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Ohio University Learning Outcomes

Ohio University began assessing its students in 1981, when the multidimensional Institutional Impact Project began. Since then, assessment of teaching and learning has been done in a variety of ways and through multiple measures. All academic departments and schools have assessed their students, and the Office of Institutional research does ongoing University-wide assessments. Recently, in 2007, Ohio University created its Student Success Plan, in which each academic program identified learning objectives for Ohio University students. Detailed general education learning objectives were identified. Assessments are under way to identify the extent to which students are meeting those learning objectives in academic disciplines and in general education.

At Ohio University assessment is a collection of activities designed to help students succeed. Student assessment is about documenting student success. “Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students” (Ohio University Mission Statement). Assessment is a tool to help faculty and staff enable Ohio University to achieve this mission through helping our students succeed.

The Office of Institutional Research carries out ongoing student success studies in which the results are available for each academic unit:

 

 

  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
  • Student Involvement Study
  • Career and Further Education Study
  • Career and Further Education Department-Specific Surveys (N = 53)
  • Survey of Alumni
  • Survey of Alumni College-Specific Surveys
  • Treatment Study
  • Program-specific and ad hoc assessments

 

The following academic units have structured assessment activities and processes:

 

  • College of Education and affiliated secondary education departments
  • Russ College of Engineering and Technology, all departments/schools
  • College of Business, all departments/schools
  • College of Health and Human Services, selected accredited schools
  • Department of Social Work
  • Department of English and Writing across the Curriculum
  • University College Program Assessments for Learning Communities, Supplemental Instruction, and College Adjustment Program

 

In addition, Student Affairs has an active assessment committee to coordinate its departments’ efforts to help meet student learning objectives. All academic support units are beginning a formal program review process. The purpose of this process is to assess program effectiveness which will lead to continuous improvement, enabling each unit to contribute to the University’s mission of helping students succeed.




Ohio University administered the ACT CAAP in 2015 - 2016.

Ohio University conducted a Value-added administration of the ACT CAAP in 2015 - 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on OU’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?

     In June 2008, Ohio's public universities joined the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA). VSA is a national initiative by public four-year universities to supply basic, comparable information on the undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report - the College Portrait. Ohio University's participation in VSA aligns with the institution's ongoing commitment to identify student success measures, track outcomes and make the results publicly available. In becoming a VSA institution, the University agreed to capture and post online a wide range of standardized performance data that anyone can readily compare with that of other participating VSA institutions. This includes a standardized test of general education knowledge and skills. Ohio University chose the ACT CAAP for this purpose.


Which Ohio University students are assessed? When?

     In an effort to continue with the assessment of the general education learning outcomes as well as to be compliant with the VSA requirements, the Office of Institutional Research administered both the CAAP Critical Thinking Test and the CAAP Writing Essay Test during the 2015-2016 academic year. The method for testing is prescribed by ACT and VSA. VSA requires a cross sectional design. Samples of 200 freshmen and 200 seniors are required to complete each test. CAAP tests are available for administration during a two-week period which was determined by the Office of Institutional Research. Freshmen must be tested early in the fall term, and seniors must be tested within 6 months of graduation.


How are assessment data collected?

     Based on the VSA methodological requirements the Office of Institutional Research worked in collaboration with Learning Community Programs during fall quarter 2015. Institutional Research sent invitations to students enrolled in the Learning Community Program to attend one of three Writing Essay test administration sessions offered. During the three testing sessions in November the CAAP Writing Essay test was administered to 42 freshmen. Students were given a $20 Baker University Center gift card for their completion of the tests. During the spring semester email invitations were sent to all graduating seniors inviting them to attend one of three Writing Essay test administration sessions. During the three testing sessions in March the CAAP Writing Essay test was administered to 27 seniors. Students were again given a $20 Baker University Center gift card for their completion of the tests.

     The Office of Institutional Research administered the CAAP Critical Thinking tests to a total of 34 freshmen and 32 seniors. Freshmen were tested during three sessions in November and seniors were tested during three sessions in March. Students were again given a $20 Baker University Center gift card for their completion of the tests. 


How are data reported within Ohio University?

     All Institutional Research assessment studies and findings are made available to the entire University community. Results are broken down at the college and department/school level for the Involvement Study, Career and Further Education Study, and Survey of Alumni. General education assessment results also are available to the entire University Community. Following the general education assessment pilot project, University-wide committees have deliberated over possible curriculum revisions.

http://www.ohio.edu/instres/assessments/genedassess2010.pdf


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

     Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students. It is striving to find ways to use information gained from assessment of teaching and learning to improve student success in its academic and co-curricular programs. The University’s participation in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) as its accreditation pathway with the Higher Learning Commission, will facilitate this process.

 

 

 


Of 3832 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 43 (1%) were included in the tested sample at Ohio University.


Of 5070 senior students eligible to be tested, 40 (1%) were included in the tested sample at Ohio 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 53% 91% 51% 70%
Male 47% 33% 49% 30%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 13% 14% 11% 15%
White / Caucasian 84% 79% 81% 73%
International 2% 7% 7% 5%
Unknown 1% <1% 1% 8%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%

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