Assessment is an essential aspect of General Education. This section contains a comprehensive list of studies undertaken to assess both General Education specifically as well as areas that affect or are affected by General Education, such as the training Teaching Assistants receive.
Click on the report’s title to expand a summary of the study. A link to the full report will be at the bottom of the text if it’s available.
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ONGOING, MULTI-YEAR, UGER - ALL, STUDENT DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM
Goal: To support, through integrated use of technology, the dissemination of UGER learning outcomes throughout the Student Digital Ecosystem, to facilitate their availability and use throughout the UGER curriculum.
ONGOING 2017-18, 2018-19, QUANTITATIVE REASONING, ARTICULATION OF STRATIFIED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR QUANTITATIVE REASONING
2017-18, COMMUNICATION, UW-MADISON LIBRARIES COMMUNICATION INFORMATION LITERACY MODULE ASSESSMENT
Goal: Building on success evaluating student learning in both online tutorial and face-to-face components of the information literacy module associated with Communication A, a similar assessment was piloted for Communication B courses.
2017-2018, COMMUNICATION, PILOT PROJECT, COMMUNICATION B: EVALUATION OF ORAL COMMUNICATION STUDENT LEARNING IN COMM-B COURSES
Goal: Development and testing of Oral Communication rubric to be used for evaluation of student oral presentations.
2017-18, ETHNIC STUDIES, IMPLEMENTATION OF 2016-17 CURRICULUM MAPPING RECOMMENDATIONS: CHANGES TO COURSE ARRAY, ONLINE ESR DISCUSSIONS, DEVELOPMENT OF LONG-RANGE ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR ESR COURSES
Goal: Implementation of recommendation arising from 2016-17 curriculum mapping of ESR courses and survey of faculty.
2017-2018, UGER, APIR ANALYSIS OF NSSE RESULTS
Goal: Holistic analysis of student-reported data on student experience at UW-Madison, in domains that align with overarching goals of University-wide General Education.
2016-2017, ETHNIC STUDIES, CURRICULUM MAPPING: ESR COURSES, FACULTY EVALUATION OF STUDENT ATTAINMENT OF ESR ELOS
Goal: To determine through evaluation of course syllabi whether ESR courses continue to align with course criteria and have capacity to support learning goals.
2016-17, GUIDE AND ASSESSMENT PLAN, UPDATING COMMUNICATION ABOUT GER: ASSESSMENT PLAN AND GUIDE
Goal: Re-align the long-term assessment plan to update language describing learning outcomes, incorporate discussion of outcomes in the Guide.
2015-2016, COMMUNICATION, UW-MADISON LIBRARIES COMMUNICATION-A ASSESSMENT
Goal: To evaluate student learning and desired outcomes in both online tutorial and face-to-face components of the information literacy module associated with Communication A courses. Secondary goal: develop sustainable and simple assessment strategy to evaluate the different modes of delivery.
2015-2016, COMMUNICATION, CURRICULUM MAPPING: COMM-B COURSES
Goal: To determine through evaluation of course syllabi whether Comm B courses continue to align with learning goals and transfer composition and oral communication skills into the context of writing within a discipline.
2014-2015, QUANTITATIVE REASONING, CURRICULUM MAPPING: QR-A COURSES
Goal: To determine through evaluation of course syllabi whether QRA courses continue to align with learning goals providing foundational mathematical reasoning skills.
2013-2015, ASSESSMENT PLAN, UPDATING THE LONG-TERM GER ASSESSMENT PLAN
Goal: Revise and update long-term assessment plan; priority given to:
2014, COMMUNICATION A (INFORMATION LITERACY): EVALUATING COMPUTERIZED LIBRARY USER EDUCATION
2013, ETHNIC STUDIES: ASSESSING ESSENTIAL LEARNING IN ETHNIC STUDIES COURSES
Goal: To assess student learning with respect to the four Essential Learning Outcomes identified for the Ethnic Studies Requirement. Two projects have been undertaken to evaluate directly and indirectly student performance on the learning outcomes.
2011, COMMUNICATION A: INFORMATION LITERACY LEARNING OUTCOMES
Strategy: Focus groups conducted with Comm A instructors.
2011, AN ASSESSMENT OF WRITING OUTCOMES IN THE FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON: A PILOT STUDY
Goal: (1) To directly assess the effect of Communication A on the written communication skills of students enrolled in a first-year seminar. (2) To evaluate the accuracy of the UW Placement test with respect to Communication A.
2010, SEQUENCING COMMUNICATIONS REQUIREMENTS
Goal: To determine if students are at a disadvantage if they complete Comm-B before completing Comm-A.
2010, COMMUNICATION A: BENCHMARKING STUDY
Strategy: Limited survey of identified peers concerning learning goals and administrative structure of college-level communication requirements.
2010, ETHNIC STUDIES: ESSENTIAL LEARNING IN ESR COURSES
Goal: Develop a set of measurable learning outcomes for the wide array of courses used to meet the Ethnic Studies Requirement.
2009, QUANTITATIVE REASONING, EVALUATING CAPACITY OF QR-B COURSE ARRAY TO DELIVER QR LEARNING OUTCOMES, ENFORCE QRA BEFORE QRB REQUIREMENT
Goal: To determine through syllabus review if all courses designated as QR-B courses continue to meet course criteria and have the capacity to deliver QR learning outcomes, and to identify ‘non-Calculus’ QR-B courses for future assessment of student learning outcomes in non-computational QR courses.
2009, GENERAL BREADTH: IMPROVE COMMUNICATION ABOUT LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR BREADTH
Goal: To improve communication with students, parents, advisors, faculty, and others about the essential role “breadth” plays in attaining a liberal education.
2008 GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT PLAN
Goal: To develop a flexible assessment plan that can be implemented within available resources.
2008, COMMUNICATION (INFORMATION LITERACY): STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENT OF LITERACY SKILLS
Goal: To obtain baseline data on information literacy skills among incoming first-year students.
2007, COMMUNICATION A: AN ASSESSMENT STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMMUNICATION A REQUIREMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Goal: To determine whether students in Comm-A courses report gains in specific communication skills targeted by Comm-A courses
SUSPENDED, QUANTITATIVE REASONING (MATH PREPARATION): CORE-PLUS/INTEGRATED MATH STUDY
2006-2007, COMMUNICATION A: STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING IN COMMUNICATION A COURSES
Principal Investigator: Charles N. Halaby, Research Director, General Education Assessment Council.
Goal: Understand student perceptions of preparation for and learning in courses meeting the Communication A requirement.
Status: The report, “An Assessment Study of the Effectiveness of the General Education Communication ‘A’ Requirement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison” has been completed
Next Steps: Professor Halaby presented the results to the UGEC, which delegated consideration of policy implications to the Comm A Subcommittee.
2006-2007, BREADTH: INSTRUCTOR PERCEPTIONS OF GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Goal: Obtain baseline data on instructor awareness/value for the general education requirements.
2006, QUANTITATIVE REASONING B: STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING IN QUANTITATIVE REASONING B COURSES
Principal Investigator: Charles N. Halaby, Research Director, General Education Assessment Council
2005, COMMUNICATION B: ADMINISTRATIVE ANALYSIS: COMM-B COURSE CREDIT TRANSFER
Goal: To ensure appropriate transfer credit into UW-Madison.
Results: New courses were developed to award transfer credit for content without also granting credit for distinctive Comm-B pedagogy. The communication between several administrative units now ensures that all offices can work together to ensure that all UW-Madison students take courses that require mastery of Comm-B student learning outcomes.
2005, ETHNIC STUDIES: REVIEW OF ETHNIC STUDIES COURSE ARRAY
Goal: To implement revisions to the ethnic studies course criteria.
2005, OTHER (TEACHING ASSISTANT TRAINING): ASSESSMENT OF TEACHING ASSISTANT TRAINING
Principal Investigators: Brian Bubenzer, L&S TA Resource Center, Nancy Westphal-Johnson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Strategy: Mail survey
2005, QUANTITATIVE REASONING A: TWO ASSESSMENT STUDIES OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION QUANTITATIVE REASONING "A" REQUIREMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Study I: How the QR-A Requirement Affects Mathematical Proficiency
2004, BREADTH: PILOT STUDY OF FIRST-YEAR STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Strategy: “Mini-focus groups” conducted in courses populated by first-year students.
2004, COMMUNCIATION B: ADMINISTRATIVE ANALYSIS: STUDENT COMM-B COURSE-TAKING PATTERNS
Goal: To identify “redundant” Comm-B credit.
2004, OTHER (TEACHING ASSISTANT TRAINING): ASSESSMENT OF TEACHING ASSISTANT TRAINING
Principal Investigator: Brian Bubenzer
Conducted by: UW Survey Center
2003, COMMUNICATION B: REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE TO REEXAMINE THE COMM-B CRITERIA
1996-2003, QUANTITATIVE REASONING: QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT PROJECT (QAP)
Strategy: Work with individual faculty members to create examinations that measured students’ mathematical skills in areas most germane to topics covered in their classes.
NOTE: Over the years, the QAP broadened its mission to conduct testing across courses with the goal of better articulating instruction between courses; data obtained across the many courses tested also allowed QAP to conduct longitudinal studies of student performance in math courses to help understand how best to advise students needing to fulfill the QR requirements. The 2002-2003 QAP assessment report is available here.
2002, COMMUNICATION B: REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATION B ASSESSMENT
Analysis and synthesis of recommendations stemming from 1999 – 2001 Communication B study.
2002, COMMUNICATION (INFORMATION LITERACY): INFORMATION LITERACY WORKBOOK PROJECT
Principal Investigators: Denise Solomon (Professor, Communication Arts) and Abigail Loomis (Senior Academic Librarian, University Libraries, Coordinator Campus Information Literacy and Library Instruction).
2002, ETHNIC STUDIES: REVIEW OF THE ETHNIC STUDIES REQUIREMENT
Principal Investigators: Ethnic Studies Review Committee
Strategies: Survey of higher-education peers, focus groups with students and instructors.
2001, COMMUNICATION B: SPRING 1999 COMMUNICATION-B STUDY: OUTCOMES ASSOCIATED WITH THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMMUNICATION-B REQUIREMENT
Principal Investigator: Denise Haunani Solomon, Professor of Communication Arts, Leanne K. Knobloch, Verbal Assessment Project assistant. Overseen by the Verbal Assessment Project. The 2002-2003 VAP assessment report and plan is available here.
Strategies: Evaluation of samples of student writing, surveys of students about perceptions and attitude related to writing. The executive summary and the full report and appendix are available on this site.
2001, QUANTITATIVE REASONING A: WORKING PAPER NUMBER 1: QR A AS A CURRICULAR COMPONENT, A FIRST LOOK
Authors: QR-A Subcommittee of General Education Committee
Strategy: Analysis of student placement scores, course-taking patterns, grades.
PLEASE NOTE: There are a host of activities under way at UW-Madison which take as their focus the assessment and improvement of undergraduate education. Many of these can be found via The Teaching & Learning Excellence portal maintained by the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. Many of these endeavors touch upon the work of the University General Education Committee, but do not fall under its authority.