Graduating Student Survey
Director of Student Records and Registration
Since 1994, the Registrar’s Office has been asking students who are candidates for graduation to complete a short survey on their experiences at UNK. The survey is included in a mailing of graduation information sent to students, and over the years, the response rate has been between 35 and 40 percent. Beginning this summer, the survey will be converted to an on-line format and emailed to students at the time they file their application to graduate. A handful of new questions has been added over the years but for the most part, the instrument has stayed the same, providing 10 years of student feedback.
The survey can be roughly divided into three areas: 1. Services provided by UNK, 2. Assessment of the student’s growth in specific areas, and 3. Student satisfaction with UNK. At the end of the survey, students are provided the opportunity to list positive qualities of UNK and those areas that need improvement.
Responses are collected for each graduation and then aggregated over a period of years. These summaries are then provided to the administration for dissemination to interested parties. The last summary included 1268 responses from Fall 2000 to Fall 2003. Data collected from that report included the following.
If you had it to do it again, would you choose to attend UNK? Yes 89%
Would you recommend UNK to someone else? Yes 93%
What was the single most important factor in your selection of UNK? Location 43%, Cost 21%
I was satisfied with the instruction in my major courses. Agree/Strongly Agree 83%
I was challenged to do my best in my major. Agree/Strongly Agree 82%
I was challenged to do my best in my General Studies courses. Agree/Strongly Agree 43%
The written comments that students provide on the last section of the survey are all categorized and tallied. They are never shy about giving their opinion in this particular area! In general, the number one positive comment centers around small class size and caring faculty. Consistently, the number one negative comment is …..parking.
To view an on-line summary go to the Assessment Website at http://aaunk.unk.edu/asmt/Uwide/RegTOC.asp (password:assess2succeed)
or contact the Registrar’s Office for additional information at 8527.
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What is the Student Assessment Committee?
Tanis Saldivar, Chair
Student Assessment Committee
To develop a “Culture of Assessment”, all groups involved in assessment at the university need to be involved and contribute to the decision making process. This includes faculty, administration, staff, and students. Student involvement is an inherent requirement for effective assessment of student outcomes. Normally, creating and sustaining a culture of assessment among faculty, staff and administration is a process of ownership and involvement over time. In contrast, students move through the organization over a four year period and have many conflicting interests and requirements while at the institution. Developing a student culture of assessment requires a different commitment and approach. The key is to first get student representatives involved in the assessment process to give voice to student concerns and interests in assessment.
The Student Assessment Committee at UNK is a newly formed group of students who are interested in representing students’ concerns surrounding several of the important assessment issues on campus. The committee was also formed to help disseminate information and to educate their student peers about current assessment initiatives through surveys, conversations, public presentations, and focus groups. UNK's Student Assessment committee is comprised of representatives of each of the colleges and student government. They include Megan Boss (Student Senate), Chris Denton (Student Senate), Tom Schlund (B&T), Jennifer Bienhoff (NSS), Alisha Nabity (FAH), and Tanis Saldivar (COE).
The current focus of the Student Assessment Committee is the creation of a General Studies Survey to allow student input about the current GS Program, that can be considered in future decisions about modifications of the curriculum. It is the hope of this committee that all students can become active participants in the assessment process, which will result in data-based decision making which includes student input. This will strengthen communication between students and faculty concerning a major issue on campus. This collaboration will bring about positive changes in developing the assessment culture at UNK.
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Student Evaluation Form for Online and Distance Education
Steve McGahan, Instructional Designer
Division of Continuing Education
Online courses present some unique issues for instructors, one of which is faculty/course assessment. During the 2002-03 academic year, the Faculty Senate Continuing Education Committee initiated the development of a new assessment tool for online and distance courses as a priority. The aim of this project was to develop a faculty/course assessment instrument that addressed the unique facets of online and distance instruction. Many faculty members at UNK felt that their college assessments asked some questions that were not applicable to online and distance education.
The process of developing an assessment tool specifically for distance and online courses began with a review of assessment tools from other institutions. After the first draft was created, a discussion of what items specific to online and distance education were missing from this and the traditional UNK course assessment instrument. Elements from both the traditional assessment tool and instruments from other colleges and universities were included.
After several review processes, the final instrument was tested on several different online and distance courses from varying disciplines. Feedback on the new instrument was excellent, from both students and faculty. An overall increase in response rates was noticed in comparison to the traditional mailed pencil and paper assessment.
The final phase of this project was completed with the submission of the instrument to Faculty Senate along with a report detailing its development and testing. Faculty Senate has endorsed the instrument and it is now available for the colleges to evaluate for use in their instructors’ online and distance courses.
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The Platte Valley Assessment Conference at UNK
Jeanne Butler, Coordinator of Assessment
UNK will host the first regional Platte Valley Assessment Conference on Friday, April 29, 2005. The conference is designed to encourage faculty and students of regional institutions to share their ideas and best practices in assessment. The theme for the 2005 conference is Best Practices in Student Outcomes Assessment.
The conference will feature two invited speakers. Dr. William Pallett, director of The IDEA Center (Individual Development and Educational Assessment Center at Kansas State University, will kick-off the conference with his presentation, Using Student Ratings for Multiple Purposes. The keynote speaker, Dr. Arn Froese from Sterling College in Kansas, will speak at the luncheon. His presentation is entitled, “Righteous” Assessment: Coordinating Means and Ends.
The Platte Valley Assessment Conference will take place at the Nebraskan Student Union (NSU) on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. Registration and continental breakfast will be held in the Great Room A&B beginning at 8:00 am. The first presentation by Dr. William Pallett will begin at 9:00 in the same area of the NSU.
The Office of Assessment encourages faculty and students at UNK to participate in the conference as presenters. You can access the Call for Papers at: http://www.unk.edu/acad/cte/assessmentconference/
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Upcoming Assessment Training
3/30, 3:00 NSU RM 312
Creating Shared Responsibility for Learning
Across the Curriculum through General Studies Assessment
4/1, 10:00-11:30 COE Room 104 Computer Lab
Developing Online Surveys for Assessment Opinio Training
4/13, 3:00-5:00 CMCT 101
Getting to Know Your Students: Data About Your Students Outside the Classroom
Platte Valley Assessment Conference
Best Practices in Student Outcomes Assessment
Friday, April 29th
8:30-4:00 Nebraskan Student Union Great Room
8:00-9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 Invited Speaker--Bill Pallett, Director of IDEA Center
10:30-12:00 Concurrent Sessions
12:00 Luncheon with Keynote Speaker Arn Froesne
1:30-4:00 Concurrent Sessions and Poster Session
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About the Logo
From Danger to Opportunity
The Chinese ideogram for "crisis" is made up of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity."
| Danger Opportunity
This symbol exemplifies the development of an Assessment Culture at UNK. The impending NCA visit was the crisis that initiated the assessment process.
In response to the crisis, the Assessment Committee was charged with assisting colleges and departments in developing an assessment plan, implementing the plan, and providing a report outlining an assessment process and results. Initially, the assessment initiatives at UNK were viewed by some as a threat or danger. The focus at this stage was on input—to the plans and to the reports for the academic programs and departments.
As the assessment culture develops and matures at UNK, the focus is shifting from input to outcomes. A focus on input emphasizes the collection, analysis, and reporting of data. Outcome-based assessment moves beyond data analysis and reporting, with the focus shifting to the use of information on student performance to bring about positive change to the curriculum and to academic programs.
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Assessment Conferences and Workshops
IUPUI 2004 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis
October 31 – November 2, 2004
Cost: $285/individual, $275/per group
POD Network Annual Conference (The Professional and
Organizational Development Network in Higher Education -
November 4-7, 2004
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
24th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience
February 4-8, 2005
GENERAL EDUCATION AND ASSESSMENT: Creating Shared
Responsibility for Learning Across the Curiculum
February 17-19, 2005
Atlanta, Georgia Cost: $360/per http://www.aacu.org/meetings/generaleducation/gened2005/
2005 North Carolina State University Assessment Symposium
April 16-17, 2005
Cost: $185/per http://www.ncsu.edu/undergrad_affairs/assessment/files/resources/
AAC&U Institute on General Education
May 20-25, 2005
AAHE Assessment Conference
June 12 – 14, 2005
Toronto, CanadaCALL FOR PAPERS: TBA
Cost: $445 approx.
18th International First-Year Experience Conference
CALL FOR PAPERS: TBA
AAHE Making a Difference in Student Learning:
Assessment as a Core Strategy
November 3-5, 2005
Cost: $750/per (includes lodging and meals) http://www.aahe.org/convenings/convenings.folworkshops.htm
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