The Major Field Test program is an innovative battery of undergraduate outcomes tests used by schools and departments at more than 600 colleges and universities globally to measure student academic achievement and growth. The scores of this test allow for detailed curriculum review and evaluation. The Major Field Test is an objective, end-of-program test. The content specifications for the Major Field Test reflect the basic knowledge and understanding gained in the undergraduate curriculum. In addition to factual knowledge, the test evaluates students' ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material. It contains questions that call for information as well as questions that require interpretation of graphics, diagrams, and charts based on material related to the field. The Major Field Test is constructed by committees of faculty experts in each subject area who review and revise content specifications and update and prepare questions. Selected experts in appropriate subject matter areas at Educational Testing Service review and analyze the specifications, questions, and assembled tests before the tests are made available for use. Statistical properties of each question, such as difficulty level and degree of correlation with the total score, are on record or are computed when new or revised test forms are first administered to help ensure that each question contributes meaningfully to the test results. The aim of the test is to provide an instrument that measures the subject matter and skills a student should gain from his/her undergraduate study. All Business Economics Comprehensive majors complete this test as part of the requirements for successful completion of BMGT 495. The test is administered during Final Week. After the test has been scored, the results are returned to the College and distributed to the departments. These results are then used for curriculum assessment and change.
The Department is developing a Senior Capstone Course which will be offered beginning the Fall Semester of 2004. All Economics students will complete this course during their senior year at UNK. All students in the Capstone course will develop a research project involving the application of acceptable economic theory and methodology. The research paper will require students to find appropriate data, perform a statistical analysis, and write the results in a professional manner. Following the completion of the course, 25 percent of the student papers will be evaluated by a three-faculty panel. This panel will not include the faculty member responsible for the course. Department faculty will be rotated through the panel, so that all faculty will participate. The faculty will jointly determine the standards for the qualification of "exemplary," "good," " satisfactory," and "needs improvement." Papers are evaluated on the characteristics specified on the rubric.
This survey is offered each year to graduating seniors. All graduating seniors are strongly urged to complete the survey. This is an on-line survey. The Director of the Center for Rural Research and Development tabulates the surveys and creates a report that is distributed annually to the faculty.
All departments in the College of Business and Technology utilize the Skills Competencies Assessment that is performed by the Director of the Center for Rural Research and Development. This survey is sent to alumni who graduated three and six years prior to the survey. The Director of the Center for Rural Research and Development then tabulates the information and creates a report that is distributed to faculty.
Each year when the Economics Department sends out its annual newsletter to graduates, a survey is included. While the language on the survey instrument is not exactly the same developed for this assessment document, it still provides valuable feedback for continuous improvement. The results of the Alumni survey are discussed each year by the Department.
Assessment of the Assessment Process
The Department will engage in an annual assessment of assessment activities, and will periodically modify, add or delete assessment activities.