General Studies Assessment Plan – 2007-2008
1. Department Assessment Contact:
Department Assessment Committee Chair: Theresa Wadkins
Department Chair: Richard Miller
PSY 203 General Psychology
PSY 230 Human Development
2. Description of GS learning objectives to be assessed.
Social and Behavioral objectives:
- demonstrate an understanding of human experiences of individuals and groups and be able to relate them to the present,
- 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, including the ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of scientific methods and the accuracy of findings in psychology.
- demonstrate the ability to comprehend how social scientific concepts originate, are validated and refined in psychology.
- demonstrate the ability to evaluate the strengths and limitations of the behavioral
sciences and the explanations they offer for contemporary life and human behavior.
General Studies objectives:
- the ability to locate and gather information,
- the capability for critical thinking, reasoning and analyzing,
- effective communication skills including the ability to read, speak and write effectively, using the materials, ideas, and discourse modes of specific academic areas,
- an understanding of the experiences and values of groups and cultures which have been historically under-represented.
3. Description of direct assessment measures:
We developed two measures, one for each of the general studies courses provided by our department, PSY 203 General Psychology and PSY 230 Human Development.
For the general psychology measurement, a comprehensive exam to measure the social science and general studies objectives was developed by selecting questions from a general psychology test bank that related to those objectives. Approximately 5 or 6 questions were chosen for each of the 8 objectives. In addition, a ninth objective was identified as Motivation for Life-long learning, which was also assessed. The questions were then revised by each of the general psychology instructors in a way that makes sense within each of their respective courses. See attachment A.
For the human development measurement, the two instructors that teach that course selected questions related to the social and behavioral science objectives and the general studies objectives that are covered in both of their respective classes. See attachment B.
No indirect measures were used.
4a. Explanation of how assessment tool will measure GS learning objectives
The questions for the assessment will be used as a pre and post-test. Students who had never been enrolled and were not currently enrolled in a general studies course in the social and behavioral sciences will be compared to students whose first and only course in the social and behavioral sciences category was PSY 203 or PSY 230. From that comparison, we will determine whether or not our general studies courses are meeting the objectives both in terms of general studies objectives and social and behavioral science objectives. For those areas that we are not meeting the objectives, we will discuss how to improve those areas. We will then continue to assess the general studies courses on a regular basis.
- Psy 203 instrument
- Psy 230 instrument
5. Description of students to be assessed.
All students enrolled in the respective classes will be assessed for that semester/year.
6. Timeline of assessment process for each GS course.
The GS assessment plan will involve assessing each course every other year. The PSY 230 course is the focus for 2007.
Previous Plan, Replaced Fall 2007