Indirect assessments complement direct assessments by measuring changes in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors resulting from experiential learning. Whereas the previously described rubrics assess student learning in QEP-related classes, a series of indirect assessment tools will be used to evaluate Experience Learning’s influence on the campus community and the environment for student learning.
Indirect assessment is critical for assessing changes in cultural norms, which are best reflected in the attitudes and dispositions of faculty, staff, and students.
The first method for indirect assessment is a survey to measure students’ perceptions of their own learning and attainment of the SLOs and benchmarks. This method builds upon the rubrics used for direct assessment by providing another opportunity for students to engage in structured reflection as part of their learning process.
There will also be a survey administered to faculty members who are involved in the SCI and faculty development program. The survey will gauge their perceptions and level of satisfaction with the structure and organization of the activities, content of the trainings and related programming, and knowledge gained from participating in these programs.
The Experience Learning director and assessment coordinator will organize regular focus groups of faculty and staff who have been involved with Experience Learning. These focus groups will aim to collect qualitative data about their experiences with Experience Learning activities, strengths of the activities, and areas for improvement.
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) will also be an important indirect assessment tool. NSSE is administered to first-year students and seniors at UT twice in a five-year cycle as required by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. NSSE data from undergraduate students at UT strongly support the need for more experiential learning activities. These data from the NSSE survey over the past few years provide a baseline for measuring changes in future semesters as Experience Learning is implemented.