Kansas State University

search

Office of Assessment

Automating and Deepening Assessment Processes using Canvas and Power BI

New tools available to programs can facilitate collection, management, and analysis of direct assessment data.  With these new tools, it is now possible for faculty to assess direct student demonstrations of learning as part of the regular grading process.  Data collected in this way can then be automatically analyzed and delivered to those in the program responsible for assessment.  When fully implemented, this process has the potential to reduce the amount of time spent on process, and afford programs additional opportunities to use assessment data to guide improvements.

Automating Direct Assessment AnalysisThe Office of Assessment can help programs implement these new tools and design custom reports that meet the program’s needs.  This article describes using Canvas to collect data, but other options are available.  The key is that assessment data is gathered at the student level, which enables connection to other student indicators and metrics. Continue reading “Automating and Deepening Assessment Processes using Canvas and Power BI”

Spring Senior Survey Has Begun

The Senior Survey has been sent out to seniors in undergraduate degree programs who have applied or been approved for graduation in the Spring semester. The survey is emailed directly to each senior’s @ksu.edu email address. Please encourage your students to take the survey before it closes at the end of the semester.

The survey is designed to give students the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences and time at K-State. Results are used to improve the K-State experience for future students by identifying areas of strength and areas that need further development.

Prizes are available for students who complete the survey, including Alumni Association photography books and $15 K-State Campus Store gift cards.

senior survey

Survey results of 1,718 seniors from 2015-2016 showed very positive results, including:

  • 96% of respondents reported that they had a very positive (56.7%) or positive (39.3%) experience at K-State.
  • 95.6% of respondents indicated that they definitely (68.9%) or probably (26.7%) would recommend K-State to others.
  • 71.6% of respondents have a job lined up (48.6%) or will attend graduate school (22.9%) upon graduation.
  • At least 94.9% of respondents felt that they made some or a lot of progress in:
    • ability to interact positively with people who are different from themselves
    • gaining a broad general education about different fields of knowledge
    • ability to think critically (analytically and logically)
    • understanding the ethical standards of their discipline or profession
    • understanding themselves – their abilities, interests, and personality
    • understanding of other people and their abilities, interests, and perspectives
    • ability to participate as a team member

The entire 2015-2016 survey can be found here.

Find more information about the Senior Survey here.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Phillip Vardiman, Athletic Training

Phil VardimanThe Athletic Training Program was recently selected by the Office of Assessment for the 2017 Excellence in Assessment Citation, which highlights exemplary assessment processes and practices at K-State.

Phillip Vardiman, director of K-State’s athletic training program and associate professor in the College of Human Ecology, said the collaborative environment in the program has led to its success. “It’s definitely a team effort,” said Vardiman. “There’s not one of us that can take full credit for this type of accolade. It’s something that we’re all really proud of.”

In addition to meeting the program requirements at K-State, the athletic training program is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). According to Vardiman, this has assisted the athletic training program in honing its assessment methods. “The big piece for us that is helpful is that we’re an accredited program,” said Vardiman. “We’re utilizing best practices… and selecting some of the items we feel best represent the areas we need to quantify for the assessment program.”

The Excellence in Assessment Citation was awarded to the athletic training program for the efforts and achievements in the following areas:

  • Specificity and rigor in critical thinking assessments.
  • Multiple rounds of assessment that provide feedback for students and document increased levels of achievement.
  • Assessment tasks that reflect authentic, real-world learning expectations.
  • Clear benchmark levels of achievement that expose specific needs.
  • The use of results to guide instructional enhancement.
  • Well-designed assessment of academic and professional integrity.

Vardiman said these areas are met through sequential learning. Students are taught hands on athletic training skills that are then used in their clinical sites, where they are evaluated by a preceptor. This method, said Vardiman, “is a unique undergraduate experience compared to other programs on campus, providing a real world scenario where there would be actual treatment and patient care.”

The students are taught to develop a deductive reasoning thought process. Athletic training students need to be able to assess a patient’s injury and from there, determine treatment methods. “That’s a sequential learning process that we go through and we’re able to assess each component as they go through it,” said Vardiman. Students in their final year of the program are assessed globally on their ability to evaluate and treat a patient from start to finish.

Vardiman has found Canvas to be helpful for course instruction and hopes to have the entire faculty using it to link the assessment methods to grading mechanisms by the end of next year. Currently, Vardiman is working on continuing to build the athletic training program, by supporting the undergraduate degree while expanding to a graduate program.

Vardiman has received multiple awards for his work in higher education. He was recently named the 2016 Kansas Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Kansas Athletic Trainers Society (KATS), and is a previous recipient of the National Athletic Trainers Association Athletic Training Service Award. Additionally, Vardiman served as the athletic trainer with the medical team supporting U.S. track and field athletes in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympics.

The award will be presented to the athletic training program at the Institute for Student Learning Assessment in October. For more information on the athletic training program, please visit: http://www.he.k-state.edu/fndh/ugrad/athletictraining/

 

Faculty Spotlight: Greg Eiselein

Professor EiseleinGreat ideas can often come from the strangest of situations. For Dr. Greg Eiselein, Donnelly Professor of English and Director of K-State First, the idea for a first-year experience program came about while working on the first task force for the K-State 8. One of the conclusions this task force made was that creation of a first-year experience program would be beneficial for new students. Several faculty members and administrators liked the concept and began meeting unofficially to discuss ideas and implementation.

Provost April Mason encouraged their work, which started with a pilot study to demonstrate the positive impact that a program like this could have. “From the very beginning of the first-year experience program, K-State First was committed to assessment,” said Eiselein. “We decided from the get go that assessment would be the foundation of everything we did.”

What resulted was K-State First, the University’s first-year experience program, which was launched six years ago and has had already some impressive results. Eiselein said that the four main areas of measurable success have been: higher retention rates from freshman to sophomore year, graduation rates and improved time to degree, higher overall GPA, and a greater level of student engagement.

Most importantly, said Eiselein, students are excited about the courses they are taking and excited about college itself. This has led to high engagement rates, with 84 percent of students reporting having an “excellent teacher” and 68 percent having an “excellent course” in the fall of 2016.

The student learning outcomes used to assess the success of the program are critical thinking, communication, community building, and application of learning. According to the K-State First website, these courses “have been developed and organized for students to achieve maximum success during their first-year.”

Departmental collaboration has been a key to the program’s success. Working with other departments to continue to engage first-year students in exciting courses is something many professors have been eager to assist with, said Eiselein.

Just six years after its implementation, this great idea continues to grow, as K-State First engages first-year students and prepares them for a great college experience.

For more information on the assessment methods used for K-State First, please click here.

Plan to Attend “Designing Rubrics to Teach Critical Thinking”

The K-State Teaching & Learning Center has recently named 2017 as the Year of Critical Thinking. In keeping with these efforts, the Office of Assessment will host the second critical thinking event of March, “Designing Rubrics to Teach Critical Thinking.” This workshop will be led by the Office of Assessment’s Director, Fred Burrack and will take place on March 15th and 16th (repeat session) from 3-4 p.m. in Room 209 at the Union.

workshop

Critical Thinking in the context of an assignment or within a discipline is an expectation in most courses and programs. This session will explore how to assess student demonstrations of traits associated with critical thinking and provide examples of rubrics that can be adapted for a variety of assessment tasks. Participants will consider how students demonstrate critical thinking within their courses and programs and connect them to rubric design choices that enable authentic assessment of critical thinking.

More information can be found at the Office of Assessment events page and Twitter. To become a part of the critical thinking work at K-State, please plan to attend this event and engage on social media with the hashtag #MarchTowardCriticalThinking.

The event is free and no registration is required.

Multiple Choice Tests for Critical Thinking Workshop Video Now Available

On February 16, the Office of Assessment sponsored “Designing Multiple Choice Assessments for Critical Thinking” workshop in Bluemont Hall. This event was led by Warren White, Professor of Special Education and Director of Assessment in the College of Education.

This workshop was a part of the Year of Critical Thinking, an effort led by the Teaching and Learning Center. You can learn more about this endeavor here.

You can view the workshop below. We hope you enjoy and will continue to be a part of the Year of Critical Thinking.

Faculty Spotlight: Don Kurtz

Dr. Don Kurtz, associate professor of social work, is no stranger to the work of assessment. At the start of his day, he had already had a meeting with faculty on evaluative measures.

The environment in the social work program is a collaborative one. “All of our professors are committed to (evaluation),” said Kurtz. Many in the program, including Kurtz, have taken on AAC&U VALUE Rubrics, available here. Kurtz has used the rubrics in a variety of ways: to monitor discussion boards, by adapting them to assess a written assignment, and to save time. Especially in large, online courses, Kurtz said the benefits of rubrics are extremely advantageous.

Continue reading “Faculty Spotlight: Don Kurtz”

New Office of Assessment Video Highlights Importance of Faculty Work

K-State’s Division of Communications and Marketing has recently created an informational video of the Office of Assessment you can view here.

This video contains faculty testimonies and the resources available at the Office of Assessment. Many will recognize the familiar faces on campus; professors from the College of Human Ecology, Journalism and Mass Communications, and K-State Polytechnic all make an appearance.

Additionally, the video highlights the value of the assessment work that programs are currently doing. In benefiting the department, assessment work also brings K-State closer to the 2025 goal.

We hope you enjoy the video and will check out our Twitter and blog page for more examples of faculty work in assessment.