Accreditation & Assurance of Learning
The business programs at The Craig School of Business are accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This is the highest accreditation a school of business can receive.
Assurance of Learning
Craig Assessment Network - CAN not CAN'T
The Craig School's assessment program is successful because the deans have taken an active part in development, improvement, and maintenance of the program. They provide necessary faculty support. The Craig School's assessment of learning program was begun in 2005/2006 through the creation of an assessment task force that was charged with instituting a faculty-driven program. The program is currently managed by a faculty task force, with Dean Harper and Associate Dean Moffitt included as contributing and managing members. The 2006 assessment plan has been continually modified based on faculty and administrator input. Faculty began using School designed rubrics to measure learning outcomes, and by 2008 results of widespread rubric use and surveys were driving program improvement.
Dean Harper's assessment reports have consistently received high marks from the Provost's Learning Assessment Team (LAT) in their annual reviews, because it is clear that assessment results are driving program change, resulting in closing the loop. During 2010-2011, the Craig School deans took on assessment coordination duties. They personally experienced using assessment for assuring student learning and for securing third party accreditation. After receiving AACSB re-accreditation for the business programs in March, 2011, the deans continued planning for future development of assessment activities. In the 2011 Report to the Provost, Dean Harper identified streamlining and refining assessment activities as desirable to assure continuous program improvement.
Breadth and depth of assessment activities
The School instituted a series of direct and indirect measures of learning during 2006-2009. The rubrics and surveys that were developed, are still in use or have been improved, providing valuable data for decisions that close the loop. Building on structures sustained by Deans Harper and Zelezny, and now with the guidance of Associate Dean Moffitt, the School has revised and improved its SOAP, simplified its learning outcomes, developed direct measures of several learning outcomes that had previously been measured only through indirect measures, and worked with faculty to develop direct measures that serve the faculty's learning assessment goals. The University's Undergraduate Studies' promotion of direct measures of learning also drives the Craig School's development of course embedded direct assessment.
Some dissatisfaction with the rubrics was expressed, so the School performed two program changes. First, two rubrics were simplified and the ranking choices were reduced from 4 to 3, which resulted in a positive reaction from the affected faculty. Second, the School developed test banks with objective questions derived from faculty input to measure learning between entry into the School and graduation. Faculty are developing a shared vision of what a business graduate should know and be able to do when he or she graduates. Data from the rubrics and from the surveys has been used to guide program improvement, and faculty believe the newly developed direct measures will yield data to guide the School in its continual quest for improved student learning.
Use of results for improving teaching, learning, or curriculum
Assessment results, from both direct and indirect measures, have inspired changes to individual courses, to the business program, and even to school administration. First, results from administration of the writing rubric indicated that business students were deficient in written communication skills. The School encouraged faculty to attend University sponsored training in Criterion and other writing across the curriculum programs and to use their learning to assist business students in improving their written communication. The School also developed a writing lab, providing writing advice, which has been widely used. Recent results from employer surveys indicate that employers are now satisfied with student skills in written communication. Results of the writing rubric indicate faculty are satisfied with the targeted improvements in student written communication.
Second, results from administration of the quantitative reasoning rubric, as well as student and employer surveys, indicated that students were not proficient in the use of Excel. Faculty in Information Systems & Decision Sciences developed learning modules that emphasize use of Excel and other quantitative analysis programs. Faculty and students report that the training is effective. It is expected that employer surveys will also reflect satisfaction with graduates' use of Excel and other quantitative analysis programs.
Third, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies identified courses that had high failure rates. The School has several courses in the identified category. One of these, Business Administration 18, Legal Environment of Business, was revised by the faculty to incorporate active learning techniques that have proven to be effective for enhanced and long term learning. Implementation of the newly designed course during fall, 2011, resulted in a higher course pass rate. Assessment of learning in the course indicated that students have improved in the following School learning objectives: written communication, ethical awareness, and global awareness.
Evidence of widespread faculty involvement in assessment
Faculty who teach core and capstone courses integrate assessment of learning into their courses and into the School's undergraduate degree program. They help develop both direct and indirect measures to document student learning. The School's assessment program is constantly undergoing change, primarily based on faculty leadership with facilitation by the assessment coordinators. Rubrics and other direct measures are currently being revised based on faculty input. Individual faculty who use the rubrics for assessment in their courses actively take leadership roles in instituting and implementing changes to the learning outcomes measurements. Assessment coordinators utilize two-way communication with individual faculty to help implement programmatic change based on data from assessment. The process of faculty involvement in learning assessment assures that changes to the assessment of learning program result in improved student learning.
As has been mentioned above, assessment of learning, while involving other stakeholders, is faculty driven. Quotes from statements in other sections of this memorandum attest to this. "The program is currently managed by a faculty task force...." "Faculty began using school designed rubrics." "...School developed test banks with objective questions derived from faculty input...." "[F]aculty believe the newly developed direct measures will yield data to guide the School." "Faculty are developing a shared vision of what a business graduate should know and be able to do when he or she graduates."
Please check back later - we are doing a lot with assessment and AOL and are looking forward to sharing our progress.