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Assessing SUNY General Education Learning Outcomes with. April 27, 2005. Presenters. David Chadima Consultant, Postsecondary Assessment Services, ACT Robert Ziomek Director of Education and Workforce Research Services, ACT Frances Dearing

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General Education

Learning Outcomes


April 27, 2005

  • David Chadima

Consultant, Postsecondary Assessment Services, ACT

  • Robert Ziomek

Director of Education and Workforce Research Services, ACT

  • Frances Dearing

Assistant Dean of Assessment, Academic Support and Placement, Westchester County Community College

  • Lanette Raymond

Research Associate, Suffolk County Community College

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • CAAP Overview
  • SUNY Outcomes / CAAP Test Module Alignment & Report Customization
  • Critical Thinking Pilot Studies
    • Suffolk County Community College
    • Westchester County Community College
  • Q&A
what is caap
What is CAAP?


Assessment of



The standardized assessment program from ACT that enables postsecondary institutions to measure, evaluate, and enhance the outcomes of their general education programs.
caap features
CAAP Features
  • Six independent, 40-minute test modules
  • Flexible, in-class administration
  • Comprehensive reporting at the cohort and individual student levels
  • Extensive user norms
  • Linkage to ACT, COMPASS or ASSET to measure “value added”
caap user norms9
CAAP User Norms
  • National norms for each test module (and subscore)
  • Broken out by:
    • Institution type
    • Year of students tested
    • Institution ownership
  • SUNY system norms (2-year & 4-year if sufficient volume.
caap test modules11
CAAP Test Modules
  • Five objective tests
    • Writing Skills
    • Reading
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Critical Thinking
  • One writing essay test
suny learning outcomes knowledge and skills areas
SUNY Learning Outcomes Knowledge and Skills Areas
  • Critical Thinking
  • Basic Communications (Written)
  • Mathematics
outcomes test alignment15
Outcomes/Test Alignment


  • For each test module, provide CAAP subscores that map to SUNY learning objectives
critical thinking19
Critical Thinking
  • 32 items / 4 passages
  • Subject matter: Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities
  • Formats:
  • Statistical Arguments
  • Experimental Results
  • Overlapping Position
  • Case Studies
  • Dialogues
  • Debates
  • Editorials
critical thinking sample
Critical Thinking Sample

Question following passage

It is obvious from Favor's speech that she believes which of the following?

A. Most prescriptions are unnecessary.

B. Senator Counter will oppose the bill.

C. If the bill is passed into law it will greatly reduce the cost of all medical treatment.

D. If the bill is passed the average costs for treatment of minor ailments would be reduced significantly

writing essay
Writing Essay
  • Two independent prompts
  • 20 minutes each
  • Essays scored in a holistic manner
    • ACT can score
    • Local faculty can score
writing essay sample
Writing Essay Sample

Your college administration is considering whether or not there should be a physical education requirement for undergraduates. The administration has asked students for their views on the issue and has announced that its final decision will be based on how such a requirement would affect the overall educational mission of the college. Write a letter to the administration arguing whether or not there should be a physical education requirement for undergraduates at your college.

writing skills
Writing Skills
  • 72 items / 6 passages
  • Subscores:
    • Usage / mechanics
    • Rhetorical skills
  • Spelling, vocabulary, and rules of grammar not tested
writing skills specs
Writing Skills Specs

Content Category% of Test # of Items

Usage/Mechanics .44 32

Punctuation .08 6

Grammar .11 8

Sentence Structure .25 18

Rhetorical Skills .56 40

Strategy .21 15

Organization .14 10

Style .21 15

Total 1.00 72

writing skills sample
Writing Skills Sample

By the fourth day I had to face the truth: my body was slowly changing to becoming dough. So I tied on my running shoes and loped out to the main road in search of a five-mile route.


B. become

C. being

D. OMIT the underlined portion

caap administration
CAAP Administration
  • Select test modules that match the needs of your gen ed program
  • 2-week test window
  • Convenient in-class administration
    • 40 minutes per test
    • Pencil & paper
    • Proctored
caap administration31
CAAP Administration
  • Return materials to ACT for scoring & reporting
    • Objective tests - ACT proprietary scanning
    • Essay tests - two ACT-trained scorers
    • Three week turn-around time
caap reports
CAAP Reports
  • Standard Reporting Package
  • SUNY Subscore Reports
standard reporting package
Standard Reporting Package


  • Institutional Summary Report
  • Student Score Reports (2)
  • Student Roster Report
  • Student Certificates of Achievement
  • Subgroup Reports (first 3 included free)
  • Summary of Student Motivation
  • Data files available
suny subscore report
SUNY Subscore Report
  • Subscores map to SUNY learning objectives (CT)
  • Groups students by
    • top 25%  middle 50%  bottom 25%
  • Compares local student performance with state or national norms
suny criteria compliance
SUNY Criteria Compliance


  • Will it directly measure student learning?
  • Will it measure the objective it is intended to measure?


  • Is the measure is reliable?


  • Does the plan include externally referenced norms?


  • Will the data that are reported be representative?


  • Is it capable of measuring value-added?


caap resources
CAAP Resources
caap resources37
CAAP Resources
  • CAAP manuals
    • Planning & Forms
    • Tech Handbook
    • Reporting & Research Services
    • Motivating Students

David Chadima

ACT Postsecondary Assessment Services

500 ACT Drive P.O. Box 168

Iowa City, Iowa 52243-0168

Tel: (800) 294-7027

Fax: (319) 337-1790