Analysis / Conclusions Regarding Improvements for Goal 3: Social Sciences From fall 2010 Observations and Discussion: The overall results suggest that instructional effectiveness was very high as shown in both raw and adjusted scores for Progress on Relevant Objectives. The overall results suggest that students were highly satisfied with their progress in meeting the course learning objectives for the Social Science general education courses. Seven (7) of the 11 sections had a response rate of less than the minimum 65% recommended for dependable results. The range in number of objectives selected (from 9% to 100% for each of the 12 objectives) may have diluted the results. Recommendations: Increasing response rate is an institutional concern. Social science faculty will encourage greater return individually through bonus points or extra credit for completion of the surveys. However, a return to paper and pencil evaluations may be the best way to guarantee reliable results. A subset of faculty might identify the same 3-4 objectives to see if the results are substantially different or less diffuse. Action for 2011: Three faculty members—Roger Dendinger, John Dreyer, and Sharon Kirkpatrick—Sanchez—will identify the same three objectives for use in the Spring 2011 student evaluations: Objective 1: Gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends). Objective 2: Learning fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories. Objective 11: Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view. A group report will be ordered in May 2011 and the results will be reviewed during fall semester 2011. From spring 2010 Using an in-class writing sample and a simple 5-point scale is a weak method for assessing a student’s ability to apply a fundamental social sciences concept to contemporary issues—as called for in the Goal 3 outcome. In-class writing is a performance assessment of many skills and behaviors, including the memorization of details and/or organizational and writing skills. A more refined or specialized rubric might do a better job of getting at the specific outcome of applying a concept from study of the social sciences.
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