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West Chester University of Pennsylvania Learning Outcomes

 

Student success is at the heart of the West Chester University strategic plan; assessment provides a way to deliver on our commitment to improving student learning and student outcomes. Each program, department, and college assess their learning outcomes and these are regularly revised and reviewed as a result of assessment results. In addition, we conduct program-level General Education assessment that is university-wide and assessment data becomes part of a feedback loop that used for the review and revision of general education and student learning outcomes.

 




West Chester University of Pennsylvania administered the CLA+ in 2013 - 2014.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2013 - 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on WCU’s process for administering CLA+, 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 CLA+ for your institutional assessment?

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) enables our institution to evaluate the contribution we have as it relates to a students’ ability to critically think, analytically reason, problem solve, and their written communication skills.  Though it is a value added assessment it provides a benchmark for us to compare to other institutions. 


Which West Chester University of Pennsylvania students are assessed? When?

Randomly selected first time freshman were assessed in Fall 2013, followed by seniors in the Spring of 2014.


How are assessment data collected?

The CLA measures students ability to critically think, analytically reason, problem solve, and their written communication skills.  The assessment was administered in a proctored environment within a computer lab. 


How are data reported within West Chester University of Pennsylvania?

The Council for Aid in Education conducts the analysis and reporting of the data collected.  Data is reported for all freshman and seniors who took the assessment together rather than individual students.  The office of institutional research at WCU reviews the report created by the Council and with collaboration of the faculty associate for teaching, learning, and assessment prepares presentations for campus wide discussions.


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

The data is used at both the institutional level and program level.  At the institutional level the data provides one measure to better understand this skillset within a sample of our students.   At the program level the data enables so that faculty to better understand student learning using a nationally valid and reliable instrument. 


Of 2348 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 100 (4%) were included in the tested sample at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


Of 1147 senior students eligible to be tested, 99 (9%) were included in the tested sample at West Chester 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 65% 81% 68% 75%
Male 35% 20% 32% 25%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 21% 9% 16% 10%
White / Caucasian 78% 92% 84% 89%
International <1% <1% <1% 1%
Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 22% 16% 17% 12%

The results of this assessment will be used wth our institutional data that will be collected related to our general education goals of critical thinking and written communitcation during the Summer of 2015.

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

The increase in learning on the selected-response questions is at or near what would be expected what would be epxected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Seniors Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested seniors who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 561.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 551.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 560.0
Freshmen Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested freshmen who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 520.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 517.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 533.0