2014-15 Call For Proposals - Assessing Core Competencies in Student Learning & Using the Results for Program Improvement (pdf)
The Grant Process
Each year, beginning in Fall 2005, the Provost issues an RFP for projects that implement direct measures of student learning with the grants to be administered by OIE.
These assessments are posted online to facilitate sharing of assessment resources and expertise among faculty. For more information on any of these projects, contact the appropriate faculty member or administrator for that program.
Click here to view Tips for Getting the Grant
Through the course of several years of proposal review, those that have not been funded were primarily due to a few reasons: 1) the RFP calls for implementing projects that use "direct" measures but " indirect" measures were proposed; 2) rather than a specific project, the request was to stipend faculty for implementing the ongoing activities of their assessment plan; 3) proposal was to develop or refine a SOAP; 4) not enough specificity about how the project would be implemented and sustained; 5) proposal did not follow Application Materials and Procedure instructions in the RFP. Because we want to support faculty through funding these grants, "Tips for Getting the Grant" and good examples of proposals that were funded are posted below.
Tips for Getting the Grant
Proposal from Steve Blumenshine in Biology
Proposal from Mary Barakzai in Nursing
Academic Year 2013-14
Using the Technology in the Classroom to Improve Students' Learning Outcome Assessment of My Writing Software in Graduate, Online and Traditional Under-graduate Classes in Criminology
Yoshiko Takahashi, Criminology Department, College of Health and Human Sciences
In order to prepare Criminology students for their future careers, the department is interested in looking at various writing software programs to determine if they contribute to improved student writing, as well as better course grades. Of equal importance is determining if writing software programs can be used across different teaching modalities including traditional and fully online courses, as well as with undergraduate and graduate students. This grant will help support Drs. Takahashi and DuPont-Morales to work with graduate students to collect the direct and indirect measures, to analyze the data, and to provide the Department with an assessment of MyWritingLab and determine if whether the software should be adopted across the four undergraduate options- Corrections, Forensic and Behavioral Sciences, Law Enforcement, and Victimology and in the graduate program.
Academic Year 2012-13
Assessing Communication, Critical Thinking, Clinical Judgement and Collaboration throughout the Baccalaureate Nursing Program
Marie Gilbert, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services
The Nursing Department will develop and analyze the use of a standardized rubric for Clinical Simulation Experiences in communication, critical thinking, clinical judgment, and collaboration at various stages of the nursing program. Multiple faculty members will rate students’ work using rubrics and that data and analyses will be produced during spring semester 2013.
Academic Year 2011-12
Experimenting with Aligning Grades and Learning Outcomes and Involving Students
Lyles College of Engineering
The Lyles College of Engineering departments are collaborating on a project to involve students in learning outcomes assessment and experiment with using grades to assess specific learning outcomes. The faculty will develop rubrics and an evaluation process that will complement the assessment processes already in place. The new evaluation process will provide an opportunity for faculty to share techniques and streamline existing assessment. LCOE ultimately aims to submit the findings of this research to the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education or similar journals for possible publication. They will share the challenges and benefits of what they learn with Fresno State colleagues.
Academic Year 2010-11
Funded projects include:
Assessing Student Terminal Outcomes of Construction Management Students in Senior Project Courses Utilizing Direct Assessment Methods by Industry Sponsors and Faculty
Bradley Hyatt & Manoochehr Zoghi, Construction Management
The project, which will incorporate industry professionals into the assessment process, will create an online rubric to grade “deliverables” of student projects. An electronic data collection system will be used by both faculty and industry sponsors participating in the Senior Project courses to assess students’ work. Findings of the project will then be included in future capstone courses to “close” the loop. The methodologies and implementation of this project will be shared with other programs who intend to incorporate industry feedback in their assessment plans.
Determination of Level of Preparedness of Juniors to Take Upper Division Courses in the Plant Science Major
Andrew Lawson, Plant Science
This project will develop and implement an online test to measure prerequisite knowledge and preparedness of Plant Science students in their junior year to take upper division courses. The results may be used to make curricular changes in the prerequisite course required, or to identify particular areas of knowledge where students are unprepared. These areas may then be incorporated into a particular Plant Science course. Plant Science may also work with the Department of Biology to strengthen particular content areas within their current required course.
Assessment of Effectiveness of Information Literacy Tutorials
Monica Fusich & Vang Vang, Henry Madden Library
This project will assess two of the four Madden Library’s more task-oriented online tutorials: Searching, Finding & Evaluating Books, and Searching, Finding & Evaluating Articles. In the pilot study, 25 students will give feedback on the effectiveness of the tutorials, the perception of the utility of the tutorials, and if they are attaining the learning outcomes outlined in them. Findings will then be used to adjust the tutorials, write a pretest, and create a new task-oriented quiz which will be mapped to the learning objectives to determine if the students were able to accomplish them.
Academic Year 2009-10
Funded projects include:
Assessment of the Effect of Undergraduate Research Experience on Student Success
Madhusudan Katti, Biology
Approximately 15-20% of Biology majors gain undergraduate research experience through activity and lab based courses, faculty-supervised independent study projects and as volunteer and paid research assistants in faculty labs. To test the hypothesis that research experience enhances learning, the performance of Biology majors who participate in formal research and those who don't will be compared on the learning outcomes of understanding basic research methodology, critical thinking, and intellectual independence. Findings will be used to help plan, develop and propose a Biology Honors Program and modify the curriculum to provide equivalent experiences in critical thinking and analytical skill development to students who do not participate in research.
Assessing the ECE Clinic
Nagy Bengiamin, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Through a new ECE Clinic, student cohorts will enroll for a 3-semester sequence of one-unit courses in which they participate in faculty members' research at progressive levels of difficulty. Drawing on the interactive learning environment and cohort nature of the clinic, students' progress on multiple learning outcomes will be assessed. These include the ability to: apply science and math knowledge; utilize engineering tools; work in teams; communicate orally and in writing; work independently; think critically; and demonstrate leadership skills.
Utilizing a Standardized Test to Gauge the Effect of Curricular Change
Paul Price, Psychology
Psychology will administer the ETS Major Field Test to undergraduates to follow-up on the test's previous administration in 2000. Based on those results, two new faculty members were hired to teach in an area that was shown as a weakness. The 2009 test administration will determine if that intervention was successful, compare Fresno State Psychology students' learning nationally, and reveal any other strengths or weaknesses in learning.
Assessing Preparation for Licensure
Helda Pinzon-Perez & Mohammed Rahman, Public Health
Utilizing sample questions developed for the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam, Public Health will administer a pre- and post-test to measure the extent to which the program prepares students to pass that licensure exam.
Academic Year 2008-09
Funded projects include:
Assessment of Effectiveness of a Cross-Departmental Prerequisite and Its Role in Curricular Revision.
Steve Blumenshine, Biology
This project is in response to biology faculty observations of students struggling to apply statistical skills learned in inter-departmental courses (Math 70, 75 and 101 and Psych 42) to biology and a recent Program Review recommendation that development of a statistical methods course specific to the biological sciences be considered. A pretest/posttest design will be used in Biosc 130 (General Ecology), a core course required of all biology students that has Math 101 or Psych 42 as a prerequisite, to assess biology-relevant knowledge and skills at the beginning and end of the semester. Results will identify and help guide biology faculty in addressing any quantitative analysis skill deficiencies.
Comparing Industrial Technology Curriculum and Seniors' Learning to National Standards
Darnell Austin, Industrial Technology
The national Certified Industrial Technologists (CIT) exam will be administered to seniors in IT 196 (required senior seminar) in order to compare how well CSU, Fresno students are prepared relative to seniors nationally. As an added incentive to student participation, those who pass can continue on to receive CIT certification. Classes will be treated like focus groups in an effort to learn which topics students were comfortable and uncomfortable with. This assessment effort is intended to validate the overall focus of the department and identify specific areas of the curriculum that are working or that need improvement. Tracking the program's current curriculum and revised SOAP in relation to similar programs in the nation was identified as a weak area in the department's Program Review self-study. This project addresses that concern.
Academic Year 2007-08
Funded projects include:
Assessment of Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Nursing
Cricket Barakzai and Dorothy Fraser, Nursing
This project will use computer-based clinical case studies to enhance critical thinking skills. The case studies are intended to motivate students to construct knowledge by searching for, critically analyzing, and applying information to solve authentic problems. Instruments used will be the Assessment Technologies Institute Critical Thinking Examination and two web-based critical thinking problem-solving case studies developed by DxR Nursing.
Administering the iSkills (formerly known as the ICT) to Determine Information Competency
Ross LaBaugh, Library
The iSkills will be administered to 125 freshmen and 125 juniors and seniors. The test will be used to design changes in the Library’s Information Competency program. Additionally, it will provide a university-level measure of information competency for external accountability purposes. (Project was postponed.)
Preparing Students to Meet Industry Design Standards
Jan Edwards and Candace Egan, Mass Communications and Journalism
MC&J is developing an event through which their undergraduate students will learn about industry standards for employment, showcase their work, and have it judged by mass media professionals using a rubric that employs industry performance standards. The department will use the collective results to improve the curriculum.
First-Year Writing Portfolio Assessment
Ginny Crisco, English
In Fall 2006, composition faculty implemented a new first-year writing program. The program shifted from a single course offering (English 1) with a lab component (English 1LA, 1LB or 1LC) for students scoring below 151 on the EPT to a program that gives students more course offerings. Additionally, a new placement mechanism, Directed Self Placement (DSP), asks students to make decisions about their own ability by effectively placing themselves into the appropriate class or set of classes (English 10 or English 5A/5B). This assessment project will examine exit portfolios of 5B and 10 students to analyze their performance of academic rhetorical, stylistic, and genre conventions after their placement decision and compare portfolios from the two courses
Funded projects include:
Earth & Environmental Sciences (Zhi Wang and Robert Dundas)
This assessment project involves a practical examination of students prior to entry into Geol 107. Final Report
Craig School of Business (Robert Harper)
The CSB project involves “taking a second-look” at student writings in capstone courses. Final Report
Craig School of Business (Robert Harper)
This project draws off of the results of the CAAP Reading Test administered in Spring 2005. It is intended to assess the reading abilities of CSB students in order to incorporate the development of reading skills into the curriculum.
Physics (Douglas Singleton)
This project involves administering the ETS Major Field Exam.
Art & Design (Martin R. Valencia, Doug Hansen, and Charles Shields)
This project reviews students’ portfolios at two points in time in order to assess development as they progress through the program. Final Report
Child & Family Consumer Studies (Marianne Jones)
This project involves the use of scoring rubrics and electronic portfolios to assess students' ability to compare and contrast theoretical perspectives of child development.
Plant Science (Jim Farrar)
This project follows-up on the results of the CAAP Reading Test administered in Spring 2005. Tests will be administered to students in two upper division Plant Science classes and results will be analyzed on their own and in relation to results from the Spring test with the goal of using results to help faculty design classroom activities that reinforce reading and math skills.
Nursing (Mary Barakzai)
This project analyzes test results over time and compares them to licensure pass rates and with the intent of relating the results to changes that have occurred in the curriculum.
Rehabilitation Counseling (Charles Arokisamy) and
MS in Counseling (Christopher Lucey)
This project involves developing a comprehensive examination and correlating local exam scores with the Certification Exam for Rehabilitation Counselors. Final Report