Department of Economics
General Studies Assessment Plan
The Department of Economics has three courses within the General Studies Program: ECON 100GS – Contemporary Economic Issues; ECON 270GS - Principles of Economics, Macroeconomics; and ECON 271GS – Principles of Economics, Microeconomics.
While there is some content common to all three courses, each course also has content and objectives specific to the course. Thus, assessment of these courses poses somewhat of a challenge.
An additional challenge facing the Department is that all Business Division majors within the College of Business and Technology take both ECON 270 and ECON 271 but cannot take ECON 100 for credit. Students in ECON 270 and ECON 271 are also assessed as part of the program assessment for Economics and Agribusiness majors.
As part of the assessment plan for the Department, all students in ECON 270 and ECON 271 will take the Test of Understanding College Economics, third edition (TUCE III), a nationally normed exam developed by Joint Council on Economic Education.
The assessment instrument used in ECON 270, ECON 271, and ECON 100 will be six (6) multiple choice questions embedded in the final exam for each course. Given the common content among the three courses, three of the six questions used for assessment will be the same for all three courses; the remaining three questions will be content specific. For ECON 270 and ECON 271 all six questions are selected from the TUCE III, while in ECON 100 five of the questions are taken from TUCE III with the sixth question being written within the Department.
In ECON 100, the questions will be on a separate sheet and will be evaluated independently of the course’s final exam. This will also allow for the answers to be encoded onto a scantron form for additional analysis. In ECON 270 and ECON 271 analysis will involve only the six questions specified for use in the assessment of General Studies offerings. Using questions from a nationally normed test will also provide valuable information in terms of how successfully the objectives are being met and identifying areas in need of improvement.
General Studies Objectives Evaluated.
The assessment of the Department’s General Studies courses will evaluate the following General Studies Program objectives:
Under the General Objectives:
- the ability to locate and gather information; and
- the capability for critical thinking, reasoning, and analyzing.
Under the Social and Behavioral Sciences:
- demonstrate the ability to understand the application of the empirical research methods used in the social sciences to understand individual behavior as well as the interrelationships among people; and
Under the Economic Perspectives: (General Studies Council Approved April 28, 2005):
Students will demonstrate an understanding of:
- the basic economic problem: humans must make decisions because resources are scarce relative to wants
Students will demonstrate ability to:
explain relevant economic principles and apply them to understand economic behavior and to evaluate economic policy
apply economic analysis to real-world issues, events and policy questions
gather, organize and analyze data for the purpose of examining economic behavior
The questions used for each course are provided in Appendix A. The rubric identifying the linkages between the learning objectives and the specific question for each course is provided in Appendix B (.pdf). The course objectives and student outcomes for ECON 100, ECON 270, and ECON 271, along with the linkages between the student outcomes and the General Studies objectives, are provided in Appendix C (.pdf).
Assessment Schedule and Sampling
The Department of Economics offers multiple sections of ECON 100, ECON 270, and ECON 271 each semester. In order to carry out assessment of the Economics and Agribusiness majors, all students in ECON 270 and ECON 271 will be given the TUCE III, thus data from these courses will be collected every semester and be available for assessment of General Studies.
The Department generally offers more sections of ECON 100 than either ECON 270 or ECON 271. Thus the Department will assess ECON 100 students in the even numbered sections in the spring and the odd numbered sections in the fall semester. Thus, approximately 50 percent of the students enrolled in ECON 100 will be assessed each semester.
Sampling will include all students taking the final exams in the three economics general studies courses. Since the assessment instrument will be attached to the final exam, every student taking the exam will have the opportunity to complete the assessment instrument.
First assessment will take place during final exam week of the fall 2005 semester. Further assessment will take place during final exam week of subsequent semesters.
Review of assessment plans will occur during February and March of each year, with any revisions to the plan being submitted by May 1 of each year.
Assessment report for general studies courses will be submitted by October 1 of each year.
Previous Plan, Replaced Fall 2008
plan developed: 06/06/05