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How a Services Unit Becomes a Learning Unit Julie K. Nothnagel, M.S. Director of Testing Services Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

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Presentation on theme: "How a Services Unit Becomes a Learning Unit Julie K. Nothnagel, M.S. Director of Testing Services Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne."— Presentation transcript:

1 How a Services Unit Becomes a Learning Unit Julie K. Nothnagel, M.S. Director of Testing Services Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne

2 Overview Background -University background -Testing Services Why the shift to a learning unit? Overview of assessment terms How we made the transformation Pulling the results together and what lies ahead

3 IPFW Background  Largest university in northeast Indiana  Fifth largest university in the state  Public comprehensive university  Enrollment approximately 14,192 students  92% are commuter students  28% are over the age of 25  64% of freshman students are first generation

4 Testing Services at IPFW Background Located in the Division of Student Affairs Prometric CBT Center University Testing: – Placement testing (math, English, reading) and foreign language testing – Correspondence testing – Career assessment testing – National testing (Praxis, LSAT, SAT, CLEP) – ESL testing

5 Testing Services at IPFW Background (continued) Prov Exams Departmental exams (Nursing, Psychology, etc.) Administer approximately 13,000+ tests annually. 3 FTE, one part time evening/Saturday assistant, two part time graduate assistants.

6 Why the Shift to a Learning Unit? IPFW Baccalaureate Framework -Acquisition of Knowledge—students demonstrating the breadth of knowledge across disciplines and depth or knowledge in their chosen discipline. -Application of Knowledge—students will demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply that knowledge and in doing so will demonstrate the skills necessary for life-long learning. -Personal and Professional values—students will demonstrate the highest levels of personal integrity and professional ethics

7 Why the Shift to a Learning Unit (contd.’) -A Sense of Community-students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive and responsible citizens and leaders in local, regional, national, and international communities. In so doing, students will demonstrate a commitment to free and open inquiry and mutual respect across multiple cultures and perspectives. -Critical Thinking and Problem Solving—students will demonstrate facility and adaptability in their approach to problem solving. In so doing, students will demonstrate critical-thinking abilities and familiarity with quantitative and qualitative reasoning.

8 Why the Shift to a Learning Unit? (contd.’) -Communication—Students will demonstrate the written, oral, and multimedia skills necessary to communicate effectively in diverse settings. -Testing Services focused on three of the above Baccalaureate Framework foundations—acquisition of knowledge, personal and professional values, and communication.

9 Why the Shift to a Learning Unit? (contd.’) Accountability -new accountability -exit exams -providing data/research with accountability

10 Why the shift to a Learning Unit? (contd.’) VCSA -Academic Affairs and Student Affairs -Extensive experience in assessment and assessment development.

11 Why the Shift to a Learning Unit (contd.’) Collaborations and partnerships -testing companies -departments -faculty

12 Assessment Terms Assessment: process of gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and using information (evidence) to measure students’ learning and/or development. Satisfaction outcome: the extent to which program participants enjoy or are satisfied with the experience.

13 Assessment Terms (contd.) Efficiency outcome: how much of an activity is going to be accomplished. Learning outcomes: what the students will learn (knowledge base, skill set, developmental growth). -All of the above outcomes must be measurable and meaningful.

14 How We Made the Transformation Initial layout of assessment plan in Paper survey Spring 2009 computer based survey Further analysis and examination of survey questions (i.e., Baccalaureate Framework). Intake/sign in sheet that describes students/candidates responsibilities (values portion of Baccalaureate Framework).

15 How We Made the Transformation contd.’ Development of satisfaction outcomes -initial survey focused only on satisfaction outcomes -professionalism of staff -overall environment at the testing center -comfort in the testing center -noise level -testing center hours

16 Development of Satisfaction Outcomes (contd.’) -modification of the satisfaction outcomes. -changed the wording to increase intake of the details without changing the meaning. -Previous satisfaction outcome: “Did the test center staff act in a professional and courteous manner?” -Current satisfaction outcome: “Were you treated professionally and courteously by the Testing Services staff”?

17 Development of Learning Outcomes -initial assessment plan lacked them. -satisfaction outcomes rewritten to learning outcomes. -learning outcomes had to tie into the Baccalaureate Framework.

18 Development of Learning Outcomes (contd.’) Learning outcomes focused on: -computer assistance received from the testing staff. -increased knowledge and computer skills while taking a test in the testing center -Confidence in computer skills -Increased familiarity with the ethical responsibilities as a student

19 Development of Learning Outcomes (contd.’) -preparedness in selecting math and/or English courses. -example of satisfaction outcome previously used: “How much assistance did you require while using the computer”? Learning outcome now used: “I required computer assistance while taking my test.”

20 Pulling the Results Together and Continuing to Assess and Learn (contd.’) *Satisfaction outcome results: *Staff treatment to students 99% of respondents stated they were treated professionally and courteously by the staff. *Approximately 95% of students taking tests in the testing center rated the room comfort as “comfortable.”

21 Pulling the Results Together and Continuing to Assess and Learn (contd.’) *Students responded that the Testing Center hours available were “very adequate” (92% out of 7,044 respondents). What lies ahead: *continuing to monitor and adjust the survey/assessment questions as needed. * A need to continue to identify and explain how Testing Services contributes to student success.

22 Pulling the Results Together and Continuing to Assess and Learn The implementation of learning outcomes has shown some interesting results: * specific learning outcome survey questions regarding computer skills and assistance in using a computer have yielded a high response rate of “not applicable.” Answer choices have consisted of “Strongly Agree”, “Agree”, “Disagree”, “Strongly Disagree”, and “Not applicable.”

23 Pulling the Results Together and Continuing to Assess and Learn (contd.’) *Confidence in computer skills before taking a exam in Testing Services yielded a high result in the “Strongly Agree” response category. *Course selection preparedness for math and English courses after taking placement exams yielded high results in the “not applicable” response category.

24 Summary Thank you for coming!!!


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