Learning Goals:    Helping Students    Achieve Success   Dawn R. Rager, Eileen M. Merges, & Laura L. Phelan   Part 1: Le...
Part 1: Learning Goals and Assessment Dawn R. Rager
Overview of Psychology at SJFC <ul><li>Our Psychology Department offers two degrees  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bachelor of Art...
Learning Goals <ul><li>Adapted from  The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major   ( www.apa.org/ed/psymajor...
Overview of Program Psychology Electives & General Education Courses History & Systems Special Topics Seminar Abnormal Psy...
Program Assessment Plan <ul><li>Purpose is to improve the program and student learning </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to learnin...
APA Best Practices in Assessment <ul><li>Top 10 Task Force Recommendations ( www.apa.org/ed/best_practices.html ) </li></u...
Implementing Our Assessment Plan <ul><li>Formal program assessment began in the 2005-06 academic year  </li></ul><ul><ul><...
The Data: Goal 2 (2005-2006) 86 % (P200) 97 % (Labs) 91 % (Total) % C or better in Research Methods & labs +11 pts Avg.  Δ...
Conclusions for Goal 2 <ul><li>Our students are demonstrating appropriate progress for most aspects of Goal 2 </li></ul><u...
The Data: Goal 4 (2006-2007) M  =  2.25 SD  =  0.46 Interobserver agreement = 56% (100%) Below:  1 Meets:  15 Exceeds:  2 ...
Goal 4 – Assignments <ul><li>Health Psychology (PSYC 255) – Goals 4.1 & 4.2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather information about...
Conclusions for Goal 4 <ul><li>Our students are demonstrating reasonable progress for some  aspects of Goal 4 (Application...
Evaluating Our Assessment Practices <ul><li>The data that we’ve collected to date also indicates that we need to: </li></u...
Assessment: Challenges & Opportunities <ul><li>Program assessment can be a challenge in that it requires </li></ul><ul><ul...
Part 2: A New Practicum  Course for Majors Laura L. Phelan
Practicum for Psychology Majors <ul><li>Why offer this course? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are unaware or fail to take ...
Student Learning Goals <ul><li>Goal 3: Critical thinking skills in Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 4: Application of Psy...
Practicum for Psychology Majors   <ul><li>Requirement for new students starting Fall 07 </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-requisite: “...
Texts We are Considering <ul><li>Kuther, T.L.  (2006).  The psychology major’s handbook (2 nd   edition) . Belmont: Thomso...
Course Goals   <ul><li>Students will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review skills necessary to be successful psychology majors </li...
Syllabus Topics & Sample Activities <ul><li>Self-reflection and identification of personal and professional values </li></...
Topics & Sample Activities (cont’d) <ul><li>Prepare graduate school and/or employment application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re...
Conclusions <ul><li>Our practicum covers important topics in an Intro to the major course consistent with those identified...
References <ul><li>Kuther, T.L.  (2006).  The psychology major’s handbook (2 nd   edition) . Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth. <...
Part 3: Capstone Courses Eileen M. Merges
Capstone: Definitions <ul><li>Opportunity for students “to demonstrate comprehensive learning in their major through some ...
Capstone Courses at SJFC <ul><li>History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC 415) </li></ul><ul><li>Abnormal Psychology (PSYC ...
History and Systems <ul><li>Assignments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: The Min...
Seminar <ul><li>Topic of seminar changes each semester.  Recent examples include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleep </li></ul></...
Seminar <ul><li>Topic decided by individual faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on reading and discussing primary sources <...
Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Etiology and treatment of major diagnostic categories are considered from the major theoretica...
Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Assignments  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly case studies  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>formula...
Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Assignments (cont’d) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major paper - examining a disorder from at least 2 ...
Capstone and Assessment <ul><li>Papers in seminar courses used to assess goal 2.3 (consume literature) </li></ul><ul><li>G...
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Learning Goals

  1. 1. Learning Goals: Helping Students Achieve Success Dawn R. Rager, Eileen M. Merges, & Laura L. Phelan Part 1: Learning Goals & Assessment Part 2: A New Practicum Course for Majors Part 3: Capstone Courses
  2. 2. Part 1: Learning Goals and Assessment Dawn R. Rager
  3. 3. Overview of Psychology at SJFC <ul><li>Our Psychology Department offers two degrees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>more flexible to accommodate a 2 nd major or minor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bachelor of Science (B.S.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>emphasizes the rigor of scientific research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>best suited for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology or a related field </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Learning Goals <ul><li>Adapted from The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major ( www.apa.org/ed/psymajor_guideline.pdf ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with the Science and Application of Psychology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge Base of Psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research Methods in Psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Application of Psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Values in Psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with a Liberal Arts Education that are Further Developed in Psychology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information/Technology Literacy & Communication Skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge/Values of Sociocultural & International Awareness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge/Values of Personal & Career Development </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Overview of Program Psychology Electives & General Education Courses History & Systems Special Topics Seminar Abnormal Psychology Capstone Courses Learning or Cognitive Lab Developmental or Social/Health Lab Laboratory Courses Cognitive Personality Learning Social Psychology Physiological Psychology Developmental Psychology Psychological Perspectives Courses Advanced/Multivariate Statistics (BS degree) Practicum for Psychology Majors Research Methods & Writing Basic Statistics Introductory Psychology Foundations Courses
  6. 6. Program Assessment Plan <ul><li>Purpose is to improve the program and student learning </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to learning goals/outcomes which, in turn, are aligned with departmental and institutional missions </li></ul><ul><li>Developed/implemented with input from all department members and with support from the College </li></ul><ul><li>Factors in recommendations from various sources, e.g., </li></ul><ul><ul><li>APA’s The Assessment CyberGuide for Learning Goals and Outcomes in the Undergraduate Psychology Major ( www.apa.org/ed/guide_outline.html ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dunn, D.S., Mehrotra, C. M. & Halonen, J.S. (Eds.) (2004). Measuring up: Educational assessment challenges and practices for psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implemented in manageable way for faculty members and students </li></ul><ul><li>Is a work continuously in progress </li></ul>
  7. 7. APA Best Practices in Assessment <ul><li>Top 10 Task Force Recommendations ( www.apa.org/ed/best_practices.html ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage department ownership to drive the process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define your objectives in the context of your institutional mission. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on collaboration and teamwork. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify the purpose of assessment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify clear, measurable, and developmental student learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use multiple measures and sources consistent with resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement continuous assessment with clear, manageable timelines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help students succeed on assessment tasks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpret and use assessment results appropriately. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate your assessment practices. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Implementing Our Assessment Plan <ul><li>Formal program assessment began in the 2005-06 academic year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessed Goal 2 – Research Methods in Psychology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continued during the 2006-2007 academic year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessed Goal 4 – Application of Psychology </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Data: Goal 2 (2005-2006) 86 % (P200) 97 % (Labs) 91 % (Total) % C or better in Research Methods & labs +11 pts Avg. Δ scores from 1 st to 2 nd papers in labs 2.4 Students will be able to design and conduct psychological research in an ethical manner, and interpret the results. 2.5 Students will be able to formulate and write all parts of an APA Style empirical paper. 89 % % earning C or better on Seminar papers +11 pts Avg. Δ scores from 1 st to 2 nd papers in labs 2.3 Students will be able to read and interpret psychological research with appropriate appreciation for the effects of internal and external validity on the generalizability of the research results. 40 % % earning C or better on cumulative final in Basic Statistics 90 % % earning C or better in Basic Statistics 2.2 Students will be able to utilize basic statistical techniques and interpret statistical results (including significance and effect size). +11 pts Avg. Δ scores from 1 st to 2 nd papers in labs 97 % % earning C or better in labs 86 % % earning C or better in Research Methods 2.1 Students will be able to describe the different research methods used by psychologists, and articulate their strengths and weaknesses (including internal and external validity). Averages Assessment Methods Learning Outcomes GOAL 2 - RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY: Students will understand and apply research methods in psychology, including design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  10. 10. Conclusions for Goal 2 <ul><li>Our students are demonstrating appropriate progress for most aspects of Goal 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding research methods and their strengths/ weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>designing & conducting research & interpreting the results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>preparing APA style reports of their research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Area in need of improvement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we need to help our students better understand statistics at a conceptual level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seabrook (2006). Is the teaching of statistical calculations helpful to students’ statistical thinking? Psychology Learning and Teaching, 5 (2), 153-161. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Data: Goal 4 (2006-2007) M = 2.25 SD = 0.46 Interobserver agreement = 56% (100%) Below: 1 Meets: 15 Exceeds: 2 n = 18 4.2 Students will recognize that ethical issues and sociocultural contexts influence the application of psychological principles in solving problems M = 2.11 SD = 0.68 Interobserver agreement = 44% (72%) Below: 7 Meets: 8 Exceeds: 4 n = 19 Evaluate samples of papers/projects that require students to demonstrate an understanding of the applications of psychology to solve real world problems and/or grapple with ethical and cultural issues. Samples will be evaluated by teams of faculty members using the following rating scale: 1 – Below Expectations 2 – Meets Expectations 3 – Exceeds Expectations 4.1 Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to apply the psychological concepts, theories and research to solve real world problems in areas such as health, mental health, work, education, etc. Descriptives Frequencies Assessment Methods Learning Outcomes GOAL 4 - APPLICATION OF PSYCHOLOGY: Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social and/or organizational issues.
  12. 12. Goal 4 – Assignments <ul><li>Health Psychology (PSYC 255) – Goals 4.1 & 4.2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather information about your family health history & use heath psychology theories and concepts to develop a preventative health plan for yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Psychology (PSYC 235) – Goal 4.1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use social psychology theories and concepts to design an effective program for encouraging high school students to engage in safe sex practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 401) – Goal 4.2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study with ethical and sociocultural implications </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusions for Goal 4 <ul><li>Our students are demonstrating reasonable progress for some aspects of Goal 4 (Application of Psychology): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>recognizing that ethical issues influence the application of psychological principles in solving problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding some ways in which psychology can be applied to solve real world problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Areas in need of improvement – we need to help our students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>develop a greater appreciation for how sociocultural issues influence the application of psychological principles in solving problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>better understand various ways in which psychology may be applied to solve real world problems </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Evaluating Our Assessment Practices <ul><li>The data that we’ve collected to date also indicates that we need to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>standardize some of our measures (e.g., paper Δ scores) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve the reliability of our measures for Goal 4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>separately evaluate students’ appreciation of ethical & sociocultural issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>develop operational definitions for the categories in our rating scale (i.e., below, meets, and exceeds expectations) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>possibly use more than two judges to evaluate samples of student work </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Assessment: Challenges & Opportunities <ul><li>Program assessment can be a challenge in that it requires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Careful thought and planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment, time, and effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous review and revision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, despite its challenges, program assessment can </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be implemented in a way that is manageable (and interesting) for faculty and students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide important insights regarding the effectiveness of the program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lead to continuous improvements in the program and student learning </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Part 2: A New Practicum Course for Majors Laura L. Phelan
  17. 17. Practicum for Psychology Majors <ul><li>Why offer this course? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are unaware or fail to take advantage of learning opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex/ fieldwork, Independent Research, Honors Program, Psychology Club, Psi Chi </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are not prepared to develop long term goals and effective plans for pursuing careers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because of the large number of majors and heavy advising loads, advising sessions are spent mainly on academic advising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practicum would allow us to promote student development in these areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practicum designed to achieve various elements of our student learning goals </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Student Learning Goals <ul><li>Goal 3: Critical thinking skills in Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 4: Application of Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 5:Values in Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 6: Skills consistent with liberal arts education </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 7:Sociocultural and International awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 8: Personal and career development </li></ul>
  19. 19. Practicum for Psychology Majors <ul><li>Requirement for new students starting Fall 07 </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-requisite: “C” or better in either PSYC 200 or PSYC 201 </li></ul><ul><li>Taken in sophomore or junior year </li></ul><ul><li>One section per semester team-taught by all full time faculty </li></ul><ul><li>20 to 40 students per class </li></ul><ul><li>1 credit course </li></ul><ul><li>S/U grade </li></ul>
  20. 20. Texts We are Considering <ul><li>Kuther, T.L. (2006). The psychology major’s handbook (2 nd edition) . Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth. </li></ul><ul><li>Landrum, R.E. & Davis, S.F. (2007). The psychology major: Career options and strategies for success (3 rd edition). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Course Goals <ul><li>Students will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review skills necessary to be successful psychology majors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore psychology learning opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore career opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare job/graduate school materials </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Syllabus Topics & Sample Activities <ul><li>Self-reflection and identification of personal and professional values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Imagine that you have just passed on. You have devoted yourself to your life’s work and have been successful in its execution. What contribution did you make to a better world? When all is said and done, what statement did your life make? Use your answers to these questions to prepare your obituary. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm and research potential career choices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research a career that you are interested in and one that you are not interested in. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review and explore academic and extracurricular experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology Involvement Session: The class will recruit students to speak in class about their involvement in learning experiences outside of the classroom </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Topics & Sample Activities (cont’d) <ul><li>Prepare graduate school and/or employment application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resume, vita, personal statements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultivate professional relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requesting letters of recommendation questionnaire </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work on interview skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mock interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discuss potential changes in careers and emphasize the importance of continuing education and becoming a life-long learner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes and Options exercise (Landrum & Davis, 2007): Quiz on attitudes towards growth in a career </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>Our practicum covers important topics in an Intro to the major course consistent with those identified in Landrum, Shoemaker, and Davis (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to assess effectiveness of the course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology Major Career Information Survey Items (Thomas & McDaniel, 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology Survey (Landrum & Davis, 2007) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. References <ul><li>Kuther, T.L. (2006). The psychology major’s handbook (2 nd edition) . Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth. </li></ul><ul><li>Landrum, R.E., & Davis, S.F. (2007). The psychology major: Career options and strategies for success (3 rd edition). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Landrum, R.E., Shoemaker, C.S., & Davis, S.F. (2003). Important topics in an “Introduction to the Psychology Major” course. Teaching of Psychology , 30 , 48-51. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J.H., & McDaniel, C.R. (2004). Effectiveness of a required course in career planning for psychology majors. Teaching of Psychology , 31 , 22-27. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Part 3: Capstone Courses Eileen M. Merges
  27. 27. Capstone: Definitions <ul><li>Opportunity for students “to demonstrate comprehensive learning in their major through some type of product or performance” (Palomba & Banta, 1999, p.124) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Palomba, C.A. & Banta, T.W. (1999). Assessment essentials: Planning, implementing, and improving assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Requires students to bring together the skills that have been developed in their program of study” (Halpern, 2004, p. 22) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Halpern, D.F. (2004). Outcomes assessment 101. In Dunn, D.S., Mehrotra, C. M. & Halonen, J.S. (Eds.), Measuring up: Educational assessment challenges and practices for psychology (pp. 11-26) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Capstone Courses at SJFC <ul><li>History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC 415) </li></ul><ul><li>Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 401) </li></ul><ul><li>Seminar in Psychology (PSYC 407) </li></ul>
  29. 29. History and Systems <ul><li>Assignments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: The Mind-Body problem, History of a particular discipline, biography of historical figure within context of psychology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Seminar <ul><li>Topic of seminar changes each semester. Recent examples include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleep </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eating Behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Sexuality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Detective Fiction and Psychology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s Health Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political psychology </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Seminar <ul><li>Topic decided by individual faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on reading and discussing primary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments must include a major paper and a presentation </li></ul>
  32. 32. Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Etiology and treatment of major diagnostic categories are considered from the major theoretical perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biological </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-Cultural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychodynamic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humanistic </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Assignments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly case studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>formulating case conceptualizations from a variety of perspectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>provide opportunity to discuss the socio-cultural factors that impact the development and expression of psychological disorders </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Abnormal Psychology <ul><li>Assignments (cont’d) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major paper - examining a disorder from at least 2 of the major theoretical perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes thorough review of relevant literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires critical reasoning abilities to analyze and critique literature and formulate own conclusions </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Capstone and Assessment <ul><li>Papers in seminar courses used to assess goal 2.3 (consume literature) </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 4.1 & 4.2 (application and ethical/socio-cultural issues) assessed in Abnormal Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Departmental discussion surrounding comprehensive exam in Abnormal and/or History & Systems to assess knowledge base in Psychology </li></ul>

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