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The University of Georgia Learning Outcomes

The University of Georgia addresses effectiveness and quality by employing a comprehensive system of evaluation and planning in every major aspect of the institution, including assessment of student learning.

What is Student Learning Outcomes Assessment? 
Student learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes that students should attain through an academic experience (course, program, or degree).  Assessment of student learning outcomes involves the systematic gathering of information for the purpose of determining what students are actually attaining, and critically, the use of that information to improve student learning.

Benefits of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Students are the primary beneficiaries of learning outcomes assessment.  However, assessing learning outcomes can also help faculty seeking to add to or improve curricular offerings.  Assessment data can also help academic programs more clearly demonstrate to institutional and external audiences the strengths of the program and the success of the students.

Responsibility for Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Faculty members are the primary decision-makers in the assessment process. The assessment of outcomes for each education program at the University of Georgia is the responsibility of the faculty who:

Define clear learning outcomes for students in the program;

Identify and implement measures that assess whether their students attain those outcomes;

Analyze the data gathered through the assessment measures for information relevant to the program; and

Use that resulting information as the basis for improvements in the program.




The University of Georgia administered the CLA+ in 2014 - 2015.

The University of Georgia conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2014 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UGA’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 CLA measures critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing, learning  outcomes that are integral to UGA’s four-year curriculum, which includes a general education core curriculum and a specialized curriculum in a focused academic discipline.


Which The University of Georgia students are assessed? When?

We administer the revised instrument, CLA+, on a two- or three-year cycle  to resprentative samples of first-year students (fall) and senior students (spring). The most recent results are from 2014-15.  For four consecutive academic years (2008-09 to 2001-12) we administered the earlier version of the test, the CLA.


How are assessment data collected?

Students who participate in the CLA+ take the assessment measure in a computer lab at the student learning center on UGA campus at designated times throughout the testing period.  A member of the Office Academic Planning staff proctors the exam using the online CLA+ interface.  The student responses are sent automatically to the Council on Aid to Education and CLA+ staff, where they are analyzed and scored.


How are data reported within The University of Georgia?

Student results from the CLA+ are aggregated and analyzed by the Council on Aid to Education, which created the test and owns the proprietary algorithms that control for entering academic ability and calculate “value added.” The CAE reports returned to the University of Georgia are analyzed locally in the Office of Academic Planning, which has administrative responsibilities for the general education assessment. Results and reports are shared with faculty and administrators who have responsibility for general education. They are also available at http://oap.uga.edu/assessment/gen_ed_inst_wide/.


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

Faculty with responsibility for general education consider the results of the CLA+ and other assessments when making decisions about the academic requirements and policies that shape the undergraduate experience at the University. This includes decisions about the nature and number of courses required in the general education core curriculum as well as decisions about other programs and requirements designed improve student learning. For instance, based on a range of assessment and survey data about our students, UGA recently implemented a required seminar program called the First-Year Odyssey for all incoming students designed to introduce them to the academic life of the University. These seminars allow students to engage with faculty and other first-year students in a small class environment to learn about the unique academic culture the University offers. Faculty share their passion for research, teaching and service as students begin their academic journey at UGA.


Of 4899 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 104 (2%) were included in the tested sample at The University of Georgia.


Of 5261 senior students eligible to be tested, 88 (2%) were included in the tested sample at The University of Georgia.


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 62% 64% 59% 68%
Male 38% 36% 41% 31%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 28% 27% 26% 26%
White / Caucasian 70% 71% 73% 68%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown <1% 2% 1% 1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%

For the freshman sample, the SAT performance quartile distribution and demographics of the target population for the sample were determined.  The entire population was contacted for volunteer participants and from those who volunteered, a sample was selected to be representative to the population quartile distribution and demographics. See Table below for freshman sample representative data.

CLA Statistics - Freshman - Fall 2014

 

Population

CLA Sample (Chosen)

CLA Sample (Participated)

Count

4899*

180

104

White, non-Hispanic

70.32%

70.0%

71.0%

African American

7.16%

6.6%

8.0%

Hispanic

5.2%

4.4%

2.0%

American Indian/Alaska Native

0.001%

0.0%

0.00%

Pacific Islander

0.001%

1.0%

1.0%

Asian

12.41%

13.3%

16.0%

Multi-racial

3.42%

2.2%

1.0%

Unknown

0.01%

2.2%

1.0%

       
       

Female

62.4%

63.8%

64.0%

Male

37.5%

36.0%

36.0%

       

SAT Information*

     

Range

720 - 1600

900-1600

950-1530

Mean

1241

1259

1266

Top Percentile

1600

1600

1530

75th Percentile

1320

1338

1330

50th Percentile

1240

1255

1260

25th Percentile

1160

1173

1173

       

*population size for SAT info is 4050

 

For the senior sample, the SAT performance quartile distribution and school/college distribution of the target population for our sample were determined.  The number of students needed from each school/college was determined based on this distribution and the Deans of each school or college were asked to select participants based on the calculated number and specific SAT quartile range. 

CLA Statistics – Seniors – Spring 2015

SAT Information*

Population

CLA Sample
(Scheduled)

CLA Sample (Participated)

Count

5261*

180

88

Range

720 - 1600

960-1490

950-1530

Mean

1240

1241

1246

Top Percentile

1600

1490

1490

75th Percentile

1320

1333

1330

50th Percentile

1240

1250

1250

25th Percentile

1150

1170

1170

 

 

 

 

*population size for SAT info is 4644

 

 

 

 

 

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) 605.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 604.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 590.0
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) 588.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 565.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 584.0