20120620

Education research: SASS, ECCE and student learning outcomes assessment (Cuesta College, spring semester 2012)

Student achievement of course learning outcomes are assessed by administering an Student Assessment of Skills Survey (SASS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Physics 205B students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This is second semester of a two-semester introductory physics course (college physics, algebra-based, mandatory adjunct laboratory).

The SASS is administered online during the last week of instruction, to be completed before the final exam.

The SASS results from this semester are compiled below. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question. Also listed is the percentage of students who have self-assessed themselves as having successfully achieving a learning outcome (responding "average," "above average," or "excellent") as opposed to not achieving success with a learning outcome (responding "very poor" or "below average").

Cuesta College
Student Assessment of Skills Survey (SASS)
Physics 205B spring semester 2012 section 30882
N = 28

The questions below are designed to characterize your achievement of each
of the learning outcomes by filling in a bubble on the rating scale
provided to the right of each statement.

Mark the level of achievement that best describes your learning at the
completion of the course.

1. Using a ray model of light, describe and quantify polarization,
reflection, refraction, and images produced by lenses.
(Achieved: 93%, unachieved: 7%)
1. Very poor 0 :
2. Below average 2 : **
3. Average 10 : *****
4. Above average 12 : ************ [3.6 +/- 0.8]
5. Excellent 4 : ****

2. Using a wave model of light, describe and quantify interference
produced by thin films, double-slits, diffraction gratings, and single
slits.
(Achieved: 89%, unachieved: 11%)
1. Very poor 0 :
2. Below average 3 : ***
3. Average 11 : ***********
4. Above average 11 : *********** [3.5 +/- 0.8]
5. Excellent 3 : ***

3. Describe and quantify the static behavior of electric forces, fields,
and potentials.
(Achieved: 100%, unachieved: 0%)
1. Very poor 0 :
2. Below average 0 :
3. Average 14 : ************** [3.6 +/- 0.7]
4. Above average 10 : **********
5. Excellent 4 : ****

4. Describe and quantify the steady-state or time-dependent behavior of
electric circuits, magnetic forces and magnetic fields.
(Achieved: 93%, unachieved: 7%)
1. Very poor 0 :
2. Below average 2 : **
3. Average 14 : ************** [3.5 +/- 0.8]
4. Above average 8 : ********
5. Excellent 4 : ****

5. Describe and quantify selected modern physics topics such as
relativity and nuclear physics.
(Achieved: 75%, unachieved: 25%)
1. Very poor 2 : **
2. Below average 5 : *****
3. Average 15 : *************** [3.0 +/- 1.0]
4. Above average 4 : ****
5. Excellent 2 : **

Of the 5 student learning outcomes in the SASS, 4 were self-reported as being achieved by at least 85% of students, listed below in order of decreasing success:
3. Describe and quantify the static behavior of electric forces, fields, and potentials. (100%)
4. Describe and quantify the steady-state or time-dependent behavior of electric circuits, magnetic forces and magnetic fields. (93%)
1. Using a ray model of light, describe and quantify polarization, reflection, refraction, and images produced by lenses. (93%)
2. Using a wave model of light, describe and quantify interference produced by thin films, double-slits, diffraction gratings, and single slits. (89%)

The mastery of steady-state and time-dependent behavior of electric circuits in student learning outcome 4 for Cuesta College students is also directly assessed using the Electric Circuit Concept Evaluation (David Sokoloff, University of Oregon).

However, one student learning outcome was self-reported as being achieved by less than 85% of students:
5. Describe and quantify selected modern physics topics such as relativity and nuclear physics. (75%)

As per the ACCJC (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges), results from this indirect assessment SASS tool, along with the direct assessment ECCE tool will be used for course/program improvement by increasing emphasis on these lowest three learning outcomes in instruction in future semesters.