Quality Enhancement Plan Examples Introduction As stated in the program review guidelines, “as part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan, academic programs are to develop an assessment plan to measure student learning as a result of intentional efforts focused on student engagement.” There are a variety of ways for a department to accomplish this task. Below are three examples of how to develop this section of the program review document. Each example will describe a step-by-step process leading to the development of a student learning engagement strategy. Using the NSSE results #1 Step 1: Learning Objectives Department ABC examines its learning objectives and the NSSE survey items. There are a number of items that match closely with Department ABC’s learning objective of: Engaging students in course material outside the classroom. Step 2: Examining data The department then examines the NSSE results to determine its success in meeting this learning objective. Table 1 contains fictitious results for a few relevant NSSE items NSSE ITEM MEAN FREQUENCY “NEVER” Response Scale: 4 = Very often, 3 = Often, 2 = Sometimes, 1 = Never Talked about career plans with faculty 1.98 41.5% member or advisor Discussed ideas from your readings or 2.23 30.9% classes with faculty members outside of class Worked with classmates outside of class to 2.35 25.7% prepare class assignments Discussed ideas from your readings or 2.10 33.8% classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-workers, etc.) Scale: Done, Plan to do, Do not plan to do, Have not decided Worked on a research project with a 10.2% Done faculty member outside of course or 8.7% Plan to do program requirements 68.3% Do not plan to do 12.8% Undecided Step 3: Analyzing the results The faculty in department ABC collectively decide that students within their major are not interacting with course material outside the classroom to the level they would like to see within their department. In order to increase this interaction, the faculty decide to institute two new departmental programs. Step 4: Developing a plan 1. Faculty plan to meet with students individually or in-small groups 2-3 times per semester beyond the normal classroom meeting times. Each faculty member then decides how he/she would like to accomplish this task. For example, faculty member Dr. X might decide to have weekly meetings with student groups (5-7 students) for lunch-time informal discussions. Dr. Y might decide to coordinate a “career night” for majors. 2. Faculty members also decide to increase the number of group projects within each of the major courses. This program also helps to support overall learning objectives of teamwork and collaboration. Step 5: Assessing success of the program After one year, department ABC gives the NSSE survey to their majors. During this administration they see a slight increase in the student responses on the items listed above. Step 6: Deciding on next course of action At this point, the department might feel like it is moving in the right direction and plans to continue utilizing the programs during the next academic year. Using the NSSE results #2 Step 1: Learning Objectives Department DEF examines its learning objectives and the NSSE survey items. There are a number of items that match closely with Department DEF’s learning objective of: Integrating and synthesizing material from a variety of courses within the discipline. Step 2: Examining data The department then examines the NSSE results to determine its success in achieving this stated learning objective. Table 2 contains fictitious results for a few relevant NSSE items NSSE ITEM MEAN “NEVER” Response Scale: 4 = Very often, 3 = Often, 2 = Sometimes, 1 = Never Worked on a paper or project that required integrating ideas or 2.13 40.9% information from various sources Included diverse perspectives (different races, religions, 2.44 33.1% genders, political beliefs, etc.) in class discussions or writing assignments Put together ideas or concepts from different courses when 2.01 43.4% completing assignments or during class discussions Scale: 4 = Very Much, 3 =Quite a bit, 2 = Some, 1= Very Little “VERY LITTLE” Response Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or 2.88 28.7% experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships Step 3: Analyzing the results Department DEF examines its NSSE responses to the above 4 items. Although these responses are by no means low, they feel that to be successful in the DEF field students need to be synthesizing and integrating material significantly more than these results demonstrate. Step 4: Developing a plan The department decides to take action to improve this learning outcome. Faculty decide to make curriculum changes to more logically sequence major courses. They also decide to have students in each course write a paper that integrates a concept previously learned in the curriculum with a new topic from the current course. This type of “research paper” does not need to be lengthy; rather department DEF is looking for a thoughtful integration of concepts and material. Students will be graded not only on the current concept, but also on how they relate to another concept. Step 5: Assessing success of the program Department DEF decides that it wants to assess the success of this project in two ways. First, all majors will complete the NSSE after the first year of the program. In addition, for a more qualitative perspective, the department will conduct focus groups with students who have participated in the new program. Step 6: Deciding on next course of action Since the results of this assessment might be pending, the department continues to work towards its initial goal. Once focus group results come available the department will either decide to continue utilizing this program or to alter it so as to make it more effective. If the department determines that the program is successful they might want to choose another learning objective to address with a new program. QEP Example: Not Using NSSE Results Step 1: Learning Objectives Students will be able to write a coherent research paper. Step 2: Examining data Department JKL examines the syllabi of all the core “major” courses and determines that in most of the courses students are not required to write more than 8 or 10 pages. Step 3: Analyzing the results The faculty decide that students need to be writing more in their “major” courses to become proficient in this area. Step 4: Developing a plan The faculty in this department decide to incorporate a series of research papers for students to complete during their major courses. The information from these research papers will be combined during a senior capstone course. Each section will be between 15-20 pages in length and will build over the core courses. Step 5: Assessing success of the program One year after implementation, the JKL department has quantitative evidence that this program is working because students are writing more. Step 6: Deciding on next course of action In the following year, the faculty might decide to implement a rubric analysis of student works to examine the level of student achievement.
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