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Learning Connections 24/7: Assessing Learning across Curricular, Co-Curricular and Student Development Programs. International Assessment and Retention Conference, St. Louis, MO, June 8, 2007. Margaret Bloom, Vice Provost Christine Krueger, Core of Common Studies

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Learning Connections 24/7: Assessing Learning across Curricular, Co-Curricular and Student Development Programs

International Assessment and Retention Conference,

St. Louis, MO, June 8, 2007

Margaret Bloom, Vice Provost

Christine Krueger, Core of Common Studies

Mark McCarthy, Student Affairs

Susan Mountin, Manresa Project

marquette university
Marquette University
  • Research Extensive
  • Private, faith-based
  • Mission driven

“Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university. Our mission is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others.”

learning assessment at marquette
Learning Assessment at Marquette

The Marquette assessment system is focused on two essential learning outcomes:

  • Institutional learning outcomes which address the integrated learning expected of every student upon graduation.
  • Program (undergraduate major and graduate degree) learning outcomes expected of every student at program completion.
framework for undergraduate learning assessment
Framework for Undergraduate Learning Assessment

College Competencies

Discipline Competencies

Values, Commitments &


Required Courses

Learning Objectives


Core Courses

Learning Objectives


Governing Principles of the

Marquette Assessment System

  • Common Definitions and Assessment Process

Each program and unit uses the common MU assessment system vocabulary and has an assessment plan that contains the specified MU common assessment system components.

  • Program and Unit Flexibility and Decision-Making

Each program faculty/unit staff define learning outcomes, performance indicators, identify and use measures, and evaluate their data.


MU Assessment System Components




FALL 2005



Fall 2007






August 2007




Late Spring 2007

Modified from Rogers, G. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2005


MU Assessment Systems: Integrated Levels of Assessment


Actions to ImproveLearning

Performance Indicators




Collect & Assess




Business Administration Student







Core of Common


Broad Participation a Key FactorFaculty and Staff Directly Involved in Development of the Marquette Assessment System

Institutional Level

University Assessment Committee

Board of Undergraduate Studies

Assessment Steering Team

36 Faculty/Staff/Administrators


Assessment Leaders

108 Faculty

Core Curriculum

Review Committee

15 Faculty

Student Affairs and


Program Directors

16 Directors

marquette institutional undergraduate learning outcomes
Marquette (Institutional) Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of an undergraduate degree at Marquette, students are able to…

  • Utilize critical thinking and reflect to effect positive change in themselves, others, and their communities.
  • Exercise just, responsible, and competent leadership in professional, intellectual, and societal contexts.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills of an academic discipline, program, or profession to a career or graduate study.
  • Communicate in modes appropriate to various subjects and diverse audiences.
  • Pursue an integration of knowledge into a comprehensive, transcendent vision of life.
  • Act for social justice within the diverse, global human family.
majors and degree programs

Majors and Degree Programs

58 Majors

35 Masters Degree Programs

17 Doctoral Degree Programs

3 Professional Degree Programs

majors and graduate programs
Majors and Graduate Programs
  • Each Academic Program’s Assessment Plan indicates direct and indirect measures.
    • Located at
  • Direct measures often include senior-level papers, case studies, or projects.
  • Indirect measure: University Senior Survey contains up to 5 items for students to self-rate on their specific program learning outcomes.

1st Annual Program Assessment Reports due Sept. 31, 2007

core of common studies

Core of Common Studies

Assessment and Integration

university core of common studies integrated learning outcomes
University Core of Common Studies Integrated Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Core of Common Studies, students are able to…

  • Apply the perspectives, concepts and traditions of multiple disciplines to personal, professional, intellectual and societal challenges.
  • Communicate in modes appropriate to various subjects and diverse audiences.
  • Pursue an integration of knowledge into a comprehensive, transcendent vision of life.
  • Act as responsible members of the global human family, with knowledge of, and respect for, individuals and cultures in their diversity.

Pilot Core Assessment

On-line Integrated Assessment Instrument

Integrated foundational competencies for responsible leadership

  • Reading comprehension of brief text offering multidisciplinary analysis of global problem
  • Interpretation of quantitative and qualitative evidence via multiple-choice questions seeking best answer
  • Communication of diverse content to diverse audiences via 3 randomly assigned tasks:
      • Summary for senator
      • Letter to editor of non-US student newspaper
      • Graph illustrating data extrapolated from reading
pilot core assessment results
Pilot Core Assessment Results
  • 25 student volunteers (17 completed)
  • Preliminary Results
    • Quantitative/qualitative evidence questions (12%-71% outstanding)
    • Prose communication (80% > proficient)
    • Graphic communication (20% proficient)
  • Understanding the Results
    • Student focus group
  • Actions
    • Refinement of instrument and rubrics
    • Implementation for incoming seniors
    • Math across the curriculum??
student affairs assessment

Student Affairs Assessment

Counseling Center

Office of Residence Life

Recreational Sports

Office of Student Development

Student Health Services

student affairs division shared learning outcomes
Student Affairs DivisionShared Learning Outcomes

As a result of their experiences with the Student Affairs services and programs, students are able to…

  • More clearly understand who they are in regards to mind, body and spirit.
  • Utilize their skills to create positive change in themselves, others and their communities.
  • Collaborate with others to accomplish goals.
  • Engage with others who are different from themselves.
office of student development learning outcomes
Office of Student DevelopmentLearning Outcomes

After participating in student development programs students are able to…

  • Use their talents to benefit others.
  • Interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.
population based assessment
Population Based Assessment
  • Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (Spring 2006)
    • Based on the Social Change Model of Leadership (HERI, 1996)
  • Two groups participated in the study
    • Random sample of MU undergraduate students
    • Select sample of students involved in Student Affairs sponsored leadership and service experiences.
msl initial findings related to student development outcomes
MSL Initial Findings Related to Student Development Outcomes

No mean difference reported between the random and student affairs involved groups on pre-test scales for:

  • Cognitive Development
  • Leadership Efficacy
  • Appreciation of Diversity

Significant mean differences found between groups on the scales for:

  • Citizenship,
  • Leadership Efficacy,
  • Diversity Discussions
  • Appreciation of Diversity
program based assessment
Program Based Assessment

Leadership Summit

One-day urban experience followed by keynote address on integrating faith and learning in action and reflection activities

Assessment Results

  • 90% stated that as a result of participation I…
    • Am more likely to take action to address needs and problems in the community.
    • Have a greater appreciation for different perspectives.
    • Am more likely to educate others on issues affecting the Milwaukee community.
key findings related to outcomes
Key findings related to outcomes

Leadership Summit assessment results

  • 80% stated that as a result of participation I…
      • Better understand the importance of reflection.
      • Learned about methods that leaders use in creating change.

Learning Themes Identified in statements of reflection

    • Deeper understanding of the broader Milwaukee community.
    • Increased commitment to serve others.
    • Greater understanding of themselves and incorporation of values such as faith, justice, compassion, empathy and hope into work and life.
assessment challenges
Assessment Challenges
  • Whom to assess
  • Controlling for pre-college experiences and perceptions
  • Alignment of program goals with assessment strategies
  • Impact of singular experiences on student development
  • Complexity of developing and using direct measures
mission related programs the manresa project
Mission Related ProgramsThe Manresa Project
  • After participation in Manresa Project activities students are able to…
  • Understand the difference between discernment and decision-making.
  • Practice Ignatian Spirituality as a component of their faith and life choices.
  • Understand Jesuit Global Mission ideals.
  • Explore individual meaning and purpose in life (vocation).
assessment tools used
Assessment Tools Used

Direct measures

  • Spiritual Autobiography
  • Site-supervisor observations
  • Course assignments
  • Weekly group reflection

Indirect measures

  • Surveys: Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL)
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
the manresa project indirect assessment results 2006
The Manresa Project Indirect Assessment Results 2006
  • Used the MSL data comparing Marquette students with students at other Catholic universities
  • Marquette students significantly higher on items (outcomes)
    • Developing understanding of social justice
    • Strengthening spiritual life
    • Defining values
    • Becoming more independent
    • Knowing how “God has called me” to use my gifts and talents
    • Integrating service into life
the manresa project assessment challenges
The Manresa ProjectAssessment Challenges
  • Program has many diffuse opportunities for engagement
      • First year reading
      • Manresa supported courses
      • Sponsored speakers
      • Seminars, workshops and conferences
      • Retreats
  • Data collection difficult
      • Relies on external partners (faculty, site supervisors,etc.)
      • Direct contact with small number of students, but a broad impact across the Marquette community

Assessing 24/7 Learning: Unanticipated Cultural Changes

  • Faculty working across disciplines on integrating global understandings:
      • Shared Futures Project with AAC&U
  • Assessment has been an integrating influence across campus
  • Inclusion of Mission based learning in the common understanding of Marquette student learning