2015 Symposium on Assessment of Learning

The 2nd Symposium on Assessment of Learning featured presentations by faculty, assessment staff, and graduate students from UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced.  This year's symposium brought us together with our colleagues from other UC campuses including faculty and assessment staff from Davis, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Berkeley.  Morning sessions focused on assessment in undergraduate education and afternoon sessions on graduate education.

Over 60 participants attended the symposium and participated in discussions of critical issues in teaching and assessment, shared approaches and results, and envisioned future directions for our campuses.



Assessment Symposium, November 20th, 2015

8:30 Coffee

9:00 Opening Remarks

        Herbie Lee, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, UC Santa Cruz

9:15: Session 1. Undergraduate Education

Presentations focus on how faculty have approached assessment — including posing research questions, designing studies, and drawing conclusions  as well as how they have engaged their colleagues in the various stages of assessment.

1.  UCSC’s Methodological Portfolio in Program Learning Outcomes Assessment, Anna Sher, Assistant Director for Assessment, UC Santa Cruz

2.  Improving Freshmen Reflective Writing through Rubric-Based Feedback, Laura E. Martin and Emily Langdon, UC Merced

3.  How Assessment Can Teach Us about Institutional Complexity: A Case Study of the College Core Course at UCSC, Tonya Ritola, Faculty and Assessment Coordinator, Writing Program, UC Santa Cruz

4.  A Collaborative Assessment Endeavor: Evaluating the Impact of Course-Embedded Information Literacy in Introductory Composition Courses on Student Learning, Sara Davidson-Squibb, Head, User Communication & Instruction, UC Merced Library

Q & A

10:30 Coffee Break

10:45 Session 2.  Undergraduate Education (continued)

1.  Assessing and Addressing Undergraduate Writing, Kathleen Hull, Faculty, Anthropology, UC Merced

2.  No Exit: On trust and assessment in Theater Arts, Edward Warburton, Faculty, Theater Arts, UC Santa Cruz

3.  Program Assessment in the Natural Sciences Education Minor: Scaffolding Instruction to Improve Student Learning, Chelsea Arnold, Program Director, SMI/CalTeach, UC Merced

4.  Forming Habits: A Self-Assessment Checklist for Research Assignments, Annette Marines, Librarian, Research Support Services, and Aaron Zachmeier, Instructional Designer, UC Santa Cruz

Q & A

12:00-1:00 Lunch Break

1:00 Session 3.  Graduate Students’ Training and Experience in Assessment

Following these presentations, we will have a discussion about: (1) existing opportunities for graduate students to learn about assessment as TAs and instructors and as participants in special programs, and (2) creating new opportunities for graduate students to contribute to their department's assessment efforts.

1.  Do Well-Developed Hypotheses Correlate with Improved Scientific Writing? ‬Lauren ‪Schiebelhut, Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Systems, UC Merced

2.  Transforming an Ecology Class to Focus on Key Ecology Concepts and Practices Using an Assessment-Driven Design Approach, Jordan Ruybal, Ph.D. Candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz

3.  Assessment of Student Learning and Developing Learning Pedagogy in a Penalty Free Environment, Anley Tefera, Graduate Student, Biological Engineering and Small Scale Technologies, UC Merced

2:15 Coffee Break

2:30 Session 4.  Graduate Education

Presentations focus on developing methods for assessing graduate learning outcomes and on the role of assessment in addressing critical issues in graduate education.

1.  Just Nuts and Bolts? Engaging Professionalization Outcomes in Humanities Graduate Education, Anne Zanzucchi, Faculty, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Graduate Program, UC Merced

2.  Doctoral Students’ Self-Assessment of Their Preparation to Conduct Independent Research and Communicate Findings, Rose Grose, GSR in IRAPS and Ph.D. Candidate, Psychology, UC Santa Cruz

3.  Backward Compatibility: Struggling with Quantitative Assessment in a Qualitative Pedagogical Culture, Michael Chemers, Faculty and Director of the MFA program in Digital Arts and New Media, UC Santa Cruz

4.  Assessment in the PhD Chemistry Program: The role of the Qualifying Exam (QE) in the PhD program, Ilan Benjamin, Faculty, Chemistry and Biochemistry, UC Santa Cruz

Q & A

3:45-4:00 Closing Remarks

Symposium participants' experience with and interest in criteria-based assessment


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