Research and Assessment Policies
Policies and Procedures for Evaluation of Student Performance
Following a continuous program improvement model, the Graduate school and its programs collect and analyze data related to candidate performance and unit operations systematically and regularly. The depth and richness of these data have evolved with technology, time and experience, as we have learned more about the structure of our assessment system.
All programs collect data on candidates for key assignments and other data sources across our transition points (Admission, Advancement to clinical/field placement(s), Exit from clinical/field placement(s), and Exit from program). While there is some variation, data collection and analysis is largely centralized within our GSEC research and assessment office.
Each year the research and assessment office consults each program director to establish a timeline for data collection, with the assessment office operations guided by a more general calendar as well. All degree programs have started to collect candidate assignments and data using TaskStream, the data collection folio(s) are set up in this software system prior to a new cohort entering the program. The assessment office processes the candidate data in two ways. First, the office generates program-specific reports that reflect candidate performance on program outcomes, faculty outcomes, and student learning outcomes for the given term or year and present criteria-level candidate performance on individual key assignments. The office then aggregates data across semesters within a year (e.g.,12-13) as appropriate. With the advent of our new database, Taskstream, we are moving to a system that is easier to maintain and provides greater integration of data. We are growing a system that allows program faculty to provide outcome-specific data when programs are scheduled to report on specific outcomes, thus more easily compiling data across several semesters or multiple years. Second, the assessment office takes this program-level data for an academic year and aggregates it around both the GSEC guiding principles and other accreditation standards. Using Taskstream, learning outcomes will be mapped to college, state and national standards, and key assignments are identified for each learning outcome. In addition, electronic versions of candidate work exemplars will be stored for use by faculty in data review and program improvement.
Data management is supported by both the College’s Student Information System (SIS) and TaskStream. The SIS serves as the final, official home for nearly all college data related to the student and it continues to be adapted to serve our evolving needs. Plans are underway to collect placement data for all candidates inside our SIS. Using both these databases allows us to manage and report data at the level of the individual candidate, across the program, by learning outcome or key assignment, and aggregated by college, state and national standards.
TaskStream serves a similar function. Faculty scores on key assignments are automatically captured as the faculty use web-based rubrics to score the assignment. As programs have refined their assessment efforts, they have implemented the use of rubrics. As a result, data collected can generally be reported in a more detailed manner. While there are a small number of cases where some courses have not provided rubric scores for key assignments, the majority of data reported now includes rubric-level data on candidate performance. Using TaskStream, candidates submit their assignments online in a system that maintains an electronic version of every submission; thus, we can compile a comprehensive archive of candidate work. To enable us to connect this data to candidate demographic data, we are currently working on building a process for importing our SIS data into our TaskStream database.
The research and assessment office also provides information on a variety of assessment-related activities, including how to plan for assessment, how to collect and use data, and how to report data. Faculty professional development activities are planned according to program interest and need.