2017 Program Assessment Outcomes Showcase

On March 17, 2017, the Office of Undergraduate Education hosted the first annual Program Outcomes Assessment Showcase to celebrate the growing campus engagement in sustainable learning outcomes assessment practices in UC Davis undergraduate academic programs. Faculty from undergraduate academic programs UIPR cluster 3 shared their successes, challenges, and lessons learned as trailblazers in integrating direct assessment of student learning into the Undergraduate Program Self-Review process. For most of these programs, this represented the results of the first year of program-wide outcomes assessment efforts. 

The event was held 9 am to noon in the Student Community Center Multipurpose Room.

Opening Remarks:

Carolyn Thomas, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education


Jelmer Eerkens, Cristiana Giordano, Kelli Sholer, Timothy Weaver

Anthropology Undergraduate Review: Insights, Impact, and Implementation
In December 2016, the Anthropology Department submitted a program self-review for the undergraduate majors in Anthropology covering 2009-2015. Working on this self-review provided an opportunity for the Anthropology Undergraduate Committee to reflect on the entirety of the Anthropology undergraduate program and the potential impact of the new budget model and other recent campus-wide changes on the program. While we, the committee, came away with many positive insights into the program—such that Anthropology undergraduates are generally pleased with their undergraduate experiences—we will focus our presentation on the challenges we faced working on the self-review. We hope that the showcase attendees will find our experiences helpful for envisioning ways to avoid the challenges we faced in the future. Curriculum Matrix; Summary of Findings; Plans for Next Steps


George Mattey

Assessing Outcomes in Different Areas of Philosophy
The Philosophy Department has devised a system for assessment of outcomes in three diverse areas of philosophy.  The system uses a spreadsheet with pull-down menus with different criteria for each of the three areas, at both the upper- and lower-division levels.  It is hoped that the audience will find the technique useful and easy to implement, and adaptable to their disciplines. Program Learning Outcomes; Summary of Findings; Plan for Next Steps


Edward Dickinson & Andrés Reséndez

Learning outcomes assessment: An opportunity to refine learning outcomes 
Our department found that our students perform very strongly as measured against our stated learning outcomes.  However, we also found that thinking about assessing performance against those outcomes led us to think much more deeply about what we teach our students, what we should teach  them, what the unique value of our discipline is for university students, and how we might want to redefine our pedagogical purposes for the 21st century.  We are in informal discussions of a revision of the PLOs for our program; but regardless of the result of those discussions, it has been useful to refine our thinking about what we teach, how, and why.  Takeaway message: assessing how effectively you are teaching your students is an opportunity to pause and think more self-consciously about what you want to teach them. Program Learning Outcomes; Summary of Findings; Plan for Next Steps


Julia Menard-Warwick & Georgia Zellou

Linguistics Undergraduate Assessment
During this talk, faculty from the Linguistics Department will discuss their project to evaluate student writing, which was motivated by an interest in being able to assess student work objectively through the use of a rubric, as well as the interest in determining extent to which graduating senior Linguistics majors are meeting department objectives. Program Learning Outcomes; Rubrics; Summary of Findings; Plan for Next Steps

Agricultural & Environmental Education

Lynn Martindale & Cary Trexler

Obstacles and Opportunities from the Self-Review of the Agricultural and Environmental Education Major in the Animal Science Department (CA&ES)
During the self-review, there were obstacles that were brought to the forefront of the major. The outside reviews also brought to forward obstacles, which if properly addressed will turn into opportunities. Take away - addressing the obstacles and opportunities: evaluation of course content from faculty, planning the day for the outside reviewer and implementation of the reviewers report.


Heather Hether & Nicholas Palomares

Forging a path to sustainable practices in program learning assessment: Lessons learned from the Department of Communication
In this presentation, we will share how the Department of Communication is approaching the development of collaborative and sustainable practices to assess program learning outcomes. Although we are still in the early stages of assessment, we have developed creative means to facilitate our assessment program, which we hope will be an effective model for other programs to emulate and expand. These practices include: identifying a department "point person" to ensure assessment remains a department priority; developing a strong working relationship with the Undergraduate Education Academic Assessment team; critically re-evaluating and refining our program learning outcomes; and launching an online survey for instructors to generate a curriculum matrix. In addition to describing these practices, we will discuss the challenges and benefits of these and other strategies along with other considerations to develop collaborative and sustainable assessment programs. Program Learning Outcomes; Plan for Next Steps

East Asian Studies

Katharine Burnett & Xiaoling Shu

Square peg, round hole: Making Sense of the Curriculum Review Process
This talk discusses the challenges of responding meaningfully to the UC Davis undergraduate curriculum review process for a program, and how EAS chose to deal with it. This talk will suggest ways to adapt the review process for more meaningful results.

Middle East/South Asian Studies

Sudipta Sen & Geetanjali Vij

Closing Remarks

Matt Traxler, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Planning