General Education Assessment 2013-14

Process Descriptions/Definitions

  • Written Communication Process
  • Oral Communication Process
  • Critical Thinking Definition
  • Creative Thinking Definition
  • Quantitative Literacy Process

Students Tested

In Spring 2013, there were 3,265 graduating seniors who were eligible to be tested. These were seniors who, at the time the sample was collected (March 2013, after the institutional graduation application date), had submitted their application to graduate in May 2013. All eligible seniors received a request to participate. Out of all eligible seniors, 250 participated in testing.

Participation was not required, and although incentives were offered, we had difficulty recruiting participants which impacted some elements of representativeness of the sample. Chi-square Goodness of Fit tests indicated that the distribution of seniors taking the assessment test was not significantly different (p=0.088) from the true population of seniors by gender and race. However, it was determined that the distribution of seniors taking the assessment test was significantly different (p<0.0001) from the true population of seniors by gender and college.

Assessment Process

Which North Carolina State University Students are assessed? When?

We assessed graduating seniors during the spring 2013 semester. Graduating seniors were those who had applied for May 2013 graduation by the date we drew our sample in March 2013 (the institutional graduation application deadline had passed by the time we determined which seniors were graduating seniors). Out of 3,265 graduating seniors, 250 graduating seniors took the test.

How are assessment data collected?

Graduating seniors were identified with the assistance of University Planning and Analysis. These students were contacted via an email from the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs requesting their participation. Staff members from the Office of Assessment administered the pencil and paper test on campus during multiple dates in April 2013. The assessment also included a 10-item survey at the end which asked students to self-report how much effort they put into the assessment and how important it was to them to do well (Student Opinion Survey, Sundre & Moore, 2002). We used the “Effort” scale from this survey to better understand scores in the context of the amount of effort put forth by students.

How are data reported within North Carolina State University?

The data were analyzed by members of the Office of Assessment using the raw data provided by ETS. The results of the analysis were shared with the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, the faculty senate academic committee, and the University Council on Undergraduate Education. Moving forward, results will also be shared with associate deans of the colleges, the curriculum committees within the colleges, and the university community.

How have data led to program changes and improvements at NC State?

Due to sampling limitations specific to representation by college, the data have not been used to make program changes, but have been used to look at overall trends that highlight strengths and weaknesses which merit further study. For example, results highlighted strengths of our students in mathematics and provided further justification for the selection of critical thinking as part of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Results

On the Student Opinion Survey “Effort” scale (5-25 scale) the mean score for graduating seniors was 14 (SD=4). Students self-reported putting forth a moderate amount of effort when taking this instrument.

Overall Scores and Subscale Scores

  • The mean overall score for graduating seniors was 464 (400-500 scale).
  • The mean subscale score for graduating seniors reading was 121 (100-130 scale).
  • The mean subscale score for graduating seniors critical thinking (level 3 of reading) was 114 (100-130 scale)
  • The mean subscale score for graduating seniors mathematics was 120 (100-130 scale).
  • The mean subscale score for graduating seniors writing was 117 (100-130 scale).

Proficiencies

  • The majority of graduating seniors at NC State were marginally proficient or proficient in Mathematics at all three levels measured on the ETS Proficiency Profiles (Level 1: 96.4%; Level 2: 88.8%; Level 3: 62.8%). See Table 1.
  • The majority of graduating seniors at NC State were marginally proficient or proficient in Reading at the first two levels (Level 1: 90.8%; Level 2: 75.6%). At Level 3 of Reading/Critical Thinking, 41.2% of graduating seniors were marginally proficient or proficient. See Table 2.
  • The majority of graduating seniors at NC State were marginally proficient or proficient in Writing at the first two levels (Level 1: 98.4%; Level 2: 74.4%). At Level 3 of Writing, 50% were marginally proficient or proficient. See Table 3.

 

Comparison to Other Institutions

  • As of May 2013 (when we received testing results from ETS), compared to all other institutions who tested seniors using the ETS Proficiency Profile, NC State students were 96th percentile in terms of overall score.
  • As of May 2013 (when we received testing results from ETS), compared to “peer institutions”* who tested seniors using the ETS Proficiency Profile, NC State students were 89th percentile in terms of overall score.

*The ETS comparative data report conflates RI, RII and doctoral universities into a single category for comparison to other institutions.