Impact of top-notch student assessment work

The Department of Physics and Astronomy was recognized by WSU leadership for its outstanding assessment of student learning and the associated implementation of positive changes to its undergraduate curriculum and instruction at the Fall 2022 Celebration of Assessment Excellence, held this month on the Pullman campus.

“Assessment of student learning can provide vital data to help program faculty adjust curriculum and instruction to deliver relevant and powerful learning experiences to all learners,” said Bill Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “It also fortifies WSU’s strength as a top research and land-grant university.”

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science in Physics
    Led by associate professor and  faculty assessment coordinator Michael Allen, the department examined students’ ability to think independently and critically in acquiring, reproducing, and assessing information from a variety of sources. It evaluated research poster presentations in the senior-thesis course and found that students need to improve communication of research information from various sources. Based on this, faculty introduced a new prerequisite course where students create a thesis proposal to better prepare them to present their research in the course.

Co-hosted by Chilton’s office , the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, and the Office of Assessment for Curriculum Effectiveness (ACE), the November 8 event shone a spotlight on good practices in learning outcomes assessment and the efforts of program faculty, faculty assessment coordinators, chairs, and directors, representing diverse undergraduate academic programs and colleges.

This year, a total of nine WSU bachelor’s degree programs from five colleges were recognized. College of Arts and Sciences degrees in chemistry, fine arts, mathematics, psychology, and history were recognized in previous years.

“These degree programs represent diverse academic disciplines, and they are to be commended for sharing a commitment to providing high-quality education to our students,” said WSU Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton.

Visit the Celebration of Assessment webpage and ACE’s blog to learn more about undergraduate program assessment at WSU.

Top image: Michael Allen.

By Beverly Makhani for WSU Insider