Submitted Fall, 2003
Capstone Course - this will be offered for the first time during the spring semester of 2008 and will appear for the first time in the 2004 - 2006 undergraduate catalog. Some of the methods employed in various department venues (JMC 460, Portfolio Reviews, Speech Presentations) will be conducted in the capstone when it is offered.
Speech Presentations - presentations by graduating seniors enrolled in SPCH 456 Rhetorical Theory and SPCH 499 Communication Theory during the spring semester of 2003 were evaluated using the direct measure of undergraduate competencies. Four Communication faculty evaluated the Speech presentations and care was taken to ensure that a faculty member would not evaluate his or her own class. Seniors in these classes were also asked to complete the indirect measure of undergraduate perceptions; 20 useable surveys were completed. Students who were enrolled in both courses were asked not to fill-out the indirect measure a second time.
JMC 460 - graduating seniors in JMC 460 during the fall semester of 2002 were administered the indirect measure of undergraduate perceptions. However, the unit's assessment committee determined that the response scale employed at that time was not useful and therefore the results were not revealing. Students enrolled in the class in the spring were not surveyed.
Portfolio Reviews - mass communication students graduating December 2003 submitted portfolios during the spring semester of 2003. Their portfolios were analyzed as part of the unit's assessment activities. All 13 of the Communication faculty participated in the evaluation of the senior portfolios. A total of 44 evaluations of 22 portfolios were completed using the direct measure of undergraduate competencies.
Multimedia Presentations - ten senior-level Multimedia majors and minors were enrolled in JMC 498 during the spring semester of 2003. All of these students completed the indirect measure of undergraduate perceptions. Additionally, there were four evaluations of the students' group capstone projects using the direct measure of undergraduate competencies. Two Communication faculty evaluated these Multimedia presentations. Care was taken to ensure that the instructor would not evaluate her own class.
Student Teaching - during the spring semester of 2003, there were not any Communication majors who were student teaching.
Communication Graduates - the survey of graduates is planned for summer 2004.
The Department of Communication made use of two instruments for assessing its academic programs. These consisted of a: survey of student opinions (indirect measure of undergraduate perceptions) and; evaluations of performances or projects (direct measures of undergraduate competencies). Communication faculty served as reviewers using the direct measures to evaluate the work of senior-level students primarily in upper division classes.
From the students' perspectives (see instrument - Indirect Measures of Undergraduate Perceptions), the department's programs have helped them in positive ways in areas such as strategy and idea development, analysis of oral and written messages, the broadening of intellectual interests and creating awareness of current issues in their fields, respecting opinions of others, the development of leadership and decision-making skills, and task completion and deadline importance. On the other hand, students generally believed that the department's programs were not extremely successful at helping them learn about the history of the field.
Depending on the students' majors, responses were mixed in some areas with no clear consensus. Speech majors, more so than mass communication majors, felt that the department was successful at helping them: be more comfortable in public speaking; learn about communication theories and; participate in groups. Mass Communication majors, more than their counterparts, believed that the unit was successful at helping them: write clearly; analyze messages from the media; understand their free speech rights and; acquire technological, design and information-gathering skills.
These differences noted overall, are clearly course-based. Speech majors receive a great deal of instruction in public speaking, communication theory and small group communication. Mass Communication majors take writing, law, design and technology courses. Using these instruments and considering all Communication students who completed the survey, it would appear that they believe the department is very successful at meeting Goal 5 and moderately successful overall when it comes to achieving Goals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.