Learning, Outcomes, and Research
by Michelle Barton and April Cunningham
NEW 3-YEAR CYCLE FOR COLLEGE LEARNING OUTCOMES
The Learning Outcomes Subcommittee has created a College Outcomes Assessment Framework to define the three-year cycle on which all of Palomar’s College Outcomes will be assessed. This Framework is intended to engage faculty and staff in assessment. Instruction and Student Services, in particular, will be able to use the Framework to plan activities and assessments that align with the College Outcomes in each year of the cycle, allowing reflection on and discussion about cross-functional collaborations that can support students’ continued achievement of these outcomes.
OUTCOMES DATA USING CANVAS
Faculty are receiving training about how to load and use shared scoring rubrics in Canvas to facilitate assessment of students’ learning across courses, programs, and the college. The reports of students’ achievement of course, program and college learning outcomes are then being used to inform program review and planning. In addition, the reports can support cross-disciplinary discussions about goals for student learning, effective approaches and assignments for achieving outcomes, and resources needed to sustain ongoing achievement. Using Canvas to facilitate learning outcomes assessment also makes it possible to identify disproportionate impact using shared metrics established by the state.
ALIGNING OUTCOMES IN PROGRAM MAPS
Program outcomes are being listed on Degree and Certificate Maps to encourage the sequencing of courses to support students’ achievement of program outcomes. Faculty are working to update the alignment of courses with college learning outcomes. These alignment efforts make it possible to conduct ongoing assessment of learning outcomes at all levels of the curriculum, from courses to programs to the whole institution, to see how our students’ learning builds throughout their time at Palomar.
Outcomes Co-Coordinators, Katy Farrell and April Cunningham, are creating and reviewing reports of outcomes alignment using Nuventive Improve (née TracDat) to identify areas where additional support might further strengthen alignment of course, program, and college learning outcomes. And the Co-Coordinators are sharing these reports with Learning Outcomes Facilitators so that updates, revisions, and additions can be made on an ongoing basis to keep outcomes alignments up-to-date.
Institutional Research and Planning is developing a report which will allow faculty to see on average how many units student degree earners complete by program. This will help guide faculty discussions regarding their program maps and scheduling for completion
OUTCOMES ACHIEVED THROUGH WORK EXPERIENCE
Lastly, ongoing assessment of students’ learning is not only happening in courses. The Work Experience Coordinator is working with the Outcomes Co-Coordinators and serving on the Learning Outcomes Subcommittee to establish and assess outcomes achieved through applied and work-based learning opportunities. Institutional learning outcomes assessments are also being created and deployed to assess co-curricular learning opportunities like Political Economy Days, House of Humanities, and Media and Communication Days, etc.
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