Programs make up the curricula of educational institutions. An integral part of curricula development is the definition of learning outcomes and an assessment strategy that is associated with those outcomes. Another part of curricula development is mapping the scope and sequence of courses within Programs to the scope and sequence of previous and subsequent courses and Educational Experiences.
Because the development and assessment of Programs is multi-faceted and evolves over time, Outcomes Assessment Programs have many features that connect with different entities in the system. The Features menu on the homepage of a Program contains links to view and manage available features. The ability to view and manage features depends upon a user’s role within the Unit that owns the program.
A 360º View of a Program displays a complete summary report delivered in HTML format detailing the properties of the Program and all of its associated entities. The 360º View of a Program displays:
- Associated courses and Educational Experiences
- Improvement Projects
- Curriculum Maps
- Artifact Templates
- Portfolio Templates
- Course Evaluations
After opening the 360º View, users can drill down into existing associated entities by clicking on the 360º View icon for that entity.
Program Managers have the right to add columns of data, remove columns of data, change the order of the columns, and change the column headers on the list page for Programs. Removing a column does nothing to the data; it simply removes it from the list page. Changing the column header does not impact the field label on the form. Customized list pages appear the same for all users accessing the Program.
To define which courses and Educational Experiences are parts of a specific Program, they must be associated with that Program.
To associate a course or Educational Experience with a Program, click Associated Courses or Associated Educational Experiences on the Program homepage.
Any course or Educational Experience that is public or that the user has permission to see appears in the selection list. Courses or Educational Experiences from one Unit may be associated with a Program in a different Unit.
Course and Educational Experiences that are associated with a Program may be automatically added to Curriculum Maps for that Program. To learn more, see Outcomes Curriculum Maps.
Improvement Projects for a Program are the individual tasks and procedures that are undertaken to measure its progress toward a set of Goals. Improvement Projects are made up of multiple activities that are centered on one or more objectives. For example, an Improvement Project for an associate’s degree for medical laboratory assistant might be created to find out if the program is meeting the standards put forth by the specialized accreditation agency, Commission on Allied Health Education Programs.
Improvement Projects can link goals and objectives to one or more instruments (such as Portfolio Templates, Surveys, or Course Evaluations) to measure outcomes as another part of the project. The Improvement Project cited in the example above would include student evaluations of the courses associated with the degree for medical laboratory assistant, a survey sent to area employers of recent graduates from the program, and student portfolios demonstrating the communication skills medical laboratory assistants need to be successful. To learn more, see About Improvement Projects.
Program Level goals are the goals aligned to a specific Program.
Example: Students graduating with a bachelor's degree will demonstrate critical thinking skills in projects, writing, and oral presentations.
Program Level goals can be added manually or they can be batch-added from the Administrator Panel or from any Unit. Program Level goals that are made public appear to all users on their list pages. Program Level goals that are not public appear only to the users in the owning Unit. Program Level goals may be automatically added to Curriculum Maps for that Program. To learn more, see Outcomes Curriculum Maps.
Program Level goals have a 360º View Report available for the list Program Level goals list page. This report contains:
- Program Goal properties
- Associated course and Educational Experiences
- Improvement Projects
- Curriculum Maps
- Course Evaluation
- Portfolio Templates
- Artifact Templates
The information required for defining the creation of new Program Level goals within an institution is determined by the institution and is controlled by a configurable form available in the Template Builder located on the Administrator Panel. Depending on the individual requirements of a Program’s definition, data collection fields that reflect the types of data desired can be added.
The list page that displays all the Program Level goals within a Unit can be modified so that columns can be added, removed, or reordered. The header of the columns can be renamed as well. Use these modifications to display the most useful information to users working in the application.
Curriculum Maps are dynamic time-based grids that are used to align goals to Courses and Educational Experiences to identify redundancies or gaps in the curriculum. Courses, Educational Experiences, and Program Level goals that have been added to a Unit can be automatically included in Curriculum Maps when they are created. Individual Courses, Educational Experiences, and Program Level goals may be added manually. Blank rows and columns may be added as placeholders for entities that do not yet exist in the system. Programs may have multiple Curriculum Maps.
The space in the grid that is created at the intersection of a row and column is used to describe the level of support the course provides for the goal. There are five levels of support a course can provide for a goal:
- Not Applicable
To learn more, see Outcomes Curriculum Maps.
A rubric is an evaluation tool that is used to assess work against a predefined set of goals or objectives. A rubric is displayed as a grid that lists the criteria for meeting goals in rows and the performance indicators that rate the level of achievement of those goals as columns. A rubric can generate a numerical score as part of the performance indictor or remain non-numeric.
A rubric can be used to assess a program by adding the different goals of the program and the performance indicators for those goals. The rubric can then be shared and used by self-study committees, curriculum committees and accreditation committees to standardize the assessment process. To learn more, see Outcomes Rubrics.
Outcomes Portfolios are formatted sets of materials based on a Portfolio Template that represent achievements over time. They may contain samples of writing, projects, graphs, illustrations, photographs, and multimedia that act as evidence for attaining specific Program Level goals. A rubric may be attached to a Portfolio Template for evaluation purposes, both self-evaluation and formal review. To learn more, see Outcomes Portfolios.
Outcomes Artifacts are individual samples of work, based on an Artifact Template and used to demonstrate achievement of goals. Outcomes Artifacts may be included in Outcomes Portfolios or evaluated separately. A rubric may be attached to an Artifact Template for evaluation purposes. To learn more, see About Outcomes Artifacts.
Surveys are an important part of gathering data in support of institutional effectiveness and student achievements. They provide indirect measurements of student learning by relying on self-reported data and implied success. For example, if students are employed in their fields of study within twelve months of graduating, they must have mastered the goals of their programs. To learn more, see Outcomes Surveys.
Course Evaluations are an important tool for gathering data in support of course and program quality, effectiveness, and student satisfaction. They are a direct method of feedback used to improve teaching and learning. To learn more, see Outcomes Course Evaluations.