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Just like any academic or co-curricular program on campus, the institution regularly assesses achievement of the learning outcomes that it claims in the General Studies Program. The General Studies program, including the faculty who teach within it, use the information gained from assessment to improve student learning at MSU Denver.
The ultimate goal is to make the General Studies Program assessment easy, yet meaningful for faculty, and to enhance student learning in all General Studies courses across campus. Some of our new student learning outcomes are aspirational and are going to take some brainstorming and effort to achieve. We look forward to working together as a community to take our courses to the next level.
The purpose is to learn about student learning in the General Studies program, not to focus on individual faculty, students, or even individual sections of courses. Data analysis and the conclusions drawn from the data will inform discussions around the areas where the program shines, and areas that could use some reflection, discussion, or improvement.
For example, one of the new Natural and Physical Science student learning outcomes is, “Evaluate the credibility of scientific information and interpret the impact of its use or misuse in society.” This outcome is so important, but it’s also brand new and challenging. Hypothesis: students will rate low on this SLO. Data collection and analysis may conclude that this hypothesis is true. If it is, think of the neat discussions we could have across the Natural and Physical Science faculty about how we might address this better in our wide variety of courses!
The General Studies Advisory Board has created a new approach to General Studies assessment.
2023-24 Group A Data Collection
2024-25 Group B Data Collection
2025-26 Group C data Collection
Please note, the following steps are for Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science, and Natural and Physical Science categories. The remaining categories may use a different method due to the volume of students in those categories. Rubrics for all categories can be found below.
Please choose your category in either EXCEL or WORD format. Each data collection file has room for Global Diversity in addition to the main category where appropriate.
Once complete, these forms can be emailed to Bev Andes, Academic Effectiveness Data Manager at [email protected].
Updated July 22, 2021
Faculty may be asked to rate artifacts from a General Studies course to measure student learning as part of the assessment process. Once data is reported to the Office of Academic Effectiveness, the only people with access to individual course section data will be the Academic Effectiveness Data Manager, the AVP of Academic Effectiveness, and the Director of General Studies. All data will be stored in a secure permission-based system (as recommended by ITS professionals). Both disaggregated and aggregated data will be stored indefinitely in order to fulfil program assessment or accreditation reporting requirements. All data shared by the Academic Effectiveness Data Manager, the AVP of Academic Effectiveness, or the Director of General Studies will be aggregated to preserve both student and faculty anonymity. The following people will not have access to individual course section data: faculty not teaching the course section, chairs, other directors, associate deans, deans, the Provost, the President, the Board of Trustees, or anyone involved in performance evaluation and retention, tenure, and promotion decisions.
General Studies assessment data shall not be used in any way that is either punitive or rewarding for individual faculty. In contrast to Student Rating of Instruction (SRI) scores, General Studies assessment data shall not be directly used in tenure/promotion materials. Although Faculty will know how their students performed as well as what the aggregated data looks like, they shall not discuss ratings of their sections in any tenure/promotion materials. In these materials, faculty are encouraged to reflect on how they implemented teaching strategies in their courses to improve student learning, but they shall not compare their numbers to any aggregate numbers made available. If such information is included, it shall be ignored at every level of review. The accidental inclusion of numbers by faculty member will have no repercussions. If the Director of General Studies is also faculty, they shall recuse themselves from any Retention, Tenure, Promotion (RTP) or post-tenure review (PTR) committees.
1. Faculty assess student learning by applying a rubric to key assignment(s) submitted by students.
2. The data is reported to and secured by the Data Manager in the Office of Academic Effectiveness.
3. The Data Manager, AVP of Academic Effectiveness, or the Director of General Studies run reports to aggregate the data and analyze the data.
4. Faculty are invited to reflect on the aggregated data by category and implement any pedagogical changes they’d like before collecting more data.
5. When appropriate, aggregated data is reported to accrediting bodies. If asked, the Data Manager, with the help of others in the Office of Academic Effectiveness, may create reports for individual programs or courses, as long as they can maintain faculty and student anonymity.
Faculty teaching the courses selected for General Studies data collection will be invited to training workshops to help them choose their key assignment(s) (Workshop #1), develop inter-rater reliability by practicing with the rubric, and familiarize faculty with how to collect and report data (Workshop #2), then lastly, a reflection workshop (Workshop #3). Faculty will be paid for workshops and assessment.
Email the Director of General Studies Dr. Todd Laugen: [email protected]
Metropolitan State University of Denver
General Studies Program
Campus Box 27
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362