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Assessment Strategies for Liberal Learning Outcomes

Liberal Learning Symposium

The following liberal learning assessment strategies were generated by participants in the Liberal Learning Symposia held at FSU Oct.-Nov. 2005. The task was to

Select a learning outcome identified in the morning session and complete the following:

  • Delineate the evaluative criteria for determining whether students have achieved the outcome.
  • Give examples of test questions that would require students to demonstrate that they have achieved the outcome.
  • Identify products of learning that would require students to demonstrate that they have achieved the outcome.
  1. Oct. 26: Team 1, Outcomes 3-6 (click to view outcomes)
    1. Critical Thinking
      1. Outcome: Students will be able to determine whether a real-life argument gives good reasons for a conclusion.
      2. Criteria
        1. Identify conclusion
        2. Distinguish reasons from non-reasons.
        3. Assess reasons according to clarity, relevance, truth
        4. Recognize and explain clearly any fallacies.
        5. Assess degree of support the reasons provide for the conclusion.
      3. Questions: multiple-choice questions about a passage
      4. Product: Evaluation of real-life argument (op-ed): summarize, evaluate reasons, articulate alternate point of view.
    2. Communication (writing)
      1. Criteria: Rubric for written assignment
        • organization
        • coherence
        • content knowledge
        • documentation
        • adherence to standard written English
        • clarity
      2. Test questions
        • Short answer - paragraph - who, what, when, where, how/why, and significance
        • Essay - comparison
      3. Product of learning: Portfolio w/ assignments that demonstrate
        • Compare sources
        • Review/evaluate sources
        • shows reflection upon understanding
        • Description/definition
        • Synthesize
    3. Technology
      1. Student develps a PowerPoint presentation using web-based tools to demonstrate proficiency in a specified topic.
      2. Criteria
        • At least 12 slides
        • Use of animation, graphics, sound
        • Use of tables
        • Use of spreadsheets
        • Covers the topic effectively
      3. The TEST is making the presentation to the class, including coverage of the topic.
      4. The PRODUCT is the presentation.
    4. Analytical / reasoning
      1. Criteria: Knowledge of mathematical concepts, formulas and applications
      2. Test Question
        1. A right triangle has a 3-foot base and a 4-foot height.  Find the following:
          1. hypotenuse
          2. area of triangle
          3. perimeter
        2. Suppose the base and height were both increased by 1 foot.  Find the
          1. hypotenuse
          2. area of triangle
          3. perimeter
      3. Product of learning
        • 80% comprehension of test question.
  2. Nov. 8: Team 2, Outcomes 1-3
    1. Communication
      1. Criteria: Syntactical correctness.
    2. Critical Thinking Skills
      1. Criteria
        1. Students should be able to check out or confrim the validity and reliability of sources.
        2. Students should be able to recognize conceptual similarities and differences
      2. Question: Identify whether or not this statement involves false reasoning...
      3. Assignment
        1. Select website/media sources/journal articles
        2. Divide students into groups
        3. Make a presentation demonstrating criteria listed above.
    3. Language Course
      1. Criteria: Students will be able to conjugate verbs and to read at a basic lever (reading proficiency)
      2. Question: Students will take test on verb conjugation and grammatical analysis of the language
      3. Learning Product: Students will read a book in the language and will discuss the book with the professor.
  3. Nov. 14: Team 1, outcomes 3-5
    1. Globally responsible citizens
      • Evaluative criteria: interactions/intervention with service agencies, international agencies, or change agents.
      • Test questions
        • What can be done to discourage global territorial aggrandizement?
        • How to prevent/contain/mitigate emergent global pandemics?
      • Products:
        • e-portfolio
        • opinion paper
    2. Empowered/Life-Long Learner
      1. Evaluative criteria
        1. Identify: what skills/p.o.v. needed to be a good learner? e.g., I don't know everything
        2. Explain: fallibility, life/world changes, different experiences
        3. Demonstrate: new skills learned/apply info
      2. Question: Group work, then individual evaluation
        1. "pre-question"; "Address issue x."
        2. what did you learn in the group?
        3. how can what you learned be useful in other areas?
        4. "post-question": "NOW how would you address issue x?"
      3. Product of learning: Essay, presentation, long-term "portfolio"
    3. Effective users of technology
      1. Define technologies
        1. virtual library (research)
        2. communication
        3. presentation
      2. Example
        • Internet
        • Office Tools (PowerPoint)
        • Emails/IM
      3. Demonstration of: Problem solving Presentation of solutions.  Effective communication of solution to instructor
  4. Nov. 16: Team 5, Outcomes 1-5
    1. Communicative research skills
      1. Writing rubric
        • Grammatical style
        • Organization and structure
        • Verbal proficiency
        • Visual aids
        • Resource management
      2. Oral rubric
        • Grammatical style
        • Organization and structure
        • Verbal proficiency
        • Poise and confidence
        • Resource management
        • Technology use
      3. Test: Select person or event from the assignment and critically evaluate the impact on this project.
      4. Assignment
        • 3-5 page manuscript (and critique)
        • 3-5 page poster presentation (and critique)
    2. Effectively apply critical thinking skills across disciplines
      1. Criteria:
        • Conclusions and generaliations are supported by data
        • Recognize counter positions and address them.
      2. Test Question: List three character traits of one character in the novel and provide support of your choices with examples from the novel.
      3. Products of learning
        • Essay
        • Lab reports
        • research reports
        • Artistic renditions
    3. Life-long learning
      1. Evaluation of this outcome is not possible as phrased.  Information might be found after education through alumni surveys, employer surveys taken over a period of time.
      2. Assess where students are at graduation in terms of measurable skills--then assess 5-10 years later.
      3. Rephrase or reframe goal (outcome)
    4. Demonstrate awarements of cultural implications upon interpersonal relations
      1. Testing through course work: connecting survey questions to the test
      2. Using religion as an example: naming a religion other than your own and listing fibve major beliefs of that religion.
      3. As a core curriculum assignment, have an out-of-class assignment such as attending an internatiaonl folk festival or parade of nations and require the student to interact with country representatives/visit booths and provide a written and/or veral report on their experience and findings.
    5. Students will be ethically and socially responsible
      1. To develop an instrument to measure student knowledge of "social and ethical" implications.
        1. (Freshman Year) Multiple-choice; case study analysis, present role play, debate, etc.
        2. (Junior Year) Repeat A. Addition of an essay.
  5. Nov. 19: Team 2, Outcomes 3-5
    1. Inquiry Skills
      1. Operational definition: To search, retrieve, select, store, and analyze knowledge effectively
      2. Search: llocate databases, journals, periodicals, websites, interviews, surveys, observations
        • Assessment: bibliography, literature review
      3. Retrieve: collect the data & information
        • Assessment: outline (draft), concept paper
      4. Store: accurately compile and classify data
        • Assessment: Presentation (various media)
      5. Analyze: linking information, evaluate, integrate, france information, apply and conclude
        • Assessment: Reflections of outcomes; conclusions reached
    2. Identify and solve problems: Capstone project
      1. Beginning of senior year, assign advisor specific to project.
      2. Student identifies problem within discipline.
      3. Identify causes of problem through research/interdisciplinary study (holistic prespective)
      4. Explore multiple solutions & feasibility
      5. Implement best solution
      6. Senior Presentations/Showcase (invite community)
    3. Mental and physical health
      1. Evaluative criteria
        1. Promoting Healthy lifestyles
        2. Promoting personal growth
        3. Identify outside classroom experiences (cultural)
      2. Promoting good job performance
        1. Attendance
        2. Grades
        3. Surveys
      3. Include above in your syllabi
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