Results of Assessment
Following are the results of developing and implementing the Outcomes Assessment plan for the Women's Studies minor, within the College of Social Sciences.
- Developed a written mission statement
- Selected performance-based outcomes in accordance with the mission statement
- Faculty identified which standards were being met in their course(s) and to what degree they were being met
- Developed a list of direct and indirect measures to be used for objectives 1, 2, 4, 6
- Decided when and by whom these measures would be used.
- Created the assessment grid to outline the plan developed
- Developed the student survey
- Collected data in the following classes: Introduction to Women's Studies, Research Methodologies, Feminist Theories
1. Data collected on student minors in 1999-2000
2. When and how these data were discussed among faculty:
Selected faculty were sent the following reflections as well as having the student materials available shortly after the end of the Spring Semester:
- The first WS2050 portfolio surveyed, that of a B- or C+ student, suggests that knowledge initially resisted becomes familiar and comfortable material for the student by the end of the course. The student's final essay seems to reveal much more acceptance of both the potential of and the limitations levied upon women in present-day American society than that evinced by his earlier essays.
The Second WS2050 portfolio surveyed, that of a B+ or A student, also shows change and growth, not in terms of comfort with the material presented as in reading it and regarding women's issues at a new level of complexity. The student appears more and more appreciative of the depth and breadth of women's potential as well as of historic oppression of women. She shows clear understanding of the similarities and differences of feminist theories and also an understanding of how these can be used to analyze situations in which women are oppressed or in which they reach full potential.
The examples selected showed that students 1. Know the main social, economic political, and psychological issues in contemporary women's lives, globally and locally; 2. Possess the ability to connect ideas and concepts about oppression and patriarchy about women within various fields to common themes or topics; 3. Possess the ability to write a focused and coherent analytical essay based upon and sustained by evidence.
- Sample essays from WS 3050, Feminist theories, show a knowledge of the main foci of the various theories and the ability to apply the theories in sophisticated ways to analyze readings and social situations. The essays also show the ability to connect ideas and concepts about oppression and patriarchy about women within various fields to common themes or topics; 3. Possess the ability to write a focused and coherent analytical essay based upon and sustained by evidence.
- An oral presentation and a proposal for a conference paper from WS4050 prove to be too open-ended to provide clear data. The oral presentation seems to have two foci, with the proof of the thesis being lost in concern over the method used to reach the proof. The proposal is clearer and suggests an ability to apply feminist theory to a very narrow topic in a practical way.
- The Senior Seminar exit interview revealed that students who completed the Women's Studies minor were very pleased with what they had learned. Some suggested that learning about women had changed their lives drastically for he better. Many asserted that the greatest strength of the program was the dedication and personal attention of the faculty who taught Women's studies core and cross-listed courses.
- Two papers were obtained from cross-listed courses, but this doesn't seem sufficient to reach any conclusion about the courses. The essays did show the ability to apply feminist principles to analyze fictional and non-fictional literature. They showed awareness of women's issues and the ability to relate such awareness to various women portrayed in the literature.
3. Changes anticipated as a result of discussion
More attention needs to be given to development of methods of oral presentation. Also, the program needs to continue to recruit and reward excellent faculty from across campus to teach both its core and cross-listed courses. Finally, faculty who supervise the internship, the research project, and the senior seminar need to meet and agree how these components are to be articulated so that students do not reproduce the same work in each of them. Descriptions and sample requirements for these courses have been produced to make the work of faculty teaching them easier.
4. Student learning outcomes to be assessed by the program in 2000-2001
Outcomes to be assessed in 2000-2001 are as follows:
- Know the main social, economic political, and psychological issues in contemporary women's lives, globally and locally;
- Know the main topics in theories and methodologies of feminisms;
- Know women's class, sexual orientation and cultural (historically "racial") diversity;
- Possess the ability to connect ideas and concepts about oppression and patriarchy about women within various fields to common themes or topics;
- Possess the ability to write a focused and coherent analytical essay based upon and sustained by evidence.