Institutional Academic Assessment
Improving student learning is the primary purpose of institutional academic assessment. The assessment process also ensures that learning outcomes are consistent with the university's mission and goals. The process allows comparisons of desired learning outcomes to actual learning. This information is the basis for programmatic changes and ultimately to improvements in teaching and learning. Reflection and consideration of student performance leads to programmatic change by way of formal feedback loops, which are described below.
The assessment process at Mayville State University improves student learning by:
• Formulating institutional mission and goals.
• Identifying desired student learning outcomes.
• Measuring students' achievements of those outcomes.
• Analyzing the results of the learning measurements.
• Using those results as the basis for enhancing the curriculum and the teaching-learning process.
Student Learning Outcomes
The faculty has defined Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for each major. Majors' outcomes are identified in the university catalog and are incorporated into every Blackboard course shell for students to reference as needed.
Essential Studies outcomes apply to students in all courses offered for Essential Studies and are consistent with those identified through the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Liberal Education - America's Promise (LEAP) initiative. These Essential Learning Outcomes are identified here:
- ELO #1 - Students will demonstrate knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages and the arts. This is focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
- ELO #2 - Students will demonstrate intellectual and practical skills, practiced extensively across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects and standards for performance. Special areas of focus for this outcome are inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, creative thinking, written communication, oral communication, quantitative literacy, information literacy and teamwork.
- ELO #3 - Students will demonstrate personal and social responsibility, anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges. Areas of focus for ELO #3 include civic engagement, ethical reasoning, global learning, intercultural knowledge and competence, and lifelong learning.
- ELO #4 - Students will demonstrate Integrative and Applied Learning, including synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies. This is demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.
Direct evidence for majors and Essential Studies assessment is collected through course activities such as journals, papers, presentations, projects and tests, as well as institutional and professional independent examinations. Examples of indirect evidence used for improving learning include institutional and divisional student and alumni surveys, professional advisory board recommendations and important takeaways from conferences.
Non Classroom Assessment
North Dakota University System (NDUS) Accountability Measures 2012
The NDUS-mandated requirements were initiated in 1999 when the legislative Interim Higher Education Committee was expanded by the Legislative Council to become the Roundtable on Higher Education, a group of state leaders from the public and private sectors who established new expectations for the NDUS. In 2001, SB 2003 was passed by the Legislative Assembly and the Roundtable members identified key cornerstones on which to build a university system for the 21st century. The Roundtable then developed accountability measures that would allow stakeholders and the NDUS to measure success in revitalizing the state's economy. The annual NDUS Accountability Measures Report is widely used to determine how well Roundtable, Legislative and State Board of Higher Education expectations are being met.
The North Dakota University System campuses assume responsibility to the NDUS for documenting measurement of economic development and the education excellence accountability measures. These specific measurements include:
Enrollment in entrepreneurship courses and the number of graduates of entrepreneurship programs.
Student graduation and retention rates.
Student performance on nationally recognized exams benchmarked against national averages and first-time licensure pass rates compared to other states.
Student-reported satisfaction with preparation in selected major, acquisition of specific skills and technology knowledge and abilities.
Alumni- and student-reported satisfaction with preparation in selected major, acquisition of specific skills and technology knowledge and abilities benchmarked against historical trends.
Employer-reported satisfaction with preparation of recently hired graduates.