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University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee College Portrait

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University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Learning Outcomes

Assessment is a continuous activity at UWM as a means to determine the degree to which the curriculum and services match desired outcomes.
Assessment within the major is conducted regularly by each department. Assessment of general education goals is a campus-wide activity involving cross-disciplinary work. Feedback from these activities inform future work and enhancements to programs and majors.
In addition to the assessment activities conducted by departments and majors and general education outcomes, support services at UWM continuously assess their efforts in order to ensure their units provide the assistance students need to excel both inside and outside the classroom. At the university level, student satisfaction and patterns of student behavior, completion and success, are closely monitored.
All together, these assessment activities combined ensure that the student experience at UWM is engaging, thoughtful, fulfilling and, ultimately, meets the needs of preparing students for further study and fulfilling careers.




University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee administered the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2013 - 2014.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee conducted a Value-added administration of the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2013 - 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UWM’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?

The AAC&U VALUE Rubrics will give UWM the opportunity to conduct an in depth qualitative assessment of learning outcomes for a representative sample of the student population. 


Which University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee students are assessed? When?

A representative sample of new freshmen are assessed on written communication and critical reasoning during their first semester at UWM. A similar representative sample of  graduating seniors is assessed during the spring semester of their final year.


How are assessment data collected?

Class assignments are collected from a random sample of new freshmen and graduating seniors with the cooperation of instructors.  These samples are then rated by a panel of advanced graduate students, university staff, and faculty members. 


How are data reported within University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee?

Data are aggregated and reviewed by the UWM Office of Assessment and Institutional Research.  


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

To date we have only run a pilot of the assessment process.  The process for publicizing and using this assessment data is still being considered.


Of 3256 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 142 (4%) were included in the tested sample at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.


Of 7568 senior students eligible to be tested, 115 (2%) were included in the tested sample at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.


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 52% 51% 51% 39%
Male 48% 43% 49% 61%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 31% 27% 21% 13%
White / Caucasian 66% 66% 77% 84%
International 4% 1% 2% 3%
Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 39% 37% 10% 19%

The sample being reported on during this cycle was not collected with an eye to representativeness.  The university was still testing the mechanics of the assessment process.  The data for next year is being collected using a stratified sample and will match the university population on gender, race/ethnicity and ACT score.  

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

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.