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© The University of Texas at El Paso Course-based Program Assessment Helmut Knaust & Joe A. Guthrie Department of Mathematical Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso Joint Mathematics Meetings New Orleans LA · January 9, 2011
© The University of Texas at El Paso 1.UTEP and its Math Department 2.Vision, Mission, Competencies 3.Assessment Plan 4.Assessment in the Analysis course 5.Results and Challenges Overview
© The University of Texas at El Paso UTEP Student Profile About 22,000 students (17,000 UG and 5,000 GR) 24 years of age (undergraduate average) 74% Hispanic 55% female 81% from El Paso County commuting daily 84% employed 50% first generation university students
© The University of Texas at El Paso The Mathematics Department ~200 UG Math majors: BS Mathematics (with concentrations in Secondary Education (by far the most popular choice), Statistics, Applied Math, etc.) Graduate Programs: MS Mathematics, MS Statistics, MAT Mathematics MS Bioinformatics*, PhD Computational Sciences* * interdisciplinary
© The University of Texas at El Paso Process driven by Accreditation Requirements (SACS) Creation of a Strategic Planning Committee Consisting of five department members High profile: Department chair as committee chair Departmental opinion leaders Representing all sub-disciplines within the department Varying experience from Assistant Professor to Full Professor Working on a Vision and Mission Statement Lots of talking Slowly coming to an understanding about the future path of the department Very slow but steady progress Surprise: All committee members envision quite similar student outcomes! Getting Started Spring & Fall 2004
© The University of Texas at El Paso 1.Given initial information and data from various domains, students will be able to identify problems, and using appropriate mathematical tools, formulate and solve them. 2.Students will be able to understand, create and analyze mathematical proofs. 3.Students will be able to communicate mathematics clearly in oral and written form. Basic Student Competencies Early 2005 Department agrees on the following student learning outcomes:
© The University of Texas at El Paso 1.Discrete Mathematics 2.Introduction to Higher Mathematics Sophomore courses; students take one of these two courses. Intro to Higher Math is Math as a Laboratory Science. Discrete Math is also taken by Computer Science majors. 3.Principles of Mathematics Junior level proof course; taken by (almost) all math majors. 4.Introduction to Analysis Junior level course; Analysis on the Real Line. 5.Fundamental Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint Senior level capstone course for future secondary education teachers; topic is high school algebra. Assessment in Seven Courses (I) Spring 2008
© The University of Texas at El Paso 6.Statistics Senior level course; has probability course as a prerequisite. Not a requirement for Math majors. 7.Numerical Analysis Senior level introductory numerical methods course; also taken by Computer Science majors. Faculty groups design the assessment details for each course. Assessment in Seven Courses (II) Fall 2008
© The University of Texas at El Paso Example- Analysis (I) #Course GoalLinked to Outcome 1Student will become familiar with the fundamental results of "Analysis on the Real Line" (highlights of the course include the Intermediate Value Theorem, the Mean Value Theorem and possibly the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus) 2 2Students will thoroughly understand the definitions of the basic concepts of Analysis such as convergence, continuity, differentiation and integration 2 3Students will be able to apply definitions and theorems in Analysis2 4Students will continue to develop their ability to use the method of proof to establish the fundamental results in Analysis 2 5Students will employ effective strategies to decide the truth or falsity of mathematical propositions 2 6Students will be able to write down proofs in a clear, concise manner using correct English and mathematical grammar. 3 7Students will be able to present and defend a proof to a group of their peers. 3
© The University of Texas at El Paso Example- Analysis (II) COURSE OBJECTIVES (Corresponding course goals) MEASUREMENT METHODBENCHMARK 1. State important definitions (2) Embedded final examination questions 80% (4 of 5 correct) 2. State major theorems (1)Embedded final examination questions 66% (2 of 3 correct) 3. Use the definitions to compute a limit and a derivative (2,3) Embedded final examination questions 50% (1 of 2 essentially correct) 4. Show facility with the following techniques: ε-δ proof, counterexample, subsequence construction (2,3,4,5,6) Embedded final examination questions 66% (2 of 3 essentially correct) 5. Construct and present a proof to the class (7) During class time, using notes, present at the board and defend a solution to an exercise that requires proof. 80% on a rubric score (Only minor errors in notation or presentation. No errors in logic.)
© The University of Texas at El Paso Assessment Schedule Since Spring 2009 We are assessing 3-4 courses per semester. Instructor(s) write assessment report at the end of the semester. Reports are reviewed by the assessment committee and presented to the faculty.
© The University of Texas at El Paso Results Fine-tuning of the assessment plans is needed Assessment has raised awareness of the faculty involved (learning outcomes, curricular dependence, etc.) Discovery of weak spots in students learning of some course material (e.g. relations) Discovery of holes in the curriculum (e.g. complex numbers)
© The University of Texas at El Paso Challenges Lack of buy-in by some faculty Assessment plan has to be changed when the curriculum changes (new Statistics course)
© The University of Texas at El Paso Contact Info Helmut Knaust Joe A. Guthrie
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