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Harmonizing Department and University Level Learning Outcomes and Evaluating Learning Goals

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ASSESSING LEARNING
Harmonizing Department and University Level Learning Outcomes and Evaluating Learning Goals

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Author :
Raphael Auras, Laura Bix, Cimberly Weir
Harmonizing Department and University Level Learning Outcomes and Evaluating Learning Goals

RW Contact profile image
Author :
Raphael Auras, Laura Bix, Cimberly Weir

Topic Area: DEI

Presented by: Raphael AurasLaura BixCimberly Weir

Abstract:

The class learning outcomes (CLO) of the packaging bachelor’s degree at the School of Packaging (SoP) at Michigan State University (MSU) were mapped to competency-based, programmatic learning outcomes (CPLO), which are aligned with the broad learning goals of the University (MSU-LG). Six CPLOs were developed using group consensus building for the core curriculum: CPLO-1: Evaluate packaging systems; CPLO-2: Analyze tradeoffs in packaging systems; CPLO-3: Design innovative and sustainable packaging systems; CPLO-4: Manage projects in diverse teams; CPLO-5: Communicate effectively considering diverse audiences; CPLO-6: Professional and ethical manner. Relationships, from specific to broad, (CLOs to CPLOs to MSU-LG) were mapped during several group sessions with SoP packaging educators utilizing the same consensus-building process. This mapping scheme (class-specific CLOs supporting broader program CPLOs and, ultimately, MSU-LGs) was developed to guarantee alignment of expectations for learning from the course to the packaging program to the University level.

Since 2018, assessment tools, including rubrics, questionnaires, and activity/assignments intended to evaluate learning were developed to evaluate core and elective courses offered by the SoP. Data collection of each student’s performance in the core and selective elective courses was conducted and assessed utilizing Watermark’s VIA software.

Assessment of student performance related to each of the CLOs and related CPLO and MSU-LG provided objective evidence of learning across the SoP curriculum as well as how CLOs, delivered and assessed at the individual student level, translate into competence achieved at the programmatic and university levels. As more instruments were implemented to assess students’ performance, areas of improvement became increasingly evident and a path forward for curriculum adjustment and development manifested.