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Bowling Green State University College Portrait

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Bowling Green State University Learning Outcomes

BGSU has collaboratively established clear outcomes for student learning and developed an ongoing and effective process for the assessment and achievement of those learning goals to ensure student success in academic and co-curricular programs.  The ongoing accreditation of BGSU’s programs, academic and co-curricular units, program review process, and annual assessment reporting illustrates ongoing assessment of student learning at BGSU.  BGSU has a demonstrated commitment towards building capacity for a robust infrastructure to support the review and revision of learning outcomes and the processes, practices, and activities for assessment.  In addition to internal mechanisms, the use of the CLA/CLA+ (starting 2011), the NSSE, and the revision and use of AAC&U VALUE rubrics (starting 2012) are initiatives that BGSU has adopted to illustrate student learning outcome results. For all programs, BGSU looks to indicators it deems appropriate to its mission, such as employment rates, admission rates to advance degree programs, and participation rates in fellowships, internships, and special programs.




Bowling Green State University administered the CLA+ in 2014 - 2016.

Bowling Green State University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2014 - 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on BGSU’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?

BGSU first used the CLA in a longitudinal study with 300 students in 2005-2009. BGSU started to utilize the CLA in 2011-12 with incoming freshmen and graduating seniors to provide a value-added indicator and external benchmarking for student performance on four very important BGSU learning outcomes: critical thinking, analytic reasoning and evaluation, writing effectiveness and mechanics, and problem solving.  Recent administrations of the CLA/CLA+ are being used as an important assessment component in several initiatives at BGSU including, but not limited to, the external validation of classroom-based assessments for BGSU freshmen (2012), the establishment of baseline data for the revision and assessment of general education (2012-15), and as a correlate with the revision and use of AAC&U VALUE rubrics by BGSU faculty (2012-14) to assess student learning.


Which Bowling Green State University students are assessed? When?

Two student groups at BGSU are invited to complete the CLA+ each academic year.  In the fall, freshmen with ACT or SAT scores are invited to complete the CLA+.  In the spring, seniors with ACT or SAT scores are invited to complete the CLA+.  Student participation in completing the CLA+ is voluntary at BGSU.


How are assessment data collected?

BGSU personnel proctor the administration of the CLA+ to freshmen (fall) and senior (spring) students in computer labs on campus.  The CLA+ adheres to data collection protocols and these protocols are followed at BGSU.  


How are data reported within Bowling Green State University?

CLA+ provides institutional reports and data to participating institutions. Data are aggregated by class level (freshmen and senior) and overall results by outcome: critical thinking, analytic reasoning and evaluation, writing effectiveness and mechanics, and problem solving.  Data and results concerning student performance on learning outcomes are reviewed by faculty, administrators and committees at BGSU for a variety of purposes.  


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

Currently, classroom and program based assessments are the primary data used to guide program improvements at BGSU. However, CLA+ data have been used for university wide program improvement.  CLA+ data were reviewed in preparation for the redesign of the general education curriculum (2012-15) by the general education committee.  Additionally, BGSU administrators, the Director of Academic Assessment, and the Student Achievement Assessment Committee (SAAC) regularly examine CLA+ results and other student performance indicators to inform initiatives for program improvement.  BGSU also plans to compile CLA+ data over multiple years and guide programmatic improvements.


Of 3224 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 85 (3%) were included in the tested sample at Bowling Green State University.


Of 2656 senior students eligible to be tested, 100 (4%) were included in the tested sample at Bowling Green 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 60% 69% 61% 66%
Male 40% 31% 39% 34%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 20% 27% 16% 12%
White / Caucasian 77% 68% 80% 82%
International 2% <1% 1% <1%
Unknown 2% 5% 2% 6%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 34% 31% 26% 27%

Since BGSU freshmen and senior students complete the CLA+ voluntarily, the sample size of students completing the CLA+ is small.  Increasing the number of students completing the CLA+ would be ideal and various strategies have been employed to increase the sample size of freshmen and seniors.  

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 an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

The increase in learning on the selected-response questions is 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) 556.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 560.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 580.0
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) 514.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 524.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 549.0