How Do We Use Evidence to Support Student Learning?
The last stage in our cycle of assessment is using results to improve our assessment plans and processes and to expand and strengthen opportunities for students to learn and succeed. In fact, our assessment efforts play an important role in PPCC’s overall Strategic Plan.
In some instances, our findings show we’re doing well. These are achievements to celebrate. Other results, however, indicate that we have some challenges to meet. Below is a summary of the action we’re taking to address some of our evidence and support student learning.
Faculty voted in spring 2013 on action to address Community Skills results. They determined that Academic divisions would identify departments with the greatest connection between their curriculum and Community Skills. Selected departments within each division will decide how they will enhance their curricula to strengthen students' abilities to apply knowledge about community issues to their real world situations. Identified departments will implement enhancement in selected courses. The action is being implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year.
To address our Critical Thinking results, faculty attended training on the concepts of inference and deduction. Learn more about inference and deduction from one of our faculty members. In addition, all full-time and adjunct instructors have been incorporating an activity or assignment that focuses on these concepts in all of their courses. Find a sampling of these initiatives here. The college began reassessing critical thinking in the fall of 2012.
In the spring of 2012, faculty voted to embed information literacy "how to" resources into some online English and computer information/computer science courses. A new assessment instrument is being designed, and students will be reassessed.
Listening results indicated that students are doing well in this area. Faculty have been advised to model good listening techniques, break up lectures into manageable parts, reduce distractions, and provide students with listening strategies. A team of faculty is currently designing a new assessment to evaluate listening skills.
Faculty addressed Math results by sponsoring a series of math puzzlers, or brainteasers, which focus on areas of greatest challenge for students. Using our online course delivery system, students could participate in the puzzler contests and answer a weekly question. Test your own math skills, and try one of the puzzlers! Check your answer here.
For information about using other general education or departmental assessment results, contact the Office of the Vice President for Instructional Services at 719-502-3100.