Choose direct measures (e.g. assignments) first and indirect measures (e.g. surveys) second
If the program wants to measure students' ability to, "write a cogent argument about how a political event in the 80s shaped pop culture", then...
- Original: Senior student satisfaction survey
- Revised: Capstone argument paper and senior student satisfaction survey - questions related to confidence in written communication skills
Exemplary assessment uses two measures to evaluate student learning. Direct measures of student work like tests, papers, and projects provide the most compelling assessment evidence. Indirect measures, like surveys, can be useful as a supplement to the direct measures.
Show the connection between measures and outcomes by adding detail
The overall satisfaction rate of the senior student survey doesn't tell us very much about written communication. Its best to specify and report the specific survey questions or constructs that relate to the learning outcome.
Demonstrate mastery of learning with upper division coursework
If the program wants to measure students' ability to, "apply theories to solve real world problems", then...
- Original: PCUL 201 project
- Revised: PCUL 300/400 level project and rubric
Its best to collect programmatic assessment data throughout the curriculum in places where students are asked to demonstrate mastery or advanced levels of learning. An upper division course project is a better example of "application skills" than a lower or intermediate level course project.
Develop useful and meaningful data with shared assessments
- Revised: PCUL 300/400 level project and program developed and accepted rubric*
Here the program has developed a shared rubric to evaluate this project. The rubric was adapted based on a nationally developed rubric in this area. This measure is more reliable and valid than course projects that are assessed with different instruments/rubrics.
*This is an assessment best practice.