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Central State University Learning Outcomes

At CSU, assessment of student learning is a vital part of institutional effectiveness that occurs at the course, program, and institutional levels.

CSU has identified six institutional learning outcomes:

1.    Personal Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle:  Apply effective strategies to promote and maintainphysical and mental health, academic and social adjustment, and economic and information literacy.

2.    Effective Communication:Communicate effectively in speech and writing.

3.    Critical Thinking:Apply the habits of inquiry and analysis to various situations.

4.    Cultural and Social Factors: Demonstrate awareness of the roles of cultural and social factors in human achievement.

5.    Scientific Method and Quantitative Reasoning: Use the scientific method and quantitative reasoning to gain insights and solve problems.

6.    Competence in the major field:Demonstrate competence in the chosen field of study.


Outcomes 1-5 are also general education learning outcomes and are assessed through the University’s General Education Assessment Plan as well as through the assessment plans of the major programs.  Outcome 6 is assessed by each of the major programs according to that program’s assessment plan. 


Overview of CSU Assessment


Outcomes for each course section are assessed by the instructor every term the course is offered.  Instructors report results from multiple methods including, but not limited to, classroom assignments, quizzes and examinations, student projects, and presentations.  Data from the course assessment forms are aggregated and analyzed by faculty within the programs offering the courses and improvements are made based on the recommendations. In addition to the course assessment forms, each degree program is responsible for developing and executing a complete assessment plan for its curriculum.

The CSU program review process also includes review of the programs’ assessment plans and results. The University’s program review plan assures that all degree programs are reviewed for effectiveness and currency at least every five years, either through the University’s internal review process or through an external program-level accreditation process.

Assessment of learning outcomes is also conducted at the institutional level by the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research using the CIRP survey (New First Time and freshmen students); the Climate Survey (continuing CSU students); and Graduating Senior Surveys (seniors during their last semester). Alumni are surveyed six months, one year, and two years after they graduate from CSU. Additional feedback from CSU alumni are received through the CSU Alumni office. Results of institutional assessments are published every year in the CSU fact books which are available on the University website at http://www.centralstate.edu/_Banner/Fact%20Book%202012%20with%20BM.pdf

General Education Assessment Plan


In May, 2014, the University approved a comprehensive plan for assessing the University’s general education learning outcomes on a five-year assessment cycle.  Data are collected for analysis from the following assessments:

·         Signature Assignments (in cycle)

·         Faculty Course Portfolios (in cycle)

·         Course Assessment forms (each semester)

·         Student Surveys (each semester)

·         Faculty Surveys (each semester)

The CSU assessment cycle overview is available at http://www.centralstate.edu/academics/pdf/Central%20State%20University's%20Assessment%20Process.pdf.

Because CSU is implementing a new assessment plan,  only pilot data are reported for critical thinking and senior-level written communication.  Full assessment of these areas will take place in 2015-2016.

Central State University administered the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2014 - 2015.

Central State University conducted a Value-added administration of the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2014 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on CSU’s process for administering AAC&U VALUE Rubrics, 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 AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for your institutional assessment?

CSU selected the VALUE rubrics based on our desire to affordably assess authentic student work. 

Which Central State University students are assessed? When?

First-year students were assessed during their first semester of attendance; seniors were assessed during their last semester of attendance.

How are assessment data collected?

Samples of student work  for assessment of written communication and critical thinking are gathered from all students enrolled in first-year composition courses and capstone or other senior-level courses.  

How are data reported within Central State University?

Data are aggregated and reported by the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment and the Office of Institutional Research.  Faculty and administration review the data.

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

Assessment data are reviewed used by faculty and adminstrators to improve institutional outcomes.  Faculty review assessment data periodically and annually during the University's assessment day.

Of 402 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 241 (60%) were included in the tested sample at Central State University.

Of 260 senior students eligible to be tested, 25 (10%) were included in the tested sample at Central 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 52% 58% 68% 72%
Male 48% 42% 47% 28%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
US Underrepresented Minority 98% 100% 109 100%
White / Caucasian 1% <1% 4% <1%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 1% <1% 2% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 80% 81% 75% 76%

CSU first implemented assessment using the VALUE rubrics in fall, 2014.  The samples for assessment of written communication collected from first-year students fairly represent a cross section of entering CSU students.  Implementation of the the assessment within capstone and senior-level courses was uneven, and due to scheduling issues, several disciplines failed to return samples.  Consequently, the sample size was significantly smaller than desired to assure a representative sample.  As the University gains experience implementing its new assessment plan, we anticipate resolving this issue so a representative sample of the required size is obtained.  Critical thinking is scheduled to be assessed during 2015-2016.

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 charts below show the distribution of student scores on the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for Written Communication and Critical Thinking. Blue bars represent freshmen student scores and red bars represent senior student scores. Students are scored at one of four levels: Benchmark, Milestone 1, Milestone 2, or Capstone. The Benchmark level is the leve l at which most incoming freshmen who begin college immediately after high school would perform. The Capstone level is the level at which senior students about to graduate would perform. All students, regardless of class standing, are scored on the same rubric against th e same criteria, so it is expected that the distribution for senior scores would be centered farther to the right (closer to the Capstone level) than the distribution for freshmen scores.

Critical Thinking Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the subscales of the Written Communication and Critical Thinking rubrics. Each rubric consists of five dimensions that students are rated on individually.

Written Communication Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the subscales of the Written Communication and Critical Thinking rubrics. Each rubric consists of five dimensions that students are rated on individually.