Collaborative program assessment utilizing an undergraduate capstone course

Kraft-Terry, Stephanie D.
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At the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the Department of Biology is comprised of over one thousand undergraduate students within five degree programs, seventy graduate students within two degree programs and twenty tenure-track faculty. Recently the faculty created collaborative program-level Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and a new curriculum map for the BS Marine Biology degree, which currently has over two hundred and fifty students enrolled. With the faculty involved in each step of the process, we identified SLOs lacking the minimum coverage on the curriculum map, consulted the instructors for mapped courses and identified curriculum modifications that could be employed to ensure each SLO was covered through the mastery level. We executed the first assessment cycle during the spring 2014 semester utilizing writing samples from BIOL 404 (Advanced Topics in Marine Biology), the Marine Biology capstone courses. BIOL 404 currently incorporates all but one of the program-level SLOs at the mastery level, therefore it is our primary source of evidence for program-level assessment. Following the first round of assessment, which highlighted a need to further reinforce the assessed SLO, and identified curriculum modifications to address it. We anticipate these changes will result in increased student learning, translating to higher scores on the writing rubric used to assess that SLO. The poster presents the process and products of SLO development, curriculum mapping, and capstone writing assignment evaluation activities in the BS Marine Biology program. The challenges and the success strategies along with how assessment aided in program improvement are discussed.
Institutional learning assessment, Program learning assessment, Rubrics, Curriculum maps
Kraft-Terry, S. D. (2015, April). Collaborative program assessment utilizing an undergraduate capstone course. Poster session presented at the Assessment for Curricular Improvement Poster Exhibit at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.
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