The needs of students are at the heart of assessment at North Central Missouri College. In order to best meet student needs, the assessment plan is based on an I-E-O Model.
- Input (I) is what incoming students bring with them. Examples of inputs include ACT/SAT scores, COMPASS testing, and high school or transfer GPA.
- Environment (E) is the measure of change including all student experiences (coursework, student services, campus activities, etc.). In the student learning environment, some measures of student learning include:
- Course Assessments
- Program Reviews (Academic, Non-Academic, and General Education)
- Surveys of student engagement
- Output (O) is the measure of outgoing students’ skills and knowledge. In student output, four dimensions of student learning are measured, which include:
- Workforce Readiness
- Transfer Readiness
- Content Knowledge and Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills
- Soft (non-cognitive) Skills
The evaluation of this multi-dimensional approach is built on a faculty-driven foundation represented by its Assessment Team, whose members represent all parts of the college community. The college’s approach to assessment recognizes that effectiveness as an institution must include data from all three components of the I-E-O model. Thus between a student’s first class and graduation or transfer, data is gathered concerning the college learning environment. These records are used by the institution for the purpose of improving teaching and learning (Dwyer et al, 2006).
FOUR DIMENSIONS OF STUDENT LEARNING
Missouri Department of Higher Education has identified common themes that encompass workplace readiness and general education. These are reflected in three of the dimensions of student learning: Workforce Readiness, Transfer Readiness, Content Knowledge and Discipline-Specific Knowledge & Skills. Workforce readiness refers to a set of skills and abilities identified by academic and business leaders as important for success in any working environment. These include verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and communication. Transfer Readiness refers to prerequisite skills and abilities students must demonstrate to successfully transition to a four-year institution. Content Knowledge and Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills are those that students “must acquire in order to be considered competent within that domain.” Data may be assimilated across discipline-specific course clusters and the resulting compilation used to obtain a deeper understanding of student learning. This may also include professional certification examinations or degrees awarded. A fourth dimension, soft skills (non-cognitive skills), is also important to student success and should be monitored.
“In today’s knowledge economy, it is not sufficient for a worker to possess adequate basic cognitive skills and disciple-specific competencies. The nature of work requires that the person be able to work in teams, be a creative problem solver, and communicate with a diverse set of colleagues. The measurement of skills and traits such as creativity, teamwork and persistence has become a major focus”
(Dwyer et al, 2006).