Assessment Champion Featured
Dr. Tim Burnett - Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Assessment activities include the Department of Biology, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the university. He has served as the Biological Sciences Assessment Coordinator for the past eight years, and has done outstanding work on assessing students' learning outcomes and identifying areas for improvement. He utilizes a number of assessment tools to evaluate the learning effectiveness and the rigor of programs. He created an assessment course GB 480 Senior Experience in Biology and a component of the course includes a Major Field test where assessment indicator scores are compared with average national comparable institutions. He analyzes the data and then conducts a Faculty survey to assess the "importance" and the "degree of coverage" of the 30 topics of the Major Field Test, aiming to coordinating the teaching coverage of essential and important material. In an effort to address critical thinking learning outcomes, an assessment called the Test of Scientific Literacy (TOSL) was added. Data analysis is now underway for the data gathered over the past four semesters. In addition, he has also conducted the knowledge inventory survey in his upper level cell biology courses to allow students to self-report content and topic coverage. In response to this assessment, a survey of the biology faculty who teach "core" classes was conducted to ascertain the degree of coverage of these topics discovered in the student survey. As the Assessment Coordinator of the Department of Biological Sciences, his contribution to assessment at both department and institutional levels is extraordinary.
Evidence of Student Learning
Evidence of student learning is captured and shared transparently across the institution and in many situations presented transparently on the Emporia State University and Kansas Board of Regents websites. The evidence is representative of both internal and external data gathering techniques and is contextualized in a variety of written and graphical formats depending on the instruments and assessments being used to measure student learning. The audience receiving the information is taken into consideration and often there are many levels of data share depending on how the information can best be used to inform student learning improvement efforts. For example, a report showing 3-year (2015-2017) findings for general education courses Critical Thinking Assessments completed in the spring of 2017 is shared with those departments and disciplines participating as well as with those faculty who participated in the assessments. Senior Survey results are shared campus-wide allowing for the various entities to review the information and develop strategies for improving the student learning experience. An extensive amount of assessment efforts have been expended toward improving the student learning success in general education program courses. Independent assessment efforts by groups of faculty have resulted in improved learning in Composition I and II courses (Written Communication Skills Assessments). The faculty in the Communications and Theatre department have assessed student learning in both Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking (Oral Communication Assessment). In Mathematics, a three-year effort to improve students skills in College Algebra has led to many improvements in pedagogy and curriculum (Mathematics and Analytical Reasoning Assessments). In addition, the faculty in the University Libraries and Archives have assessed student learning of Technology and Information and Literacy Skills and implemented changes based on the professional standards of the American Libraries Association (Assessing Information Literacy).