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University of Central Oklahoma Learning Outcomes


All colleges and universities use multiple approaches to measure student learning. Many of these are specific to particular disciplines, many are coordinated with accrediting agencies, and many are based on outcomes after students have graduated.

The University of Central Oklahoma is committed to graduating well educated students, in part by an effective assessment approach that supports transformative learning and program improvement in all levels of assessment across campus. A systemic process (overseen by the Office of Institutional Assessment and our University Assessment Committee) reviews all of UCO’s degree programs through annual reports prepared by each individual college’s assessment committee. Several programs are reviewed by their disciplinary accrediting organizations and all are reviewed for comprehensive accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Transformative learning experiences (leadership; research, creative and scholarly activities; service learning and civic engagement; global and cultural competencies; and health and wellness) are measured by a combination of locally developed rubrics, many of which incorporate all or parts of the VALUE Rubrics from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Data on student self-assessment is gathered from instruments like the National Survey of Student Engagement. Capstone experieces are required in all degree programs; capstone work is assessed using two of the VALUE Rubrics, Written Communication and Critical Thinking. This data gives us indication of how our students perform on these to essential general education outcomes when doing signature work in their major shortly before graduation. For assessment of general education outcomes at the mid-level, we collect papers from three of our Core courses in history, English, and healthy life skills and score them using common rubrics based on the VALUE Rubrics.

University of Central Oklahoma administered the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2015 - 2016.

University of Central Oklahoma conducted a Senior-only benchmarked administration of the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2015 - 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UCO’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?

We have recently instituted a requirement that all UCO students have a capstone experience in their major. This is usually a semester-long project in the senior year that is intended to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning of both the most important general education outcomes (for instance, written communication and critical thinking) as well as the specific outcomes for their degree program through a culminating project that allows them to integrate the learning from their years of college.  

Which University of Central Oklahoma students are assessed? When?

The learning of all students is assessed in their capstone projects.

By the VSA reporting deadline, we had capstone scores from three of our five colleges. Because we do not have full data, we are not reporting demographic data. Eventually, every senior will be included in the reported scores.

How are assessment data collected?

Faculty in each degree program will assess the learning of their students in the capstone projects using a common Capstone Project Rubric that includes both degree program student learning outcomes and the Written Communication and Critical Thinking VALUE Rubrics.

How are data reported within University of Central Oklahoma?

Data from the two VALUE Rubrics will be collected and examined for all students as a group and by department and college. 

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

The data is reviewed by the University Assessment Committee and shared with the Core Curriculum Committee, the Provost, Deans, and other relevant stakeholders. Most revisions will be implemented at the degree program level although some actions might be initiated by the University Assessment Committee or the Core Curriculum Committee.

Since we will be gathering data on all students, representation is not an issue.

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 senior student scores on the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for Written Communication and Critical Thinking. Students are scored at one of four levels: Benchmark, Milestone 1, Milestone 2, or Capstone. The Benchmark level is the level 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 the same criteria, so it is expected that the distribution for senior scores would be centered farther to the right (closer to the Capstone level).

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.