• Assessment Plan

    Assessment practices are everywhere in life for us.That is, evaluation of accountability to guidelines and standards occurs through out our lives and happens subjectively and objectively from some point every day.

    In response to the expectations of the SACS QEP standard, HSU has constructed an assessment plan.The intent is to gather data, evaluate that data, and report findings—whether the objectives of the plan were met or not, or to what degree—to SACS. For the complete HSU Quality Enhancement Plan click here.

    Assessment Plan

    The evaluation of the HSU QEP initiatives includes three types of assessment. Diagnostic assessment will be used to examine existing programs and establish a base point for student performance. Ongoing formative assessment will inform and guide the development process. Summative assessment strategies will be implemented to examine the impact of the QEP initiatives on student learning outcomes. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to assess and improve the effectiveness of the initiatives.

    Three Initiatives and their Actions for Assessment

    In order to assess Initiative A, increased collaboration among faculty and between disciplines, evidence of attaining Action 1 required written documentation of the time, place, attendance, and subject of faculty discussions regarding ethical issues or pedagogy. Such documentation is to be housed in the school or college hosting the discussion. This evidence is measured by means of a Feedback Survey, the results of which are examined by the university Provost and members of the Ethics Education Council. Evidence of Action II, developing one or more interdisciplinary ethics courses as part of the new ethics minor, will consist of documentation of course development meetings, of course proposal consideration beyond the development stage, of syllabus and actual course offering post approval as well as number of students enrolled, different disciplines involved in the teaching of each of these courses, and specific modes of participation by each of these disciplines. These materials are to be housed in the Logsdon School of Theology in conjunction with records concerning the development of the minor in ethics. To accomplish Action III, the university President intends to appointed Dr. Bill Tillman as the Chair of the Ethics Education Council (See QEP Report Appendix J: "Resume of Dr. William Morris Tillman, Jr."). The appropriate dean in consultation with the university Provost appointed a representative from each of the schools and colleges while a student representative was appointed by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Provost. The Chair and Council report directly to the Provost. Evidence of these steps are available in the Provost's office.

    To fulfill Initiative B, Action I developed an Extracurricular Assessment Plan (EAP) which will initiate a two-fold approach. First, a record will be kept of each training session, along with a record of those attending, to ensure that all faculty and staff sponsors receive the training. Second, the effectiveness of the training will be assessed by observing the results of external surveys (described in assessment for Action II) regarding the ethical behavior of students in actual situations. Action II has been assessed in several ways. First, after the council of sponsors and students was selected to serve (the selection has been done by the Senior Vice President for Student Development, the Dean of Students, or their representatives), the charter and roster of the council has been maintained in the Dean of Students office. Second, the Senior Vice President of Student Development and the Dean will review any decisions made by the council regarding ethical questions regarding student behavior, and a record of such decisions will be maintained by the Dean. Finally, the council will oversee the development and administration of surveys to be administered to groups and persons who regularly observe the behavior of students during their activities. The surveys will focus on the issue of ethical student behavior, and the SVPSD and the Dean will work with the council in determining any action to be taken as a result of the surveys.

    Assessing the enhancement or incorporation of ethics curriculum into selected courses, Initiative C, began with a comprehensive curriculum review as a part of Action I. This review resulted in documentation identifying ethics curriculum in existing courses for pre-professional and professional programs and identifying those programs with little or no current ethics components. In response to this review, individual schools and colleges developed plans for addressing the enhancement or incorporation of ethics into the curriculum of each pre-professional and professional program in that school or college. These plans are becoming an additional section on each area's annual Assessment of Learning Outcomes Committee (ALOC) report and must be submitted to the appropriate school or college dean, the Ethics Education Council, and the university Provost.

    Evidence of attainment of Action II, asking for student demonstration of knowledge in ethical philosophy, is a written record of the completion by each pre-professional and professional undergraduate program of a discipline-specific project requiring demonstration of knowledge in ethical philosophy. Each discipline will determine its own measuring device for this project and must record this assessment strategy as well as an annual report of the students' demonstration of knowledge reflected in these projects as part of the added QEP section of the area's annual ALOC report. In addition, the ALOC report contains the discipline's evaluation of overall demonstration results and indicate any resulting curriculum changes. Copies of this report are submitted to the appropriate school or college dean, the Ethics Education Council, and the university Provost.

    Quantitative Testing

    The quantitative testing of ethical ability might be characterized as still undergoing healthy developmental discussion and resulting alterations. The Measure of Moral Orientation [MMO], for example, while affirmed as a reliable "standardized assessment of moral voice" by Debora L. Liddell in The Journal of College Student Development, is unable to gauge the context of students' moral dilemmas unless professors engage with students beyond the testing process. To the degree, however, that such testing has developed up to the present time, HSU's QEP Steering Committee decided to examine external testing as a means for assessing Action III, students evaluating real-world context ethical scenarios. Three possible measuring devices were investigated: the National Survey of Student Engagement [NSSE], the Measure of Moral Orientation [MMO], and the Defining Issues Test [DIT].

    The DIT became the central consideration for external testing. The DIT-2, developed by the Center for the Study of Ethical Development at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, is the newly revised version of the original DIT and attempts to assess moral reasoning by asking students to choose from a list of potential answers to a set of hypothetical dilemmas. Based on Kohlberg's theory of moral development, as is the MMO, the DIT-2 offers each student a set of four moral dilemmas, each followed by 12 questions. Scoring is based on the student's ranking of the top 4 of these 12 questions in relation to significance to making a decision regarding that dilemma. (See Appendix L: "Review of the Defining Issues Test" for evaluations of the DIT's initial test by Burrows Mental Measurements.)

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