Measuring and Evaluating Learning and Communication Skills Acquisition
For the past several years, the communications department has been engaged in a university-wide program intended to evaluate and measure student learning outcomes, as well as other aspects of teaching and learning. Along with the program review, a related research and evaluation project, the assessments program has been investigating not only what students are learning, but seeking to measure the extent of their learning, or 'value added', from the time they enter the department to the time they exit.
While the assessments program is in its formative stages, awaiting the completion of the online assessments tools that will automate the evaluation of student portfolios, the department has already completed pilot-stage assessments of such critical components of the student experience as the advising process, which students rated highly. Such assessments tools as rubrics, highly specific descriptions of student mastery of writing skills for PR, journalism and advertising concentrators have been developed and will become a fundamental part of the continuous assessment of students' pre-professional portfolios.