Student Learning Outcomes

Outcome Evaluation and Use of Results

A review of data for a five-year period (2003-2007) supporting the learning outcome-an ability to apply the knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools in drafting design technology practice-shows that performance of students in a course that is aligned (ETC 301: Statics) with this outcome was lower than the achievement criteria that had been established by the faculty. Forty percent of students who enrolled in the class received a grade of D, F, or withdrew. The achievement criteria that the Drafting Design Technology program identified was 70% of those students enrolling in ETC 301 would earn a grade of C or higher.

Another assessment set from the Drafting Design Technology Program’s Industrial Advisory Board indicated a need for improving student’s ability to apply drafting design knowledge. The Advisory Board indicated that the computer science course that was included in the curriculum focused on a computer language, Fortran, that was no longer being used in the industry.

Using these assessment results, the faculty used results to identify a strategy that would enhance the ability of program graduates to apply the knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools in drafting design technology practice. Fortran was eliminated as a required course, and a new course in Visual Basics was developed and added to the curriculum. This course, Computer Application in Engineering Technology I (ETC 208), has a corresponding laboratory as a co-requisite, ETC 228. This course was implemented spring semester 2006. Students who completed this new course sequence and enrolled in ETC 301 during the fall 2009 semester performed at a higher level, with 86% of these students earning a grade of C or better. Eighty percent of students enrolled in ETC 301 and had not taken ETC 208/228 received a grade of C or better.

Example: Nursing Program - (BSN)

The Nursing faculty identified ten learning outcomes that are aligned with the National Certification & Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Graduates of the Nursing Program will demonstrate that they have the knowledge to

  • Utilize appropriate communication techniques with multiple client systems in a variety of settings.
  • Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the humanities, and the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences with nursing theory and practice.
  • Promote adaptation along the continuum of wellness to illness for multiple client systems throughout the life cycle in a variety of settings.
  • Assume various roles of the professional nurse to meet health needs of client systems in a multi-variant and changing society.
  • Utilize the teaching/learning process to promote optimal health for multiple client systems.
  • Collaborate with other health team members to promote wellness of various client systems.
  • Demonstrate professional accountability incorporating legal and ethical aspects in nursing practice.
  • Exhibit responsibility for life-long learning to enhance the present and future practice of nursing.
  • Demonstrate leadership and management skills within practice settings to improve the quality of health care delivery.
  • Evaluate research for the applicability of its findings to nursing practice.

The Nursing Program uses clinical experiences, embedded assignments, and the National Certification & Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to assess learning outcomes.
The NCLEX pass rate in 2004 was 82.1%, in 2005 63.64%, and in 2006 42.5%. In an effort to address the low passage rate of nursing students on the NCLEX, the faculty integrating simulation activities into the curriculum and Student Support Services were enhanced. By 2007 the licensure pass rate increased to 75.0% and to 90.6% by 2008.

Comparison of NCLEX Pass Rates of First-time Test Takers
Year GSU State Rate National Rate
2004 82.1% 90.8% 84.8%
2005 63.6% 85.8% 86.7%
2006 42.5% 86.2% 88.3%
2007 75.0% 88.5% 86.4%
2008 90.6% 91.1 86.7%

Note: Exam taken between Jan. 1 & Dec. 31.
Sources: Louisiana State Board of Nursing & National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Example: Art Program (BA)

An example of an assessment cycle for a program that is not required to have national accreditation is the art program. Faculty in the art program have identified the learning outcomes for art majors. Graduates of the art program will demonstrate:

  • the ability to develop a cohesive theme in a single or multi-media direction in the production of a body of work that is of exhibition quality;
  • the ability to design and produce promotional materials;
  • the ability to present work in a professional format that is appropriate for exhibition; and
  • the ability to plan and host an exhibition.

Assessment and Use of Results

A capstone course is used to evaluate these learning outcomes. This course, Senior Exhibition (ART 422), requires the student to create, organize, advertise, and present a professional exhibit. Student performance is evaluated by a faculty panel. The art program has identified indicators for each learning outcome. These indicators are used to assess the extent to which each learning outcome has been met.

The following indicators have been identified for the ability to plan and host an exhibition learning outcome.

  • Creation of a pricelist and method of recording attendance for exhibition.
  • Hanging of exhibition complete with labels recording title and medium for all works.
  • Planning and execution of reception.
  • Mingling and promoting work to potential buyers at reception.

A review of the performance of students in this capstone course for the fall 2000–spring 2005 time period showed that 20% of the enrolled students failed to meet course requirements. Based on this data and informal student feedback, the faculty made revisions to the format and content of upper level courses that are taken prior to enrolling in ART 422. A “creating problem solving” format was introduced into upper-level courses. Students enrolled in these courses are given the opportunity to select a subject or theme they wish explore, formulate a problem statement that addresses what they intend to accomplish with the work, and the creation of the art work. This process prepares students for the senior exhibition. This curriculum revision was implemented fall 2005. Since this time, the percent of students who have not met the competencies in the capstone course has decreased to 14%.

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