methods for problem-solving
Relevant courses: All courses
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey

Outcome: Ability to prove theorems and to reason logically
Relevant courses: Math 201, 301, 302, 304, 314, 317, 331, 350, 414, 415
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Number of graduates who attend graduate school in mathematics or related disciplines
  • Grades in relevant courses

Outcome: Communication skills using mathematics
Relevant courses: Math 201, 492; English 314
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Survey of Math 492 instructors
  • Grades in Math 201 and 492

Outcome: Awareness of the breadth of mathematics
Relevant courses: All 300 and 400 level mathematics classes
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey

Outcome: Ability and desire to apply mathematics outside the classroom
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Number of majors who obtain employment or research experience in mathematics while undergraduates (e.g., internships or research at a university or national lab)
  • Number of graduates who obtain jobs in industry or government using mathematics

Outcome: Knowledge of methods for teaching mathematics
Relevant courses: Math 297, 497
Assessment:

  • Mathematics senior surveys or interviews
  • Mathematics alumni survey
  • Number of majors who obtain secondary certification to teach mathematics
  • Grades in relevant courses

CHANGES BASED ON RESULTS 1994-2005

  1. In recent catalogs, the requirements for a Mathematics major have included the requirement of 15 additional credits from mathematics courses at the 300 level or above, including 6 credits from the courses Math 341, Math 365, Math 471, and Math 481. This requirement has been simplified for the 2005-07 catalog to require merely 15 additional credits from mathematics courses at the 300 level or above. Student feedback to advisers had indicated that the special list of four courses was burdensome to some majors, whose interests and needs did not overlap with those four courses. The students most strongly affected were those interested in discrete mathematics and those seeking certification to teach at the secondary level.
  2. The order of topics in the basic calculus sequence (Calculus I, Calculus II, and Calculus III) has been changed to be more in line with the order of topics in those courses at other colleges and universities and in most textbooks. The change in order was in part a response to difficulties faced by transfer students, whose calculus classes as taken elsewhere did not match those available here.
  3. The 2003-05 catalog recommends two years of French, German, or Russian for students contemplating graduate study in mathematics. In accordance with current practices and because of difficulties faced by majors (for whom only one year of a foreign language is required), we have changed the recommendation in the 2005-07 catalog to only a reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian.
  4. Students seeking secondary certification to teach mathematics are now being required to take Math 297. The new requirement is the result of feedback from instructors in Curriculum and Instruction and from students reacting to their student-teaching experiences. The feedback suggested that prospective elementary school teachers taking Math 195, 196, and/or 297 were much more comfortable and skilled when they performed student-teaching (LAS 417) than were the students seeking secondary certification.

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Military Science

The Military Science Department does not offer an academic degree and is embedded within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as an inter-disciplinary program. The mission of the department is derived directly from regulations governing Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (AROTC), which are issued by the Army Cadet Command and Army Training and Doctrine Command and cannot be modifiable by this department. Intended learning outcomes are derived from the following mission statement:

AROTC is an elective curriculum. AROTC prepares students with the tools, training and experience that will help them succeed in any competitive environment. Students have a normal college experience like other students on campus, but when they graduate they will be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. Being an officer in the U.S. Army means they are a leader, a counselor, a strategist and a motivator. It’s similar to being a vital manager in a corporation. As an officer, they will lead other soldiers in all situations and adjust in environments that are always changing. They are driven to achieve success with their team on every mission. Army ROTC is one of the Nation’s top leadership programs.

Army ROTC is divided into two main courses (Basic and Advanced).

Basic Course. The Basic Course takes place during the first two years in college as elective courses. It normally involves one elective class and lab each semester. Students learn basic military skills, the fundamentals of leadership and start the groundwork toward becoming an Army leader. Students can take Army ROTC Basic Courses without a military commitment.

Freshmen Year: Learning Outcomes. Have a working knowledge of the following areas: The Role of the Army, Roles and Origins of the Army, Army Customs and Traditions, Branches (Jobs) in the Army and Military Operations and Tactics. Classes: MS 101 Introduction to Military Science, MS 101L Basic Leadership laboratory, MS 102 The United Stated Defense Establishment, MS 102L Basic Leadership laboratory.

Sophomore Year: Learning Outcomes. Have a working knowledge of the following areas: The Role of an Officer, Role of the Officer and Noncommissioned Officer, communications, code of conduct, first aid, principles of war and military operations and tactics. Classes: MS 201 Principles of Leadership, MS 201L Basic Leadership laboratory, MS 202 Map Reading and Land Navigation, MS 202L Basic Leadership laboratory, MS 290 Independent Study.

Advance Course. The Advanced Course takes place during the last two years in college as elective courses. It normally includes one elective class and lab each semester, plus a summer leadership course. Students learn advanced military tactics and gain experience in team organization, planning and decision-making. Entering the Advanced Course requires a commitment to serve as an Officer in the U.S. Army after graduation.

Junior Year: Learning Outcomes. Have a working knowledge of the following areas: Small Unit Training, Command and Staff Functions, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare, Law of War, Weapons, Human Behavior, Math Reasoning, Computer Science and Military Operations and Tactics. Classes: MS 301 Methods of instructing Military Science, MS 301L Advanced Leadership laboratory, MS 302 Small Unit Tactics, MS 302L Advanced Leadership laboratory.

Leader Development and Assessment Course. Every Army ROTC Cadet who enters into the Advanced Course attends the Leader Development and Assessment Course. It’s a four-week summer course to evaluate and train all Army ROTC Cadets. This course normally takes place between your junior and senior years of college, and is conducted at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Senior Year: Learning Outcomes. Have a working knowledge of the following areas: Transition to Becoming an Officer, Military Justice, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare, Army Personnel Management, Army Logistics, Post and Installation Support and Military Operations and Tactics. Classes MS 401 The Military Team, MS 401L Advanced Leadership laboratory, MS 402 Seminar: The Professional Officer, MS 402L Advanced Leadership laboratory, MS 490 Independent Study.

Measures used:

    • Feedback is collected from course critiques (After Action Reviews) and instructor evaluations.
    • The AROTC program has a senior class (officer cadets) led group (staff) that applies leadership concepts and principles learned in the military science courses. Throughout the semester, this student led staff assists in the development of topics for leadership lab and is instrumental in execution of these tasks under supervision from faculty. Normally weekly meetings are held by both the student staff and by the faculty to adjust and improve leadership lab periods. To assist in student’s development as military leaders and to better understand how the U.S. Army operates cadets (students) are placed in leadership positions that mirror to some extent the U.S. Army. They include: Battalion Commander. The Battalion Commander is responsible for everything that goes on throughout the cadet battalion. The commander supervises the efficient functioning of the staff and subordinate commanders to ensure that missions assigned to the cadet battalion are performed in a professional manner. This is accomplished by issuing guidance and monitoring the execution of assigned tasks. The commander also conducts weekly cadet staff meetings to determine progress on projects, updates the staff with any new guidance, briefs the Professor of Military Science on the progress of cadet functions, and reports on the status of projects at least weekly.

      Battalion Executive Officer
      . Coordinating the cadet staff is the responsibility of the executive officer. This officer prepares the staff for and runs all staff meetings, ensuring that the staff has a well-thought out plan, and, in accordance with the cadet battalion commander’s guidance, presents a coordinated and effective plan. The executive officer represents the commander in his or her absence and attends weekly meetings between the battalion commander and Professor of Military Science.

      Command Sergeant Major. The Sergeant Major assists and advises the commander and is responsible for forming the unit, taking the report, and putting out information at all formations (physical training, inspections, laboratory, parades, etc.) He or she coordinates the activities of the cadet color guard and works closely with the cadre’s senior noncommissioned officer.

      Battalion Personnel Officer (S1). The adjutant is responsible for all personnel administration and all of the cadet battalion’s personnel matters. Publishing cadet orders, maintaining cadet files, recording the minutes of cadet staff meetings, and coordinating public affairs activities are other duties of the adjutant. He or she updates the chain of command, assigns cadets enrolled in the ROTC program (both contracted and non-contracted) to the cadet companies each semester, and disseminates this information to all cadets. The adjutant coordinates directly with the cadre enrollment and marketing officer and briefs the personnel portion of operations orders and staff briefings.

      Battalion Operations Officer (S3). The operations officer is responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the execution of all training and operations of the cadet battalion. He of she coordinates directly with the cadre training officer and prepares and briefs operations or mission orders.
      Battalion Logistics Officer S4. The logistical support for all cadet activities is coordinated by the logistics officer. In addition, this office coordinates directly with the cadre supply sergeant and executive officer and briefs the logistics portion/annex of operation orders.

      Battalion Civil Affairs Officers (S5). This officer is responsible for coordinating all cadet recruiting and retention activities and coordinates directly with the cadre enrollment and marketing officer for guidance and missions.

      Company Tactical Officers. The Head TAC Officer is the primary trainer for all MSIIIs attending LDAC. He/she develops the Leadership Opportunity Matrix, ensuring that all MSIIIs receive equitable leadership opportunities by position, and coordinates all PLT. TAC assignments while personally evaluating the XO and CO for the rotation. He/she also closely monitors the evaluation process and coordinates with cadre to ensure all evaluations are properly recorded.

 

  • The Military Science Department Chair holds meetings with all the officer led staff almost weekly to discuss issues pertaining to the AROTC program requirements.

Student performance evaluations.

  • Twice a semester performance counseling is conducted on each cadet by faculty.
  • Throughout the semester during class time and field operations, officer cadets evaluate junior cadets through a (blue card) detailed process that covers numerous leadership traits.

Academic performance evaluations.

  • Overall ISU course grades (Term and Cumulative).
  • Military Science grades.

Army Physical Fitness / Health.

  • Army Physical Fitness Test totals (Push ups, Sit ups, 2 Mile Run).
  • Health Fitness. Qualified for military service as outlined by the Department of Defense Medical Evaluation Review Board (DoDMERB).

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Music

OUTCOMES

Music graduates will understand and demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of music cultural heritage and history
  • Appreciation for musical creativity, reasoning, and the aesthetic value of music
  • Knowledge of organization and structures of music
  • Analytical skills necessary for listening, performing, and teaching
  • Skills necessary to perform music from a variety of periods, styles, and genres
  • Necessary abilities to communicate musically, verbally and in writing
  • Awareness of diversity of musical ideas throughout the world’s cultures
  • For Music Education students: Success in meeting ISU teaching standards

ASSESSMENT MEASURES

  • Continuation Examination taken at the end of the sophomore year, to assess performance and academic achievement relative to career/academic goals
  • Alumni and Graduating Student Surveys
  • Exit Interview with the department chair
  • Regular assessment of public performances (semester juries, ensemble concerts)
  • Senior final project (solo recital, composition recital)
  • For Music education students – Student teaching, lab band/lab choir and other practicum experiences, and successful completion of music education interview/review and portfolio
  • Music Department curriculum retains accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #1
: Knowledge of music cultural heritage and history
Relevant Course: Required music history courses
Assessment: Passing grades on core courses*, Graduating Student Surveys, Exit Interview, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #2: Appreciation for musical creativity, reasoning, and the aesthetic value of music
Relevant Course: Required theory, history, and performance courses
Assessment: Passing grades on core courses*, public performances, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #3: Knowledge of organization and structures of music
Relevant Course: Required theory courses
Assessment: Passing grades on core courses*, Continuation Examination, Graduating Student Surveys, Exit Interview, public performances, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #4: Analytical skills necessary for listening, performing, and teaching
Relevant Course: Required aural skills, pedagogy, performance, and music education courses
Assessment: Passing grades on core courses*, Continuation Examination, public performances, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #5: Skills necessary to perform music from a variety of periods, styles, and genres
Relevant Course: Required performance courses
Assessment: Public performances including the Continuation Examination, semester juries, and the Senior Recital, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #6: Necessary abilities to communicate musical ideas to enrich the community’s cultural consciousness
Relevant Course: Required performance courses
Assessment: Passing grades on performance courses*, public performances, NASM review**

ASSESSMENT METRICS

Outcome #7: Awareness of diversity of musical ideas within European and non-European musical cultures
Relevant Course: Music 120, concert listening and seminar requirements
Assessment: Passing grade on Music 120*, NASM review**

Other Assessment Comments

*Course Evaluations Faculty distribute student course evaluations for all courses at the end of every semester. Student comments on these evaluations are considered by faculty when planning course and curricular revisions. The comments are also included in faculty portfolios for review by peers and the department chair during annual performance reviews.

**NASM review All of the outcomes expectations listed above are part of the standards assessed in the NASM review. The department wrote a Self-Study in 2003 documenting how the program meets these standards and other areas reviewed by NASM. We hosted two NASM visitors in October 2003. Their report and an optional response from the department were submitted for consideration by the NASM Commission on Accreditation for the June 2004 meeting. The Commission voted to continue the department as a fully accredited member of NASM, indicating that all standards were being met.

Results:

  1. Graduating student surveys indicate that students feel adequately prepared by the breadth of their studies at ISU for graduate study in music or for careers (especially in teaching). Overall comments in senior exit interviews are very positive. Students generally supported changes made recently in piano, music theory, and history classes.
  2. 87% of students who took their Continuation Exams during spring semester 2004 passed the performance (repertory) section of the exam. Two were required to perform again on a jury or recital before being considered for Music 319. 33% were required to repeat the sight-reading portion of the exam.
  3. The Music program is accredited by NASM.
  4. When asked if any courses currently required should not be required, 93% of recent graduates responded that all required courses were important.
  5. When asked if any courses should be added to the program, 1/3 of the students in music education suggested adding or strengthening the methods courses.

Program change based on results:

  1. Core courses in the music history and music theory sequences have been revised recently.
  2. Additional diversity requirements will be added beginning in fall 2004 as part of concert and seminar attendance requirements.
  3. Piano proficiency expectations have been strengthened.
  4. A review of methods courses will be undertaken in 2004-5.
  5. Policies for the continuation exam have been tightened, with clear guidelines and published deadlines being enforced.

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Learning Outcomes

The Department of Naval Science does not offer an academic degree and is embedded within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as an inter-disciplinary program. The mission of the department is derived directly from documents governing Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), which are issued by the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) and are therefore not modifiable at our level. Intended learning outcomes are derived from the following mission statement:

“To develop midshipmen mentally, morally, and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage, and commitment in order to commission college graduates as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.”

Also influencing intended learning outcomes are the primary objectives of the NROTC program, which are to provide the students with:

  1. An understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of naval science.
  2. A basic understanding of associated professional knowledge.
  3. An appreciation of the requirements for national security.
  4. A strong sense of personal integrity, honor, and individual responsibility.
  5. An educational background which will allow the NROTC students to perform successfully in later periods of their careers, advanced/continuing education in a field of application, and interest to the naval service.
  6. A high state of physical fitness for the purpose of health and performance.

Specifically, the intended learning outcomes are addressed as Professional Core Competencies (PCCs) and encompass seven broad categories. These areas are further divided into subordinate elements that expand on major domains of knowledge accumulation which a naval officer should acquire by the time of graduation from the NROTC program. An inclusive summary of each major competency follows:

  1. Academic Preparation
    This area outlines the requirement for an accredited baccalaureate degree which incorporates certain specified courses. The choice of academic major is free except where governed otherwise by institutional requirements. These course requirements, along with other competencies listed in parts b through f, form the foundation of knowledge needed to assume the technical, managerial, and leadership duties associated with an officer’s commission.
  2. Leadership and Management
    This competency area covers the specific basic levels of knowledge of moral and ethical behavior, organizational design, goal-setting, decision-making, and objective attainment needed to function as a leader and manager. Theories of leadership, motivation, and group dynamics are prominently featured.
  3. Orientation and Naval Science
    This section covers a broad spectrum of competencies required of a newly commissioned naval officer, including: customs and traditions, organization of the Armed Forces and the Navy Department, missions of ships and aircraft, capabilities of weapon systems, warfare doctrines, communications, division officer administration, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and legal aspects, and many other subjects.
  4. Sea Power and Maritime Strategy
    This section addresses the newly commissioned officer’s requirement for understanding the role of naval forces in national policy formulation and strategies. Specific competency statements address historical evolution of sea power, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps history, Naval missions and the impact of third world development and terrorism. The current U. S. maritime strategy is included. Additionally, the evolution of land warfare and more specific coverage of amphibious warfare development are included.
  5. Technical Foundations
    Competencies in this section require the newly commissioned officer to comprehend quantitative mathematical and scientific problem-solving systems. Competency statements by implication require solution of basic problems related to the principles and theories covered. Coverage includes: Thermodynamic laws, propulsion systems, electrical power generation/distribution, electromagnetic wave theory and application, sound in water, ship design/stability, and fluid/aerodynamics
  6. Shipkeeping, Navigation, and Seamanship
    The competency statements in this section address the traditional nautical science base. Specific areas include: seamanship, small boats, damage control, shiphandling, relative motion, formations, rules of the road, laws of the sea and navigation.
  7. Personal and Personnel Excellence and Fitness
    This section contains competency requirements for demonstration of physical fitness and swimming readiness on the part of newly commissioned officers. It also covers the officer leadership role in current Navy and Marine Corps fitness and wellness programs such as tobacco use prevention/cessation, weight control, stress management, suicide awareness, drug and alcohol abuse and drug detection programs.

Assessment Program

Assessment of student performance, in terms of both academics and military aptitude, includes numerous formal and informal modalities; highlighted as follows:

  1. Peer counseling as to military aptitude performance. These counseling sessions are conducted near the end of each semester, and are designed to provide each student with a candid assessment of his performance in a military leadership position within the student company during the preceding 15-18 weeks. Military aptitude strengths and weaknesses displayed are frankly discussed with each student by at least two of his peers who have been observing him from senior leadership positions. A formal report is then filed with the departmental faculty for their use in subsequent counseling sessions.
  2. Formal faculty counseling sessions as to both academics and military aptitude. These sessions are conducted by members of the departmental faculty at the beginning and mid-term of each semester. Assessment tools include the aforementioned peer performance assessments, to which the faculty member appends his own comments, as well as student grade cards and other official correspondence generated within the department and received from external sources. These discussions cover the entire spectrum of each student’s performance at ISU, and are designed to be a positive learning experience for the student as well as an assessment opportunity for his/her class advisor. Notes are taken and kept on these sessions to allow outcome progress, or lack thereof, to be charted as the student advances through the department enroute to graduation/commissioning.
  3. Performance review boards are convened as required for those students assessed as in need of remediation. These boards consist of faculty representation from both the Naval Science Department and other colleges within the university, and are designed to be an intensive counseling experience which will hopefully alter poor performance on the part of selected students. Review boards are convened at the start of each semester, and may discuss either academic or military aptitude deficiencies as assessed by the departmental faculty.
  4. “Summer cruise” evaluations, submitted by host Navy/Marine Corps agencies upon completion of military internships. The NROTC summer training program involves the bulk of the students enrolled in the NROTC program, and amounts to an internship in military leadership. Most students will be evaluated during three separate summers, by three different organizations, all of whom are tasked to submit formal assessments of the performance of their charges. These assessments are shared with the students shortly after completion of their training, and are used as indicators as to the probability of successful service after graduation.In addition to these formal assessments of student progress and outcomes, there are numerous informal occasions in which assessment is conducted; each student enrolled in the NROTC program has an extensive personnel file which contains comments, assessment reports and other evaluative documentation designed to provide an effective predictor of success.

Measures

  1. Student performance evaluations, to include:
    • semester leadership evaluations
    • summer cruise evaluations
  2. Academic performance reports, to include
    • course grades
    • term/cumulative grade point averages
    • SAT/ACT scores
  3. Membership in national honoraries, to include
    • ROTC honoraries
    • general scholastic honoraries
  4. Student counseling/interview sessions, to include
    • entry questionnaires
    • Commanding Officer’s interviews
    • class advisor interviews
  5. Internal/external reviews, to include
    • triennial NETC evaluation
    • ISU academic program review
    • instructor evaluations
    • student feedback on course content

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Performing Arts

Performing Arts graduates will understand and demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of theatrical cultural heritage and history
  • Appreciation of the great variety within the field and its practitioners.
  • Knowledge of organization and structure of dramatic literature and its relationship to production
  • Performance skills in one area of the performing arts (acting, directing, design, dance)
  • Skills needed to appreciate and assess the wide range of performance styles in Theatre, Music and Dance
  • Necessary abilities to communicate and collaborate with other performing artists
  • Awareness of the diversity of ideas within European and non European theatrical cultures.

Assessment Measures

  • Auditions for productions
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • Regular assessment of performance in rehearsals and productions
  • Internships
  • Graduating senior survey
  • Exit Interview with the professor-in-charge of theatre

Assessment Metrics

Outcome #1: Knowledge of theatrical cultural heritage and history

Relevant Course: History of Theatre I and II (Theatre 465 and 466) required for majors
Assessment: Student course evaluations; exit interviews; passing grades in the class
Results: Student course evaluations show that these courses are ranked as 4.25 and 4.11in a five-point scale on “Amount learned in class.” Students speak highly of the course in exit interviews calling it “difficult, but I learned a lot.”
Program change based on results: Revision of courses over the last two years. Dr. Stone in his teaching of this class over the last two years has greatly raised the evaluations of what once was ranked by students as their least liked required theatre course.

Outcome #2: Appreciation of the great variety within the field and its practitioners.

Relevant Course: All required design and performance classes; independent study credits; work on productions (which can also be used for credit). African-American Theatre Production (Theatre 252) and World Theatre Workshop (Theatre 393)
Assessment: Passing grades; public performances; exit interviews
Results: Almost all classes are full every semester; students have often said they learn
best through a combination of classroom and independent study, both in terms of research and production work.
Program change based on results: Attempt to give students more responsibilities earlier in their college career. Encouragement of independent study projects with appropriate faculty member.

Outcome #3: Knowledge of organization and structure of dramatic literature and its relationship to production

Relevant Course: Script analysis (Theatre 263). Required of all majors.
Assessment: Course evaluations; passing grades; level of knowledge shown in other class and production work.
Results: This course has consistently received a ranking of over 4.00 on a five point scale. In other classes and production work, students appear to have a good groundwork after taking this class.
Program change based on results: Attempt in the class to cover a broader range of genres and how these relate to direction, design, and performance.

Outcome #4: Performance skills in one area of the performing arts (acting, directing, design, dance)

Relevant Course: All courses required by each emphasis listed above.
Assessment: Course evaluations; exit interviews; conversations with students about each emphasis.
Results: The design emphasis needs more courses in each design area (scenic, costume, lighting); dance needs more courses at a higher level (especially 300 level and above).
Program change based on results: This change is being implemented as much as possible considering the position lost due to budget cuts. Dance is working at a disadvantage with only two faculty members. It would be helpful if someday an additional dance position could be obtained for theatre.

Outcome #5: Skills needed to appreciate and assess the wide range of performance styles in Theatre, Music and Dance

Relevant Course: All courses in each emphasis, especially the acting sequence (Theatre 251, 351, 451), the directing sequence (Theatre 455 and 456), the design sequence (Theatre 365, 366, and 461) and dance courses in any of the genres (ballet, modern, tap, ballroom, etc.)
Assessment: Course evaluations, exit interviews, passing grades in classes, public performance
Results: Course evaluations are very high in these areas, often above 4.50 on a 5.00 scale. Many positive comments are written on the forms. Public performance and independent study reflects well on the variety of performance styles achieved by students. Awards have been won in the Regional American College Theatre Festival and the American College Dance Festival (an eight-state region) in each of the areas listed above.
Program change based on results: The program is better preparing students for participation in these festivals and programs. An effort will be made to continue the emphasis on knowledge of a range of performance styles.

Outcome #6: Necessary abilities to communicate and collaborate with other performing artists

Relevant Course: Required performance and design classes. Independent studies.
Assessment: Production work (both performance and design) Guest artists brought in to individually work with students. Students work on productions with guest artists, faculty members, and their peers. Talk-backs after each production to determine strengths and weaknesses; faculty and student participation in scene and design work.
Results: Some productions are stronger than others. The goal is to have all productions strong. Individual faculty/student mentoring is implemented to help strengthen design and performance.
Program change based on results: Since faculty/student mentoring appears to be helpful, more of this will be implemented with the intent of improving performances for patrons.

Outcome #7: Awareness of the diversity of ideas within European and non-European theatrical cultures.

Relevant Course: African-American Theatre Production (Theatre 252); World Theatre Workshop (Theatre 393); Script Analysis (Theatre 263)
Assessment: Course evaluations; passing grades; exit interviews.
Results: These courses were seen as valuable and important by the students.
Program change based on results: The program had to cut this position to 1/3 time and it will be difficult to offer the first two classes listed above on a regular basis. The program will work to again fund a full time position in this area.

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Philosophy

Upon graduation, philosophy majors should be able to do the following.

A. Content outcomes

  • Distinguish some of the major areas of philosophy (e.g., ethics, social and political philosophy, esthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, history of philosophy, logic, and philosophy of: language, mind, science, physics, biology, social science, history, economics, law, mathematics) from each other by identifying the major questions addressed in each area.
  • Explain the gist of the views of some historically important philosophers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, de Beauvoir) and the main ideas underlying some major philosophical movements and positions (e.g., realism, nominalism, idealism, rationalism, empiricism, materialism, logical positivism, feminism, existentialism).
  • Use some basic philosophical vocabulary, distinctions, and concepts (e.g., sentences/propositions, analytic/synthetic, truth/justification, valid/sound, implication/implicature, positive/negative rights, consequentialism/deontology).
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of symbolic logic and its applications to critical thinking contexts.

B. Critical thinking outcomes

  • Read texts actively rather than passively: ask clarification questions, disagree with the author by raising objections, attempt to improve the author’s reasoning, and integrate the text with prior knowledge.
  • Analyze argumentative passages: identify arguments and subarguments, formulate them in standard (i.e., premise/conclusion) form, and evaluate them in terms of soundness (including deductive validity) and cogency (including inductive strength).
  • Identify common reasoning fallacies.

C. Writing/discussing outcomes

  • Write an argumentative paper that defends a thesis, raises objections, and replies to the objections.
  • Participate in a philosophical discussion by defending a thesis and replying rationally to the other participants.
  • Write/present a summary of a philosophical text.
  • Write/talk clearly, precisely, and concisely.
  • Locate bibliographic sources relevant to a philosophical position and assess the quality of the sources. (For details see the document: How to locate bibliographic sources in philosophy.)

D. Attitudinal outcomes

  • Explain how and why some philosophical views are better justified than others (i.e., philosophy is not merely a matter of opinion).
  • Explain how and why some of their most cherished views may be mistaken.
  • Habitually seek and address objections to their own views.
  • Habitually interpret arguments opposed to their own views in a charitable way.
  • Explain the complexity of real-world ethical and social issues, and evaluate such issues from more than one point of view.

Assessment Measurement.

To measure the extent to which the learning outcomes for the philosophy major are achieved, the following four instruments are used.

  • Philosophy Outcomes Test. This is a primarily multiple-choice 30-minute test which comes in three approximately equivalent versions. It addresses every single learning outcome for the philosophy major, and it is administered both to philosophy majors and to a control group of other ISU students.
  • Graduating Senior Survey. This is a primarily open-ended questionnaire which asks graduating philosophy seniors to evaluate their experiences in the philosophy program and to propose improvements.
  • Graduating Senior Focus Groups. All graduating philosophy seniors are required to participate in a group discussion with the aims of evaluating their experiences in the philosophy program and of proposing improvements.
  • Alumni Survey. This is a primarily open-ended questionnaire which asks alumni to evaluate their experiences in the philosophy program in the context of their “real-world” experiences. It is sent to alumni approximately two years after they graduate.

Data Collection

Outcomes assessment data are collected in four steps during each fall and spring term.

  • At the beginning of the term, the Alumni Survey is sent to those alumni who have graduated approximately two years ago. Reminders are sent about one and two months later to those alumni who have not yet responded.
  • During the first week of classes, Version 1 of the Philosophy Outcomes Test is administered to the students in one large section of Philosophy 201 and in one large section of Philosophy 230 (approximately 100 students each). These sections, which normally include graduating seniors who are not philosophy majors, serve to provide control groups.
  • During the course of the term, the Graduating Senior Survey course (an R-credit course, required for graduation but carrying 0 semester credit for academic purposes) meets exactly once. During that meeting each graduating philosophy senior participates in a group discussion and takes both the Graduating Senior Survey and Version 3 the Philosophy Outcomes Test.
  • During the course of the term, each student who comes to the departmental secretary to sign up as a philosophy major is administered on the spot by the secretary Version 2 of the Philosophy Outcomes Test.

Data processing and resulting curriculum improvements

Shortly after the end of each academic year, the outcomes assessment committee performs the following data processing tasks.

  • The committee reads the responses to the Graduating Senior Survey and to the Alumni Survey that became available during the academic year and compiles three lists, containing respectively the most important (1) perceived strengths of the philosophy program, (2) perceived weaknesses of the philosophy program, and (3) suggestions for curriculum improvements. In the compilation of these lists the committee takes also into account the discussions in the Graduating Senior Focus Groups.
  • The committee compares the scores of graduating philosophy seniors on the version of the Philosophy Outcomes Test that they were administered shortly before graduating (namely Version 3) with their scores on the version of the test that they were administered when they signed up as philosophy majors (namely Version 2).
  • The committee compares the scores of graduating philosophy seniors and graduating non-philosophy seniors on the Philosophy Outcomes Test. More specifically: for each learning outcome and each term of the academic year, the committee computes (1) the average of the outcome-related scores of all philosophy seniors who were administered Version 3 of the Philosophy Outcomes Test during the given term, and compares it to (2) the average of the outcome-related scores of all graduating non-philosophy majors who were administered Version 1 of the Philosophy Outcomes Test during the given term.

On the basis of the results of the above data processing tasks, at the beginning of each academic year the committee presents to the philosophy faculty a list of proposed curriculum improvements.

Recent program changes due to outcomes assessment
The philosophy program used to conduct exit interviews of graduating seniors. (These interviews have been replaced with the Graduating Senior Focus Groups, conducted in the context of the Graduating Senior Survey course.) In response to feedback received from such exit interviews, the philosophy program changed its requirements for the philosophy major in 2002. The number of required courses was reduced and area requirements were changed, making it easier for philosophy majors to graduate in four years while at the same time giving them an opportunity to focus their studies in a chosen area. These changes have contributed to about 50% increase in the number of philosophy majors since 2002.

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Political Science

Political Science majors will…

  • Understand the nature of politics, public values, and the institutions and processes of politics in their various forms.
  • Understand and be able to interrelate the leading theories, literature, and approaches in the subfields of American Government, political theory and methods, international relations, and comparative politics.
  • Be able to analyze and formulate effective argumentation in written and oral forms, including
    • The ability to appreciate and accommodate diverse political ideas
    • The ability to collect and critique information in ideas of others in support of original arguments.
  • Appreciate the knowledge and civic responsibilities required for effective participation in political life.

MEASUREMENTS

  • Degree Program profiles
  • “Imbedded Skills” curriculum analysis
  • Alumni Surveys
  • Senior Survey
  • Senior Focus Group
  • External reviews
  • Placement data
  • LSAT scores
  • Advanced Writing Assessment (Pol S 395)

CHANGES BASED ON RESULTS 1994-2004

  • Orientation course added, introducing students to discipline, career applications, and degree program opportunities.
  • Pol S 495 was changed from a “Senior Seminar” to “Capstone Project in Political Science” to provide additional opportunities for students to participate in service learning and research experiences.
  • Added Pol S 491x “Senior Thesis” introduced to provide opportunities for advanced research for students intending to pursue graduate study. Course is proposed as permanent offering for 2005-07 catalog.
  • Added Pol S 395, “Advanced Writing in Political Science” as a major requirement to evaluate students’ research and/or argumentative writing skills within the major.
  • Participation in internships increased from 21% to 39% in cohorts studied.
  • Participation in study abroad programs increased from 7% to 22% in cohorts studied.
  • Four year graduation rate among Pol S graduates entering ISU as freshmen (regardless of major at entry) increased from 36% to 54% in cohorts studied.
  • Placement of Political Science graduates significantly broadened in scope in cohorts studied, with a significant decrease in private sector employment and gains in public and non-profit sector employment.

Martix (PDF)

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Psychology

  • Intended outcome: Know and understand fundamental and detailed principles and facts of psychology.
    Measures: Psychology alumni survey ; ISU senior survey.
  • Intended outcome: Write and speak effectively in the discourse of psychology.
    Measures: Psychology alumni survey ; ISU senior survey.
  • Intended outcome: Appreciate and respect others and their differences
    Measures: Psychology alumni survey ; ISU senior survey.
  • Intended outcome: Know and apply methods of finding and evaluating principles and facts of psychology.
    Measures: Psychology alumni survey ; ISU senior survey.
  • Intended outcome: Think scientifically about human activity and mental processes.
    Measures: ISU senior survey
  • Intended outcome: Understand all research methods used in psychology and their products.
    Measures: Participation rates in Psych 491 (research practicum); Alumni survey.
  • Intended outcome: Appreciate the ethical practice of psychology.
    Measures: Participation rates in Psych 492 (applied practicum); Alumni survey.
  • Intended outcome: Know and apply knowledge and skills supporting employment in a position relating to psychology.
    Measures: Placement Service Reports.
  • Intended outcome: Know and apply knowledge and skills supporting graduate and professional education in psychology.
    Measures: GRE Advanced Psychology test.

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Religious Studies

1. Outcomes:

Religious studies majors will understand and demonstrate:

  • clear writing and thinking skills
  • basic comprehension of the world’s religious traditions
  • relationships between religious traditions and social issues
  • appropriate research techniques for understanding religious traditions
  • students will show profiency in the following core areas:
    • Western Religious Traditions
    • Asian Religious Traditions
    • Indigenous Religious Traditions
    • Religion in North America
    • Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

2-3. Measurement

  • Multiple choice test. We can administer a short multiple choice test to students in Relig 205, and these tests would be a baseline measurement. We would administer the same or a similar test to graduating seniors to assess learning.
  • Interviews. We will conduct structured interviews with graduating seniors that will provide a wealth of insight not usually accessible through papers and examinations. We will be able to determine what students think they were supposed to accomplish and whether they feel they have and then we will be able to compare student/alumni impressions with faculty goals

4. Results of Assessment

Data from the tests and interviews will help us adjust our curriculum so that students best achieve the desired outcomes.

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Sociology

Sociology graduates will understand and demonstrate:

  • Disciplinary contributions to understanding social reality
  • Unique aspects of the Sociological perspective and its differences from common sense and other social sciences
  • Breadth and depth of diversity of thought and investigative tools within the discipline
  • Role of scientific evidence and use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Differences in investigative approaches in building knowledge in the discipline
  • Critical assessment skills in reviewing published research
  • Institutional interconnections and relationships between individual freedom and agency versus the determinism of external social structures

Assessment Measures

  • Feedback from students via standardized course evaluations, including suggestions on how course could be improved
  • Surveys of recent graduates, such as five year post-graduation survey
  • Exit interviews with graduates
  • Feedback from Academic Advisor
  • Comments and evaluations from internship supervisors
  • Feedback from employers of recent graduates
  • Standardized test scores of students
  • Proportion of students on Dean’s list, and other academic honors, such as honor societies, and awards
  • Proportion of students admitted to graduate programs and other professional programs

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Statistics

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum in liberal arts and sciences with a major in statistics is designed to prepare students for entry level statistics positions or graduate study in statistics.

Students completing the undergraduate degree in statistics should have a broad understanding of the discipline of statistics. They should have a clear compre-hension of the theoretical basis of statistical reasoning and should be proficient in the use of modern statistical methods and computing. Such graduates should have an ability to apply and convey statistical concepts and knowledge in oral and written form. They should be aware of ethical issues associated with polling and surveys and in the summarization of the outcomes of statistical studies.

Measures

  • Grades in the three core areas: Methods, Theory and Computing
  • Examples of written work: projects, homework assignments, etc. where one of the criteria for evaluation is clear communication of statistical ideas.
  • Performance on external exams: actuarial exams, GRE, etc.
  • Information on students participation in internships or other activities where students apply their knowledge of statistics.
  • First activity upon graduation: graduate school or job placement.
  • Graduate degrees earned.
  • Surveys of the graduates of the program

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Women’s Studies

Outcomes and Assessments and Programmatic Changes (expanded version of Outcomes and Assessments document -1/2005)
Drafted by Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee – April 2005

Learning Outcomes

For a B.A./B.S. in Women’s Studies the following are the desired learning outcomes:

  • Students will gain a contextual understanding of the historical, political, social, economic, cultural, artistic, scientific evolution of the status of women;
  • Students will develop critical/analytical skills together with knowledge of Women’s Studies theories and their applications;
  • Students will expand their knowledge and understanding of the differences among women in the U.S. and how gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic, religious and other dimensions of difference are interrelated.
  • Students will acquire global knowledge about women and gender in other parts of the world besides the US and the West.
  • Students will use and draw from the knowledge gained in their WS curriculum both within and beyond the classroom setting, including professional and community contexts.
  • Students will be given opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to activism in the university and broader community.

Assessments

  1. Across the WS curriculum, the following are tools of assessment used to measure desired learning outcomes
    • Tests: quizzes, multiple choice, essay, and/or take-home exams.
    • Presentations: oral, multi-modal, individual and/or group.
    • Compositions/Written Texts: journals (analytical and personal), formal papers, creative works (art and design, fiction, nonfiction, essay, poetry), reading and discussion commentaries, research papers, abstracts and bibliographies, formulation of discussion questions, project reviews.
    • Class Participation: attendance, oral interaction, discussion, coordination and presentation of group/individual projects.
    • Activism Projects: Outrageous Acts, Semester-long, community and/or campus-based projects
  2. For the B.A./B.S. in Women’s Studies, all students also complete either a thesis or internship, both of which involve a written component/report. These written components are on file with the Director of Women’s Studies.

Programmatic Changes

Programmatic Changes Implemented within current catalog 03-05

  1. New course offering – WS 391: Learning in Action. This resulted from a WS 402 report/project in 2002/03 in which WS majors were interviewed for feedback regarding programmatic improvements.The WS program will consider making WS 391 a requirement for majors in the future.
  2. Core Faculty meetings once/month.
  3. Internationalization of the WS curriculum – based on student feedback.Especially in WS 301, international perspectives on women and gender have been more cognitively infused in the material(s) available for students.

    WS 201 used to be largely US-based, but is now more global in scope as well.

Programmatic Changes to be implemented in next catalog 05-07

  1. One to one Exit Interview for graduating WS majors, to be conducted by WS Program Director/faculty. This will follow an email survey/questionnaire, the responses to which will be kept in an electronic file by WS Program Director.
  2. Keeping track of WS majors post-graduation. This will involve maintaining forward addresses, information regarding occupations/jobs and post-graduate work.
  3. WS 201: Introduction to Women’s Studies reader/text. Produced/published by Kendall/Hunt and the cover designed by ISU students in response to a design competition, this text will incorporate ISU faculty work as well as texts produced by national and international Women’s Studies scholars and can be revised/changed in future years.
  4. WS would like to create a specific course, which would focus on race, gender, class and sexuality as well as the multiple dimensions of oppression. While many of the courses in the curriculum touch on these issues, we’d like a course that specifically addresses them.

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World Languages and Cultures

World Languages and Cultures students will be able to:

1. Communication

  • Presentational: To present information, concepts, and ideas about and/or in the target language to an audience of listeners or readers.
  • Interpretive: To understand and interpret the target language on a variety of topics
  • Interpersonal: To engage in conversations or correspondence in the target language to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.

2. Cultures

  • To demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture(s) studied.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and artifacts of the culture(s) studied.

3. Connections

  • To demonstrate that they can reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the target language and culture through the practice of active learning.
  • To acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the culture(s) studied.

4. Comparisons

  • To demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the target language and their own.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the target culture(s) and their own.

5. Communities

  • To use and draw from the target language and culture both within and beyond the classroom setting, including within a professional context.
  • To show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using the target language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

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