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East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes assessment forms the foundation of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to its students. Using a variety of direct and indirect measures to look at the knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes that students are expected to acquire during their education experience, faculty and administrators work together to ensure students are provided the best possible learning opportunities.

At the program level, faculty evaluate the impact they are having on student learning using a variety of assessment measures which include rubrics, exams, portfolios, surveys, projects, presentations and many other measures.  Based on their findings, programs then take action (referred to as “Closing the Loop”) to improve the learning opportunities they provide students.  This information is documented in each program’s academic program assessment report (or APAR).  Additional program-level assessment was implemented campus-wide in the spring and summer 2015 with the Baseline Status of Program Assessment survey.  This investigation enables ESU to “assess the assessment process” to identify opportunities to strengthen assessment strategies at the program-level for purposes of continuous program improvement.

At the institutional level, assessment centers on the ESU’s seven General Education Learning Outcomes: global citizenship; critical thinking; communication; information literacy and technological skills; scientific reasoning; artistic expression; and understanding holistic development. For example, ESU uses the ETS Proficiency Profile as a direct measure of a subset of these student learning outcomes by testing our incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors on four key skills and abilities: writing, reading, critical thinking, and mathematics.

ESU also utilizes indirect measures to formatively assess the student learning experience. Every semester, the institution conducts a Graduating Senior Survey to evaluate students’ perceptions of their time at ESU, their needs, and how the institution can improve both the campus environment and student learning.   In addition, the institution administers the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to assess the extent to which students engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. It is a measure of how students spend their time and energy, as well as how institutions use their available resources to provide effective educational practices.

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation (OAA), established in the 2014-2015 academic year, is charged with leading and facilitating an evidence-based culture of continuous program improvement through the direct assessment of student learning outcomes and support for regional (MSCHE) and professional accreditation initiatives undertaken by the University.

OAA functions as an active partner in fostering engaged and proactive curricular assessment and program evaluations across East Stroudsburg University to ensure student success and institutional effectiveness by providing ongoing analysis and research on ESU’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum, departments, and programs; managing assessment initiatives; acting as a clearinghouse and archive for assessment data; and serving as a resource for departments and faculty for student learning outcomes assessment.

The University Assessment Committee (comprised of faculty and administrators), in close cooperation with the OAA, is charged with monitoring student learning assessment as well as providing professional development opportunities to the entire university community.  To facilitate the accomplishment of its goals, the OAA and UAC approach their work through four distinct workgroups:

 

Assessment Research at ESU




East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015.

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on ESU’s process for administering ETS Proficiency Profile, 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 ETS Proficiency Profile for your institutional assessment?

At ESU, we recognize the need to document, measure and assess student learning and program effectiveness across the campus. ESU selected the ETS® Proficiency Profile, in part, to measure our students' general academic skills which, in turn, helps demonstrate the effectiveness of key general education learning outcomes. We use the results for regional accreditation purposes and to help shape curricular changes and developments in order to provide greater benefits to students.


Which East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania students are assessed? When?

Each academic year, incoming first-time freshmen are administered the ETS PP during the summer leading up to their first fall semester. Seniors are administered the ETS PP in the following spring semester of each academic year.


How are assessment data collected?

Each academic year, incoming first-time freshmen are administered the ETS PP during the summer leading up to their first fall semester. Among this population, freshmen are to complete the ETS PP online during the outset of their academic experience. Seniors are administered the ETS PP in the following spring semester of each academic year. Among this latter group, seniors are to complete the ETS PP in the classroom based on a schedule determined by their professors.


How are data reported within East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania?

Results of the ETS PP are made available online in the months proceeding the exam's administration.  ESU's University Assessment Committee (UAC), in concert with its Office of Assessment and Accreditation (OAA), decide on the analytics associated with all outcome data.  Often times this means ESU is interested in whether student outcomes differ by class standing, college, financial status, and key demographics including gender and race. This helps the University to focus its efforts on continuous program improvement.


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

Two forms of ETS PP output data are available for analyses: summative and formative.  Summatively, proficiency profile data provide key performance indicators in areas related to quantitative reasoning, writing, critical thinking and reading.  These areas allow us to determine how well our students have performed in relation to three general education standards measured through the ETS PP.  Formatively, should the results fall short of our established achievement standards, efforts are made to "close the loop" in relevant curricular areas.  


Of 1373 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 452 (33%) were included in the tested sample at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.


Of 1646 senior students eligible to be tested, 229 (14%) were included in the tested sample at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.


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 48% 55% 56% 63%
Male 52% 45% 44% 37%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 34% 28% 23% 17%
White / Caucasian 65% 71% 75% 81%
International <1% <1% 1% 1%
Unknown 1% 2% 2% 1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 34% 33% 38% 35%

At ESU, we strive to have the sample size of freshmen and seniors exceed the minimally required number of students so that our estimates accurately reflect ESU's true population means. This approach helps provide confidence in ETS PP outcomes and, in turn, make decisions on program improvements that are reflective of the student populations under study. 

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 above what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.


Critical Thinking Detail

The chart below shows the distribution of student scores on the ETS Proficiency Profile Critical Thinking test. Students are scored as Not Proficient, Marginal, or Proficient.



Written Communication Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the three levels of the ETS Proficiency Profile Writing Test. Students are scored as Not Proficient, Marginal, or Proficient on each level. Writing 3 represents more advanced writing skill than Writing 2, which represents more advanced writing skill than Writing 1.