Assessment: Student Success Plan
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: OUTCOMES AND ASSESSMENT
The Top 25 Project focuses on redesigning Miami University's highest enrollment courses by developing and utilizing learning models that significantly engage students in their learning. These learning models are inquiry driven, call for active learning, and place the student at the very center of the learning experience. Assessment is an integral part of this project; project teams identify appropriate assessment methods as part of their initial proposal and work with Assessment staff to ensure timely collection and use of assessment data throughout the project. The three primary areas of assessment for the Top 25 Project include: 1) content mastery, 2) critical thinking, and 3) student satisfaction. However, all seven characteristics of the redesigned courses, including student engagement, are assessed through a variety of methods. (See the Top 25 Call for Proposals for a list of the seven characteristics.)
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses the extent to which students engage in "educationally effective" activities that are likely to promote student success. NSSE items address students' academic experiences as well as their satisfaction with various aspects of their institution. NSSE, which is administered by the Center for Postsecondary Research (Indiana University), is distributed to samples of first-year students and seniors.
Approximately 1200 colleges and universities nationwide have participated in the NSSE since its inception. Miami University participated in the original launch of the NSSE in 2000 and has participated approximately every other year since then (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007). Miami also participates in several companion surveys including the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSS; 2004) and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE; 2004, 2006).
Miami University's NSSE results are consistently strong and indicate that Miami students are engaged in many educationally effective activities. Due to Miami University's better-than-predicted NSSE scores and graduation rates, Miami was one of 20 institutions highlighted in the book, "Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter". The book discusses the strategies that high-achieving schools use to engage students in significant learning.
Miami University uses NSSE results in a wide variety of ways. NSSE results, in combination with other assessment data, are used to inform institutional decisions, to assess student engagement, and, most importantly, to improve student learning. Provided below are a few select samples of Miami University's NSSE (or companion survey) results and the ways in which NSSE results are used and communicated with the university community.
 Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., Whitt, E. J., et al. (2005). Student success in college: Creating Conditions That Matter.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
SURVEY INSTRUMENT AND SELECT RESULTS
Selected Peer Comparisons (2007) on NSSE "Benchmark Scores"
- Percentage Comparisons (Table 1)
- Mean Comparisons (Table 2)
- Comparison Groups (list of included institutions)
- Details on the Construction of Benchmark Scores
RELEVANT ASSESSMENT BRIEFS
Assessment Briefs are one-page news briefs that highlight current assessment projects or methods for conducting assessment. Assessment Briefs are distributed approximately once every three weeks to all faculty, staff, and graduate students with teaching responsibilities. (For additional details on Miami University's Assessment Briefs, visit: http://www.units.MiamiOH.edu/led/assessment/Assessment_Briefs/Briefs.htm.)
- Brief #2: Academic Rigor and Challenge at Miami: Students’ Experiences During Their First Year of College (November 1, 2004)
- Brief #4: Faculty and Student Perceptions of Coursework: Significant Differences (December 3, 2004)
- Brief #5: Incoming Students’ Expectations about College-Level Work (February 11, 2005)
- Brief #9: Assessment of First Year Seminar Courses: Part One (September 1, 2005)
- Brief #10: Assessment of First Year Seminar Courses: Part Two (September 26, 2005)
- Brief #11: Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter (October 17, 2005)
- Brief #15: Engaging with Other Learners Outside of the Classroom (February 28, 2006)
- Brief #23: Faculty and Student Learning Experiences: Similarities and Differences (November 7, 2006)
- Brief #29: University Accountability for Student Learning: The Spellings Report (October 1, 2007)
FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR ASSESSMENT
First-Year Seminars (FYS) are specially designed for first-year students and focus on an intellectual theme, problem or issue based on the passion and expertise of the faculty member. Each course is taught by a seasoned Miami faculty member and is limited to 20 students. As part of the ongoing assessment of FYS courses, a subset of NSSE questions is administered to all FYS students at the end of each semester. (For additional details on FYS courses, visit: http://www.units.MiamiOH.edu/led/FirstYearSeminars/index.html.)