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University of Louisville Learning Outcomes

The University of Louisville is dedicated to continuous assessments in the area of critical thinking.

University of Louisville administered the ACT CAAP in 2016.

University of Louisville conducted a Value-added administration of the ACT CAAP in 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UofL’s process for administering ACT CAAP, 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 ACT CAAP for your institutional assessment?

The University of Louisville administers both the CAAP Writing Essay and CAAP Critical Thinking Exams because the two instruments provide the university with an array of critical thinking assessments. The CAAP has been easily integrated into our culture of assessment.

Which University of Louisville students are assessed? When?

First-year students are assessed in their first fall semester. Randomly selected academic orientation courses are chosen from each academic unit. Seniors are assessed in the spring semester. Randomly selected capstone courses are chosen from each unit.

How are assessment data collected?

Data provided back to the institution are matched with student institutional data.

How are data reported within University of Louisville?

The data are analyzed at the student level, course level, and academic unit level. Reports are then distributed throughout the university community.

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

Academic units and the University Provost utilize the data in order to make adjustments in the curriculum and to develop any university wide initiatives to support the cultivation of critical thinking on campus.

Of 2794 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 500 (18%) were included in the tested sample at University of Louisville.

Of 4352 senior students eligible to be tested, 358 (8%) were included in the tested sample at University of Louisville.

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 49% 44% 49% 72%
Male 51% 56% 51% 29%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
US Underrepresented Minority 23% 31% 22% 17%
White / Caucasian 77% 69% 77% 83%
International 1% <1% 1% <1%
Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%

Our tested samples reflect the population sizes of each academic unit.

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 analytic writing task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Writing Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the ACT CAAP Written Communication Test. The ACT CAAP Written Communication Test is scored on a rubric with scores ranging from 1 to 6 at intervals of .5 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Each student’s response is scored by two raters; the ratings distributions for each rater are shown below. The Overall Writing Score is an average of the two ratings

Critical Thinking Detail

The chart below shows the distribution of student scores on the ACT CAAP Critical Thinking Test. Students receive a scaled score between 1 and 80, with 80 representing a higher or better score