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Assessment Expo to celebrate ‘continuous improvement’ April 1

March 15, 2016

One way ... going upNIU’s ninth annual Assessment EXPO will showcase 11 outstanding NIU program assessment practices during an informal poster session from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, April 1.

The Office of Assessment Services invites students, faculty and staff to “Celebrating Continuous Improvement,” which will take place in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call (815) 753-8659 or email [email protected].

2016 EXPO Featured Programs

College of Business

The College of Business

The College of Business refined its undergraduate learning goals and objectives using a grass roots, inclusive process. The process was designed to meet accreditation expectations, ensure market relevance of the undergraduate degree program and gain comprehensive stakeholder support of the learning goals and objectives.


College of Education

Counseling, M.S.Ed.

The Counseling faculty demonstrated qualities of very effective program assessment practices by looking to see if previous program improvement efforts worked. The program used National Counselor Examination (NCE) results to see if there were gains in the areas of human growth and development, and diagnostic and assessment services; both areas saw improvement.

College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

Mechanical Engineering, B.S.

The instructors of the Senior Design Project course met in Spring 2014 to discuss the outcome results from Fall 2013 and other suggestions made by judges, industrial employers and alumni who had attended the Senior Design Day presentations. The Mechanical Engineering Assessment Committee discussed the assessment plan during Summer 2014 and recommended changes in the rubric. Instructors worked together to improve course delivery and the design project work to improve three student learning outcomes.

College of Health and Human Sciences

Communicative Disorders, M.A.

Program faculty in the Rehabilitation Counseling and Speech-Language Pathology specializations used current program student learning outcomes, specialization requirements, and assessment data as the foundation for recognizing that the two specializations are very different. They have since proposed restructuring (splitting) the specializations. The proposal has been approved by the Academic Planning Council (APC) and is awaiting Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) approval.

NIU biology studentCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Biology, B.S. The Biology program was curious to know if prior program improvement efforts had the desired effect. The program used BIOS 494 course-embedded assessment data to measure three program student learning outcomes – Biological Reasoning, Critical Thinking and Technical Writing. Even though the desired target was not met on all outcomes, the faculty did see progress. Course-embedded assessments are providing data is being used in meaningful and productive ways.
  • English, M.A. The Department of English Graduate Studies Committee was interested in looking at the technical adequacy (reliability and validity) of key program assessments, in particular the comprehensive exam and alternative paths. Insert specifics of what they did and what they found out.

College of Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, B.A. Based on previous assessment results, the Art History division of the faculty made changes to the Capstone Course Sequence, Part One. Specifically, they added more opportunities for students to apply basic understandings and skills at the introductory and intermediate levels. This year’s annual assessment update report shows that the program improvement efforts were effective. The program demonstrated best practices in program assessment by looking back to see if previous efforts worked.
  • Art, M.A. The M.A. in Art program instituted instructional changes one year ago (e.g., comprehensive list of monuments and auditing necessary lectures) to address knowledge gaps. Recent data suggested the changes were not having a sufficient impact; the program has since implemented additional instructional changes, such as assigning study groups with mentoring. The program faculty demonstrated best practices in program assessment by checking to see if previous program improvement efforts had the desired effect.
  • School of Music. The School of Music faculty recognized that they weren’t getting the quality of data they needed from some of their program assessments to adequately monitor student success and make tailored program adjustments (if warranted). The School of Music assessment committee began the process of fine tuning the brass- and woodwind-juried performance assessment by piloting a newly developed rubric with students in Fall 2015. The faculty are now in the process of using the assessment data to establish the reliability and validity of the juried performance rubric – and make changes to the rubric if needed.

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

  • Investigating Writing Intensive Courses Using Course Activity Documentation (CAD) Data and University Writing Project (UWP) Assessment Data. (Chris Parker, Tawanda Gipson, Lebena Varghese)
  • Outcomes-Based Assessment: Integration of General Education, Major Studies, and Co-curricular Activities. (Ed Klonowski, Anne Birberick, Chris Parker)