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San Diego State University Learning Outcomes

The mission of the Student Learning Outcomes Committee (SLO) is to facilitate the assessment of student learning outcomes on campus. The purpose of assessing student outcomes is to improve teaching, learning, and academic advising at the individual, course, program, and institutional level. Student learning includes cognitive development, skills development, and personal development.




San Diego State University administered the CLA+ in 2013 - 2014.

San Diego State University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2013 - 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on SDSU’s process for administering CLA+, please click on the Assessment Process Tab below. For information on the students included in the administration, please click the Students Tested Tab.

Why did you choose the CLA+ for your institutional assessment?

The CSU system selected the CLA+ for systemwide administration. The CLA+ was chosen for its ability to compare results longitudinally and show value-added growth in student learning compared to that of other institutions.


Which San Diego State University students are assessed? When?

We assessed 89 first-time freshmen in Fall 2013 from October 1, 2013 through October 31st, 2013 and 93 native (non-transfer) seniors with 90+ units in Spring 2014 from February 4, 2014 through March 26, 2014.


How are assessment data collected?

The population was identified and the CLA+ administration was organized by the SDSU Student Affairs Research and Assessment Office. Email addresses were obtained through the SDSU Office of the Registrar. The assessment was administered by the SDSU Office of Testing Services through a secure website hosted by the creator of the CLA+, the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). Student self-reported demographic data were obtained during administration.


How are data reported within San Diego State University ?

Student performance on the CLA+ was sent to and scored by the CAE. After each administration, the CAE provided reports to our university. These reports included information on how our students compared to participating students at other universities. The spring report included this information plus the value-added data (change in performance between freshman and senior students).The reports were reviewed to ascertain the value-added of the core learning outcomes at SDSU and how we compared to the value-added performance at other institutions.


How are assessment data at SDSU used to guide program improvements?

CLA+ data are currently used to benchmark value-added growth in student learning at SDSU compared to that of other institutions. In the future we plan to use the data to assist faculty and administrators in making decisions about grading, scholarships, admission, and/or placement, and to help SDSU focus on streamlining resources towards the most effective programs and services to improve learning outcomes and student success.


Of 4672 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 89 (2%) were included in the tested sample at San Diego State University .


Of 5803 senior students eligible to be tested, 93 (2%) were included in the tested sample at San Diego State University .


Probability sampling, where a small randomly selected sample of a larger population can be used to estimate the learning gains in the entire population with statistical confidence, provides the foundation for campus-level student learning outcomes assessment at many institutions. It's important, however, to review the demographics of the tested sample of students to ensure that the proportion of students within a given group in the tested sample is close to the proportion of students in that group in the total population. Differences in proportions don't mean the results aren't valid, but they do mean that institutions need to use caution in interpreting the results for the groups that are under-represented in the tested sample.

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown

  Freshmen Seniors
Eligible Students Tested Students Eligible Students Tested Students
Gender Female 56% 64% 57% 78%
Male 44% 36% 43% 22%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 55% 67% 57% 68%
White / Caucasian 43% 30% 40% 30%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 2% 2% 2% 2%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%

Our tested students included a higher proportion of female students, a higher proportion of Latino American students, and a lower proportion of European American students than existed in our student body for the 2013-2014 school year. We will review our results further by race and gender to ascertain the extent of any potential differences by category.

The VSA advises institutions to follow assessment publisher guidelines for determining the appropriate number of students to test. In the absence of publisher guidelines, the VSA provides sample size guidelines for institutions based on a 95% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. So long as the tested sample demographics represent the student body, this means we can be 95% certain that the "true" population learning outcomes are with +/- 5% of the reported results. For more information on Sampling, please refer to the Research Methods Knowledge Base

The increase in learning on the performance task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

The increase in learning on the selected-response questions is at or near what would be expected what would be epxected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Seniors Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested seniors who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 546.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 559.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 573.0
Freshmen Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested freshmen who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 544.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 538.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 553.0