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Slippery Rock University Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes at Slippery Rock University

Faculty-driven and administration-supported assessment of student learning outcomes is an integral part of a Rock Solid education at Slippery Rock University. Using a variety of direct and indirect assessment tools, the quality of student learning both within degree programs and across Liberal Studies areas is measured.  The results are used to provide faculty, students and administration with information and insight to improve student learning, increase student success, continuously examine and improve curricula, well as inform strategic planning and resource allocation. 




Slippery Rock University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014.

Slippery Rock University conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on SRU’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?

Slippery Rock University (SRU) selected the ETS Proficiency Profile (ETS PP) as the method for measuring the learning gains of students related to reading, writing, critical thinking, and math.  The ETS PP allows students to receive scores upon completion of the test and provides meaningful assessment data at the department and institutional level. 


Which Slippery Rock University students are assessed? When?

Freshmen and Seniors are assessed during each academic year.  A minimum of 400 students (200 freshmen and 200 seniors) per academic year.  The cohorts are selected through collaboration with the assessment office and teaching faculty to provide a representative sample of SRU majors. 


How are assessment data collected?

The data related to the assessment of student learning outcomes are collected annually by the faculty led Assessment Core Committee. Data is collected during each academic semester. 


How are data reported within Slippery Rock University?

The data is aggregated by the Chairperson of the Assessment Core Committee.  The information is detailed in a report submitted each September to the Provost.  The report is shared with each college through the Dean's Offices.  Additional analysis is conducted by the members of the Assessment Core Committee, the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Technology, and the Assessment & Accreditation Coordinator. 


How have data led to program changes and improvements at SRU?

The student learning assessment data are used to guide program improvements at the institutional (liberal studies & university-wide outcomes) and at the department and program level for 5th year program review, annual assessment reporting, and accreditation self-studies.  The institution then uses the data to inform resource allocation and program development to improve student success. 


Of 1408 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 243 (17%) were included in the tested sample at Slippery Rock University.


Of 1790 senior students eligible to be tested, 213 (12%) were included in the tested sample at Slippery Rock 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% 60% 60% 45%
Male 40% 36% 40% 47%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 12% 14% 8% 9%
White / Caucasian 87% 84% 88% 89%
International <1% <1% 1% <1%
Unknown 1% 2% 4% 2%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 34% 37% 30% 26%

The sample of students tested offers a robust cross section of three of the institution's four colleges.  Efforts are in process to increase participation from the fourth college to ensure that a representative sample of all SRU student learning gains are represented in the ETS PP Learning Gains Report. 

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.


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.