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Indiana State University Learning Outcomes

Indiana State University recognizes the need for formal and ongoing assessment of student achievement of each program’s learning outcomes.  Recognizing the need for each program to identify the learning outcomes and assessment practices appropriate to the program’s mission and educational goals, the University Assessment Council developed a conceptual framework to guide assessment of student achievement.  The framework is available at at http://www.indstate.edu/assessment/docs/framework.pdf Additional information concerning assessment of student learning achievement is available at at http://indstate.edu/assessment.

Indiana State University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2012 - 2013.

Indiana State University conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2012 - 2013. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on ISU’s process for administering ETS Proficiency Profile, 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 ETS Proficiency Profile for your institutional assessment?

Indiana State University joined the VSA in March of 2008 as an “Early Adopter.”  Research was conducted by the Office of Institutional Research on the three instruments identified by the VSA as options for assessment tool selection.  These three instruments, together with the information compiled by staff, were provided to the associate deans of the five colleges and other academic administrators for review and recommendations.  Over a period of weeks, the merits of the three instruments were vetted and discussed by the various stakeholders.  The abbreviated from ETS Proficiency Profile was ultimately determined to be the best fit for our undergraduate student population.

Which Indiana State University students are assessed? When?

To evaluate students’ learning gains experienced over time in the areas of critical thinking, reading, writing and mathematics, as well as to evaluate graduating students’ proficiencies in these areas, the university adopted a cross-sectional approach to the administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile.  Every three years, a sample of first-year students completes the exam early in their first semester and a sample of seniors (students who have completed at least 90 credit hours) completes the exam during the spring semester.  During the most recent administration, first-year students completed the exam in Fall Semester 2012 and seniors in Spring Semester 2013.

How are assessment data collected?

The ETS Proficiency Profile was administered to two separate cohorts.  The first-year cohort completed the pencil and paper version of the Abbreviated Forms A and B at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester.  The exams were administered in small group setttings proctored by Residential Life staff.  Score sheets were returned to ETS for processing and report creation.  The senior cohort completed the proctored online Abbreviated Form C early in the Spring 2013 semester.   Tests were administered during class time in a sample of upper-division and capstone courses identified by the test administration planning group.  All test results from these administrations are registered on Indiana State University’s secure ETS Program Workshop website.

How are data reported within Indiana State University?

The results of the ETS Proficiency Profile and other institutional assessment data are reviewed initially by the Assessment and Accreditation Coordinator.  The results will be analyzed and reported to the Assessment Council and the Foundational Studies Council, distributed throughout the institution, and made available on the assessment web site. The assessment information collected in addition to the ETS Proficiency Profile includes faculty evaluation of student work using the AAC&U’s written and oral communication, quantitative literacy, and critical thinking rubrics.  Data analysis and campus discussions will include the identification of areas in which students are not achieving the desired proficiency levels defined by the institution.

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

The Foundational Studies (general education) program and major programs of study will use the results of the ETS Proficiency Profile and other institutional-level assessments, in conjunction with program-level assessment, to make improvements in the curriculum, courses, and teaching-learning strategies to support the enhancement of students’ written communication, oral communication, quantitative literacy, and critical thinking achievement.

Of 2658 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 224 (8%) were included in the tested sample at Indiana State University.

Of 1763 senior students eligible to be tested, 232 (13%) were included in the tested sample at Indiana 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% 61% 59% 65%
Male 44% 39% 41% 35%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
US Underrepresented Minority 33% 31% 18% 15%
White / Caucasian 63% 66% 78% 81%
International 4% 1% 2% 2%
Unknown 1% 1% 1% 3%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 53% 56% 39% 40%

Our tested students included a slightly higher proportion of females than exist in our undergraduate student population.  Additionally, there were slightly more seniors tested that were Pell-eligible than the broader senior class population. Overall the tested sample was representative of our undergraduate student body.   

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 below what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

The increase in learning on the analytic writing task is below what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.