Location

Cheatham 212

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

27-3-2010 3:30 PM

End Date

27-3-2010 4:00 PM

Description

Course grades are the norm for reporting a student’s overall proficiency. However, the one dimensional nature of grades implies that all individual course components have been equally mastered. The Pennsylvania College of Technology employs an institution wide program of Quality Through Assessment to aid in evaluating the institutional mission to, “provide students with quality academic programs that respond to economic and employment realities” (www.pct.edu/assessment/). The initiative employs outcome assessment at three levels, institution, academic school, and program. The Forest Technology faculty has been charged with incorporating outcome assessment into our ongoing curricular evaluation process. The faculty identified broadly defined required outcomes by incorporating SAF accreditation guidelines, the college’s mission statement, and program advisory board input. This core set of goals was approved through the college’s Curriculum Committee. The faculty built more detailed course specific outcomes into their syllabi and the entire forest technology curriculum was reviewed to ensure that skill sets would overlap among courses and result in a holistic forestry education. The result was a built‐in curriculum assessment tool that also improved student evaluation. The basic skill sets and theory in introductory courses are the foundation of more complex skills and theories built in subsequent courses. Collaborative student groups are used to provide realistic field data collection scenarios. Unfortunately, every student may not be self motivated enough to master each skill in this setting. Outcome assessment provides faculty with a mechanism to counter this problem. For example, students within a group are required to rotate through each task necessary to complete a field assignment. Using an “outcomes checklist” during the normal observation of field exercises, the instructor simply identifies which students have mastered each skill. Little extra effort is required of the instructor beyond identifying the required outcomes and employing the checklist. Posting the checklist allows students to be informed and proactive in demonstrating competence for each outcome. While outcome assessment is implicit in student grades, important technical skills are sometimes lost in the overall rubric. Undergraduates often require specific direction regarding the importance of mastering small pieces of the larger curriculum. The identification of distinct outcomes provides the student with both direction and tangible milestones. Program outcome assessment ensures that course work is integrated throughout the major and allows faculty to address student needs at both the course level and curriculum level. Ultimately, a more thorough assessment of student success benefits all levels of the institution. Better educated graduates increase the value of the institute through their contributions to society and the profession.

Comments

Citation: Bartholomay, G.A. 2010. Forest technology program outcome assessment. UENR Biennial Conference, Session Curricula and Assessment, Paper Number 12. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/12/

 
Mar 27th, 3:30 PM Mar 27th, 4:00 PM

Forest Technology Program Outcome Assessment

Cheatham 212

Course grades are the norm for reporting a student’s overall proficiency. However, the one dimensional nature of grades implies that all individual course components have been equally mastered. The Pennsylvania College of Technology employs an institution wide program of Quality Through Assessment to aid in evaluating the institutional mission to, “provide students with quality academic programs that respond to economic and employment realities” (www.pct.edu/assessment/). The initiative employs outcome assessment at three levels, institution, academic school, and program. The Forest Technology faculty has been charged with incorporating outcome assessment into our ongoing curricular evaluation process. The faculty identified broadly defined required outcomes by incorporating SAF accreditation guidelines, the college’s mission statement, and program advisory board input. This core set of goals was approved through the college’s Curriculum Committee. The faculty built more detailed course specific outcomes into their syllabi and the entire forest technology curriculum was reviewed to ensure that skill sets would overlap among courses and result in a holistic forestry education. The result was a built‐in curriculum assessment tool that also improved student evaluation. The basic skill sets and theory in introductory courses are the foundation of more complex skills and theories built in subsequent courses. Collaborative student groups are used to provide realistic field data collection scenarios. Unfortunately, every student may not be self motivated enough to master each skill in this setting. Outcome assessment provides faculty with a mechanism to counter this problem. For example, students within a group are required to rotate through each task necessary to complete a field assignment. Using an “outcomes checklist” during the normal observation of field exercises, the instructor simply identifies which students have mastered each skill. Little extra effort is required of the instructor beyond identifying the required outcomes and employing the checklist. Posting the checklist allows students to be informed and proactive in demonstrating competence for each outcome. While outcome assessment is implicit in student grades, important technical skills are sometimes lost in the overall rubric. Undergraduates often require specific direction regarding the importance of mastering small pieces of the larger curriculum. The identification of distinct outcomes provides the student with both direction and tangible milestones. Program outcome assessment ensures that course work is integrated throughout the major and allows faculty to address student needs at both the course level and curriculum level. Ultimately, a more thorough assessment of student success benefits all levels of the institution. Better educated graduates increase the value of the institute through their contributions to society and the profession.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/12