Student Assessment Guide

Student Assessment Guide

College Mission
Lorain County Community College, a vital and dynamic leader, serves a culturally diverse community by promoting education, economic, cultural and community development. The college encourages lifelong learning through accessible and affordable academic, career-oriented and continuing education.

College Value Statement - Excellence in Learning and Teaching
The College is committed to ensuring that excellence in learning and teaching remains its hallmark. The College will foster a community of intellectual, social and cultural relationships whereby students and faculty are active partners in meaningful learning. The College will attract, develop, and reward professionals committed to teaching and community service. It will use effective curriculum, instructional methodology and technology to maximize learning.

Individual Development
LCCC believes in the lifelong development of the whole person and is committed to providing the opportunity for every individual to pursue program of learning that includes general education, marketable skills and individualized support services.

Ongoing Assessment of Effectiveness
LCCC commits to offering and developing programs and services based on an ongoing assessment of community needs and the College's capacity.

General Education Values and Philosophy
Lorain County Community College believes that all individuals should learn to read with comprehension, to write with clarity, to speak with precision, to listen with discrimination, and to think critically and analytically with the capacity to apply knowledge. The education of the whole person and strengthening of literacy should occur throughout educational experience.

General Education Outcomes
General education learning outcomes have been established for all students seeking associate degrees. LCCC’s General Education Outcomes are embedded across the curriculum in the AA; AAB; AAS; AS; AIS; ATS; degrees and Certificate of proficiency. General education outcomes are designed to ensure that all graduates develop eleven broad goals:

  1. Develop the professional competencies to function effectively within their chosen academic disciplines and careers.
  2. Develop technological literacy and demonstrate knowledge of the applications of technology in everyday life.
  3. Understand and apply methods of scientific inquiry.
  4. Develop an appreciation for and an understanding of the arts and humanities.
  5. Develop an understanding of the history of the diverse, social, economic, and political models of society.
  6. Develop precision, clarity. And fluency in writing.
  7. Develop accuracy, conciseness, and coherence in spoken communication.
  8. Apply mathematical concepts to solve quantitative problems.
  9. Develop critical thinking and reasoning skills for problem solving.
  10. Develop an awareness and understanding of gender, ethnic, minority, multicultural, and global issues.
  11. Develop an appreciation for and understanding of the benefits of a healthy, active and well-balanced lifestyle.

The Assessment of Student Academic Achievement
Lorain County Community College is committed to and required by the North Central Association‘s Higher Learning Commission to assess student academic achievement. The College has formed a committee to implement its plan to assess student academic achievement, thereby enabling the institution to make necessary improvements to ensure continued excellence in learning and teaching. The plan focuses on assessment activities occurring at the following stages (1) pre-admission, (2) during the student’s academic program; (3) at the time of graduation; and (4) following program completion or graduation.

Implementation of the assessment plan will require the participation of randomly selected students at certain times throughout the academic year. If selected, participation is EXPECTED. The college will make every effort to minimize any inconvenience to participating students. When appropriate, incentives will be provided.

Participation in any assessment activity will not affect a course grade, graduation eligibility, class rank, or overall grade point average. Data collected from these assessment activities will be analyzed at the aggregate level – not by individual students.

Assessment-Related Questions

1. What is assessment?

  • Assessment of student learning begins with LCCC’s educational values and philosophy as delineated in the catalog.
  • The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. 
  • Assessment processes involve:
    1. Establishing clear, measurable, and expected outcomes of student learning; 
    2. Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations; and
    3. Using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning at various levels: classroom, course, and program.

2. Why should students care about assessment?

  • Assessment is directly related to helping students learn better and more efficiently.
  • It also helps instructors to improve instruction, pedagogy, technology, and curriculum. 
  • It guides students seeking appropriate educational support services so as to improve their learning and academic achievements. 
  • Assessment is a goal-oriented process. It helps students to align their learning goals and compare their learning achievements with educational purposes and expectations in each of the courses and programs. 
  • The assessment processes are derived from the college mission and values, from faculty intentions in program and course design, and from knowledge of students’ own goals.

3. Does assessment affects the students’ grades?

  • Classroom assessment that is integrated with course assessment and instruction is the primary means of evaluating students’ achievements for effective grading.
  • Instructors assess student learning using many methods such as tests and quizzes; projects and design tasks; performances and exhibitions; informal observations and interviews; lab experiment reports, portfolios and journals.
  • Students should be aware of expected performance criteria for each assignment and assessment method instructors use to evaluate students’ learning achievements and provide feedback for improvement. These procedures are recorded by each instructor in the “Course Assessment Record.”
  • In a course, academic achievements assessed for individual student are cumulatively evaluated by the instructor for awarding the student’s final course grade.

4. Why should students participate in assessment?

  • Assessment is merely a “learning support tool:” however, it is a tool by which instructors can communicate with students about how learning is going on in a course. 
  • Assessment does not accomplish learning, but it provides information to the instructor who may use it to devise appropriate methods to improve student learning.
  • When instructors use on-going classroom assessment methods (muddiest point, one minute paper etc.) to obtain continuous feedback from students they learn if they need to change instruction style or modify learning assignments so as to actively engage students in learning.
  • It makes sense that all students should eagerly participate in class assessment and course assessment activities to complete a course successfully.

5. How is student learning assessed at LCCC?

The following processes are in place to assess student learning performances in order to evaluate how LCCC accomplishes its goals, mission, and strategic initiatives as advertised in the catalog:

  • ASSET or COMPASS tests are used by the admission office.
  • Classroom assessments methods are used by course instructors.
  • Course outcomes including any embedded general education outcomes are assessed by course instructors and the results and recommendations for improvement are recorded by instructors in the “Course Assessment Records”-(CAR).
  • Program outcomes as defined by the curriculum are assessed and evaluated by program/cluster faculty groups and documented in the “Program Assessment Record”- (PAR).
  • Students’ satisfaction with the learning environment and college-wide support services are surveyed bi-annually by the Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (IEP) office using the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE).
  • In some divisions, program faculty members conduct current students’ satisfaction survey to assess and receive feedback on their perceptions on ‘academic and career preparation in their program.’ 
  • Mail survey and phone interviews are used to obtain program satisfaction responses from past graduates and their employers by the Joint Center for Policy Research (JCPR) in order to assess accomplishments of program goals and objectives
  • All results are published by in the institutional effectiveness report

6. How does classroom assessment work?

  • Instructors periodically conduct learning assessment in their classes. 
  • Examples: (a) asking students to write a one minute paper on how well they understand the course contents so far; (b) asking students to indicate the muddiest point hindering their learning; (c) asking a group of students to describe on communication difficulties; or (d) calling for feedback from students on the strengths and weaknesses in the class activities, etc.
  • Instructors use the data to incorporate appropriate changes in the instructions, assignments, tests, etc., during the semester to improve students learning in the class.

7. How does course assessment differ from classroom assessment?

  • Classroom assessment techniques are used to assess how well students are learning the course contents and achieving the expected quality and standard in learning. 
  • Each course has clearly defined course outcomes that may have one or more general education measurable criteria embedded
  • Instructors set out learning assignments and academic performance expectations for students to learn the contents, improve knowledge and skills, and demonstrate achievement in class tests, projects, quizzes etc. 
  • Instructors use rubrics (learning levels, performance criteria, competencies, etc.) to evaluate students’ answers, project work, design products etc., and convert the results into effective grades.
  • All of these activities, the assessment data gathered, result obtained, and changes recommended for improvement are documented in the Course Assessment Record and submitted to the division director or program coordinator.
  • The next time the course instructor implements the “changes for improvement suggested” and reassesses the student learning achievements, the results are reported on the CAR document in order to “close the loop” in the assessment process.

8. What is program assessment?

  • All academic programs offered at LCCC have clearly defined goals and measurable objectives/outcomes that align with the college mission and values and to meet community expectations, employer needs, and accreditation agency requirements.
  • Every five years, each program is scheduled to be reviewed by a “review committee” and the program’s strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, failures, technology needs, etc., are assessed and evaluated. The review results are used to identify and implement appropriate improvements.

9. How does assessment relate to accreditation?

  • The North Central Association (NCA) for Higher Learning is the accreditation body for LCCC programs and services. Professional accrediting agencies also evaluate students’ success in the health career programs. 
  • Currently, the college is using the Academic Quality Improvement Plan (AQIP) format of NCA and three areas including “Continuous improvement of teaching and learning using assessment data” have been selected as quality improvement action projects to demonstrate the college value statement.
  • A design team, consisting of division directors and faculty representatives, is involved in implementing assessment activities. 
  • An annual self-study report on incremental accomplishments in student learning, academic achievement, retention, and scholastic success is submitted to NCA for evaluation.

10. Where do I find information on preparing for academic success?

Visit the following links and prepare your notes to plan your study habits for successful academic career at LCCC.

11. Where do I direct my questions related to assessment?

  • The AQIP Assessment Project Design Team welcomes your input and suggestions to improve learning and teaching processes at LCCC. Direct your questions to:

Co-Chairs - AQIP Assessment Design Team

Dr. George Pillainayagam   Professor – Engineering Technologies division
gpillain@lorainccc.edu
Ext: 7008  
Dr. William Hughes

Professor – Arts and Humanities division
whughes@lorainccc.edu
Ext: 7133

 

 

 

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