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Texas State University Learning Outcomes

Texas State University, in its dedication to excellence, is committed to institutional effectiveness through continuous improvement.  The University measures achievement of student learning outcomes and assures overall quality in its academic programs through these assessment strategies:

 

Outcomes Assessment. Outcomes assessment at Texas State is a well-established process whereby, on an annual basis, academic programs:

            •define their mission,

            •develop student learning outcomes,

            •determine methods and benchmarks by which achievement can

            be proven,

            •report results,

            •highlight areas of improvement, and

            •use overall findings to develop action plans which feed back into

            the assessment process.

 

Academic Program Review.  All undergraduate programs not accredited through external specialized disciplinary processes and all graduate programs regardless of accreditation status conduct an internal academic program review every seven years. This focuses on the scope and strategic plan, faculty and resources of the academic unit as well as the curriculum (incorporating Outcomes Assessment results), students, and graduates of the program. The procedure itself comprises a comprehensive self-study, formal on-site review and report by external reviewers, and a response and action plan based on that information.

 

Specialization Accreditation Review.  Programs which undergo specialized accreditation processes conducted by external accrediting bodies use the results of these to enhance program quality and ensure student achievement.




Texas State University administered the CLA+ in 2015.

Texas State University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on Texas State’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 Council of Academic Deans and President’s Cabinet chose the CLA+ after determining that its items more closely fit the knowledge, skills, and abilities we strive to teach our students than items used in other assessment instruments.  A survey of other Texas public universities was also conducted to determine which assessment test they were planning to use and this information was considered when the decision to use the CLA+ was finalized. 


Which Texas State University students are assessed? When?

We test 94 freshmen in each fall semester and 92 seniors in each spring semester.


How are assessment data collected?

We identify and collect standard assessment information such as SAT score, ACT score, GPA, hours completed, and other measures of satisfactory progress from the University database.  Scores of students who answer standard questions on the CLA are used to assess knowledge gained in specific subject areas.  We administer a local survey consisting of nine items that measure the degree of student perception of preparedness in core competencies.


How are data reported within Texas State University?

We review standard reports from the CLA+ to assess student learning and have not yet used the raw data from the CLA+ testing for additional analysis. 


How are assessment data at Texas State used to guide program improvements?

If improvement in knowledge from the freshman level to the senior level as measured by the CLA+ is less than expected for two consecutive years when compared to similar students on a national level, we will work with academic departments and programs to correct learning deficiencies.  Students at Texas State have never fallen below the expected performance for two consecutive administrations of the CLA+. 


Of 4568 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 94 (2%) were included in the tested sample at Texas State University.


Of 2725 senior students eligible to be tested, 92 (3%) were included in the tested sample at Texas State 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 59% 64% 65% 53%
Male 41% 35% 35% 43%
Other or Unknown <1% 1% <1% 3%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 55% 64% 41% 45%
White / Caucasian 44% 37% 52% 51%
International 1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown <1% 4% 1% 4%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 37% 56% 31% 40%

First we select one student at random in each Paws Preview group to “win” an opportunity to take the CLA+ (freshmen only). We usually get about 20 students from this effort who take the CLA+. Second, we randomly select a sample of 200 students and send email recruitments. We usually select several random samples across each semester. Third, beginning spring of 2013 we send tweets from the Texas State Twitter account telling students about the opportunity to take the CLA+.

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 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) 551.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 555.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 558.0
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) 522.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 513.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 519.0