Annual Assessment Faire

7TH Annual Assessment Faire


5TH Annual Assessment Faire



Sara Winslow, Department of English

Bookends: Assessing Writing in the MA English Program

Two years ago, Dr. Kathryn Perry and Dr. Andrew Knighton reviewed writing assessment in the first semester of the English Master’s program. Their findings revealed that students enter the MA program with a broad range of writing styles and experiences. This past academic year, Dr. Maria Karafilis and I received an Assessment Mini-grant to repeat the previous study but focused on the Culminating Activities of the MA program. I will share the process of our assessment, our findings, and how we’re using the information to create new assessment tools and resources for students and faculty in the MA program.


Shilpa Balan, Department of Information Systems

IS Model Curriculum

Information Systems (IS) are a critical part of the management of businesses, services and operations. The introductory Information Systems course that bridges the IT-user gap is a core course for all Business student majors. This presentation will walk you through how the Information Systems program in the College of Business is assessed using the IS Model Curriculum guidelines and an external certification exam for computing professionals. In addition to the external certification exam, the summative assessment for the Information Systems program includes exercises that assists students in understanding the system development processes and the effective use of information systems. The IS Model Curriculum is aligned to career targets. Students in the Information Systems program are presented with the opportunity to advance their knowledge from today’s high-demand fields including business intelligence and analytics, big data, cybersecurity, cloud computing and ERP.


Anna Osipova, Division of Special Education and Counseling

Special Education Credential Candidates Knowledge and Skills Assessment (Mild to Moderate Specialization)

The presentation showcases assessment procedures used within Special Education Mild to Moderate Credential Program within the Division of Special Education and Counseling at the Charter College of Education. These assessment measures credential candidates’ skills and knowledge that are aligned with the four program learning outcomes (PLOs): curriculum, assessment, behavior management, and collaboration. Assessment occurs at four different points during the candidates’ time in the program:

1) early in the program- to establish an early baseline data in the candidates’ knowledge and skills in the assessment

2) in the middle of the program- to measure the growth in their knowledge and skills in assessment

3) during the early teaching fieldwork- to measure their early teaching skills in 4 PLOs (EDSP 4061),

4) during final teaching fieldwork -to measure their teaching skills in 4 PLOs at the completion of the program

Evaluation in the candidates’ knowledge of and skills in the assessment practices is based on pre-and post-test case study developed and scored by faculty. Evaluation of candidates’ early teaching skills in 4 PLOs in early and final fieldwork is comprised of supervisors’ evaluations triangulated with site administrators’ evaluations. Faculty reviews the data each semester and uses it for program improvement.


Jim Kuo, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Lessons Learned from Catching "Cheaters": Policing Didn't Work and Let Us Design Assessment to Embrace the Way Students Learn

Traditional university assessments are often short in duration, limited in scope, minimal emphasis on teamwork, and focused on concepts. However, upon graduation, graduates in the workplace are assessed through daily tasks, in which the tasks are often open-ended, longer in duration, strong emphasis on application, and are usually completed through self-guided learning with help from peers. Furthermore, under the environment of remote instruction and learning, enforcing academic honesty in university classes is a Herculean task. In this work, we aim to bridge the gap between university and workplace assessment while addressing the challenges of enforcing academic honesty through a redesign of course-level assessments. The goal of this redesign is to create a learning environment in which students are encouraged to collaborate with others to solve open-ended problems in which no unique solutions exist. This approach removes the need to enforce the often-unenforceable rule of “no communication with others” under remote learning conditions. In addition, rules of engagement and rubrics have been developed and provided to students, so that expectations are clear. This type of assessment was used in Fall 2020 and is currently being used in Spring 2021. Observations, student feedback, quantitative results, and lessons learned will be shared in the presentation.


Juily Phun, Azalea Camacho and Jamie Zeffery

Asian American Oral History Project

The Asian American Oral History Project is a collaboration between the Department of Asian/Asian American Studies, Library Archives and Special Collections, students, and the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles Area community partners. AAAS 3520 is a course that utilizes classroom reading in learning to engage with critical thinking on race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality in the ways that people articulate their life stories. In doing so, students engage with community members, using their oral communication skills they learn in class and with each other. The work they do in class is also in collaboration with the Library Special Collections & Archives. Trained by Azalea Camacho and Jamie Zeffery, students are able to translate their work into archival material so future students, community members, and researchers.

Oral histories and digital stories are a model for student success that encompasses their own life stories in relationship to readings, written communication in the form of qualitative assessments of their work, critical thinking, and oral communication. Moreover, in working with the library special collections and archives, students are able to see the work they do translated into digital archives and digital exhibitions based on their work with community members.


Simona Montanari, Department of Child and Family Studies

Dr. Simona Montanari was awarded, together with Dr. Delevi, an assessment mini grant to examine the impact of Covid19 on 3 of the five core competencies, critical thinking, written communication, and quantitative literacy, among Child and Family Studies majors. The Department assessed the same competencies before the pandemic (2018) using the same methodology. The presentation will show the study's methodology and present some preliminary findings. The project will provide data on changes in student learning during remote instruction and following other direct/indirect effects of COVID-19 with the potential to improve instruction in Fall 2021.


Jennifer Garrison, Department of Geosciences and Environment

Assessing the impact of remote learning in field-based sciences: How do we identify and remediate critical knowledge gaps in student learning?

Undergraduate geology majors in the Department of Geosciences who complete their BS degree are expected to have considerable experience in field-based learning experiences. In fact, nearly all upper-division courses in the geology curriculum emphasize field skills and field activities. The lack of field training for three or perhaps four semesters during the pandemic has likely put geology students at a significant disadvantage for successfully completing the professional geologist exam as well as for applying to graduate school. During the Spring semester of 2021, student field skills were assessed for a specific learning outcome in an upper-division required course. The initial assessment revealed that students did not have the basic skills required for geology students at that level. In order to remediate this knowledge gap, we propose to teach an intensive, field-based, team-taught course in Spring 2022 and Fall 2022. We will begin by doing an initial assessment to determine the extent of remediation necessary and then will conduct targeted teaching activities and formative assessments at regular intervals during the semester. Students will complete a final project that requires integration of the most essential skills.

Guest Presentation

Choi Chatterjee, Department of History

Crowdsourcing Assessment

We have a robust culture of assessment in the History Department and we constantly share our teaching practices with each other. We celebrate news about our student achievements and consult each other on how best to help students that are struggling. But every year we dread writing the formal assessment report as it is hard to translate our innovative and successful pedagogy into a single document. Inspired by the assessment workshops held by our NSS College Assessment Coordinators, Nate Lanning and Mark Wild, we decided to do something a little different this year. We created a Canvas shell labeled History Department Best Teaching Practices and invited all the faculty members (lecturers and tenure track) to participate as teachers. Within the Canvas shell, we have several modules that include Reflections on Ice Breakers, Signature Assignments, Reflections on teaching lower-division GE courses, and Reflections on teaching upper-division and graduate skills courses. We hope that the faculty will share their signature assignments, and thoughts on what worked and what didn’t work in their courses. Crowdsourcing our ideas, efforts, and knowledge on a digital platform might help us think more deeply about the strengths and weaknesses of our curriculum in the History Department.

Sharona Krinsly, Department of Mathematics

Mastery-based Grading System

Over the past 5 years, Professor Krinsky has implemented Mastery-Based Grading in a spectrum of Mathematics courses, from GE Quantitative Reasoning with Statistics through a 2000 level Linear Algebra course. In this presentation, Professor Krinsky will describe the evolution of her implementation of Mastery-Based Grading system. From the continual refinement of the standards used to the changes made to assessments as a response to the pivot to remote learning, Professor Krinsky will share her insights and reflections on her own learning about how students learning evolves as a response to the way in which they are assessed. Included in this presentation will be examples of how to teach students to learn from feedback, what happens when you ask students to revise their work, and how to engage students in a deeper, more meaningful exploration of the material through assessment.


Cynthia Wang, Department of Communication Studies

Thinking Critically about Cultural Norms and Practices in Communication Studies

Critical thinking is a crucial component to communication studies, particularly as we make sense of communicative events from multiple perspectives within different cultures. This year, we are focusing our department assessment on critical thinking. We have created one prompt that asks students to consider a cultural practice or social norm within a particular culture and relate it to concepts learned in class. This prompt has been given to 5 classes from our 1000 level introduction class to a graduate seminar in order to assess critical thinking at the different levels of expected competence, and submissions will be graded via rubric.


Devika Hazra, Department of Economics

Assessing Formative Assessment

With an increasing emphasis on student-centric learning, formative assessment has taken center-stage in most classrooms. Formative assessments are designed to support various student learning styles and check for understanding along the way so that they are better prepared for summative assessments. The purpose is to examine the effectiveness of formative assessment techniques on student performance in summative assessments in one of the core classes of the College of Business and Economics.


Kimberly Persiani, Department of Curriculum and Instruction


These presenters will discuss the current national assessment for teachers as it relates to program competition. Beginning in Fall 2016, all Multiple and Single subject teacher candidates are required to successfully pass the edTPA. These presenters will share the development of preparation courses that have since been implemented as a means of supporting teacher candidates to meet the assessment requirements in order to be eligible to receive their preliminary teaching credential in California.


Kory Schaff, Department of Philosophy and College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

Teaching Ethics and Professionalism in Engineering: Assessment of Three Categories for ABET

Since 2016, I have collaborated with colleagues in Philosophy and Engineering to develop a curriculum for and team-teach a course on “Ethics and Professionalism in Engineering,” which is required for all third-year engineering majors and covers ethical theory, applied ethical reasoning, and related topics in engineering. As part of this curriculum we developed two specific assignments for assessment in three key categories for accreditation by ABET: (F) knowledge of ethical theories, (G) writing proficiency, and (J) ability to analyze current issues in an ethical and professional framework. In this presentation, I will explain why we developed the assignments, how we tracked our assessment of student progress in these three categories, and in what ways we used that information to improve learning outcomes in the course that are relevant to these three categories.


Meifang Chen, Department of Public Health

Written Communication and Quantitative Reasoning Competency Assessment: From BS to MPH Program

Our department conducted an assessment on quantitative reasoning and written communication competencies in Fall 2018. We chose three courses (2 sections for each course if appropriate) from both BS and MPH programs for each competency assessment. The three courses were ranged from lower to higher division courses. To assess the written communication competency, we randomly chose 5 assignments from each course, and two faculty reviewed the assignments using the Cal State LA Written Communication and Critical Thinking Assessment Rubric. To assess the quantitative reasoning competency, 2 faculty assessed the randomly selected papers or whole course performance using the Cal State LA Quantitative Reasoning Rubric. Descriptive analysis was conducted. Both quantitative and qualitative assessment results were reported. Activities will be taken to "close the loop", and suggestion for improving future work will be provided.


Silvia Heubach (joint work with Sharona Krinsky), Department of Mathematics

Smart Assessment – Two Birds With One Stone

Math 1090 was redesigned in response to EO 1110 and was offered in 80 sections with nearly 40 instructors in Fall 2018. We implemented mastery grading, initially based on 4 broad and now 24 detailed standards that relate to statistics, communication, and reasoning. In order to assess the mastery-graded assignments (labs, project, and exams), we developed an Excel-based grading tool. The Excel workbook is programmed to populate individual Excel sheets with student names from a summary worksheet. Instructors enter mastery scores for each of the parts of the assignment. Scores for questions that contribute to the same standard are automatically combined and an overall mastery grade for the standard is suggested, which can be overwritten in borderline cases. The overall mastery scores are then automatically copied to a summary sheet for all students, which makes it easy to enter the mastery grades into the Canvas grade book. We also can do an item analysis, telling us which standards students have not mastered. This then allows us to adjust the course content of the parent or the co-requisite course. Since we have tied the course mastery standards to the GE B4 student learning outcomes, we can use these Excel sheets to kill two birds with one stone, assessing those outcomes as we go along. We will show an example of a lab assignment, the corresponding standards, and how we can use the tool for assessment of the various questions of interest.


Mari Luna De La Rosa, Danielle Chambers, & Lui Amador, Educational Opportunities Program

Assessing short-term student learning for first-year success: Findings from the 2018 Fall EOP Enrichment Workshops

Cal State LA’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides educational access and opportunity for low-income students, the majority of whom are first-generation college students. To encourage their college-going identity, first-year EOP freshmen are required to attend three EOP workshops their first fall semester. These EOP workshops emphasize holistic student learning in the areas of skill building, career development, knowledge of campus policies, personal development, and various strategies for success. This presentation will highlight topics that held the participants’ most interest, short-term learning gains, and future improvements for the workshop series.

Photo of 2018 Assessment Ambassadors


Christopher Harris, Department of English

Fourth Wave Writing Assessment: Implications and Implementations
This presenter will discuss a growth model for writing assessment that examines key features of writing; encourages student participation; and closes the feedback loop by combining feedback, grading, and assessment. From 2010 to 2013, the English Department piloted this assessment model with stretch composition. This presenter will reveal the pilot assessment results and explain how certain features of the pilot assessment can be scaled to broader contexts to measure how student writing evolves during matriculation.


Kathryn Hansen, Department of Accounting

Assessing the Efficacy of the MBA Foundation Course in Accounting
MBA students who do not have business undergraduate degrees are required to take a foundation course in accounting. Many of them take the core MBA accounting course in the next term. Performance on the cases and final exam in the core class for those students who took the Foundation course are compared with those who did not. This allows us to draw conclusions about the efficacy of the Foundations course.


A. Dee Williams, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Formative Assessment and Dispositions in Teaching: A 360 Degree Approach to Teacher Development
Teacher success and failure in a classroom often comes down to “having the right dispositions - a person's inherent qualities of mind and character.” This begs the question, which qualities are “right”? Through both program and district-level teacher engagement we have identified the qualities that we are currently prioritizing. Through the use of Narrative Inquiry and Dialectical Pluralism we have developed a systematic approach to helping teacher candidates actively engage in the process of dispositional development. Using 1) self-assessments, 2) assessments from core stakeholders 3) reflective practice and 4) translation from theory to action, candidates and stakeholders co-construct an identity of professional teacher.


Chengyu Sun, Department of Computer Science

Building Assessment Functions into LMS for Efficient and Sustainable Accreditation Processes
Dr. Sun will present an open-source web-based software system developed at the Computer Science Department that tightly integrates program assessment functions in a learning management system (LMS). The goal is to show that such a system can greatly reduce the time and resources required to collect, analyze, and present assessment data, so the institution can focus more on perfecting the assessment process and improving teaching and learning. Furthermore, building assessment functions into LMS, which many faculty and students use on a daily basis, also encourages and facilitates a continuous and sustainable assessment process.


William London, Department of Public Health

Assessment as Instructional Activity: How I Apply Principles of Criterion Referenced Mastery Learning in My Teaching
Key elements of the criterion-referenced mastery learning philosophy (Gentle and Lalley, 2003) include: (1) clear mastery objectives, properly sequenced for transfer of previous knowledge to future lessons, (2) pre-established standards of achievement, (3) opportunities for student learning from unsuccessful efforts toward achievement, (4) expectations that students will achieve acceptable levels of competence, (5) enrichment activities that go beyond mastery levels of knowledge, skills, and principles, and (6) equitable grading procedures. The philosophy is difficult to implement within our traditional grading system and with underprepared students. This presentation addresses how Dr. London attempts to apply the philosophy and how he sometimes falls short.


Sharona Byrnes, Department of Mathematics

Mastery-Based Grading in the Calculus Classroom: Increasing Rigor, Improving Transparency, and Empowering Student Success
In the current educational environment, professors face increasing demands for student-centric learning, measurable teaching and learning outcomes, and higher customer “satisfaction”. Find out how mathematics instructor Sharona Byrnes uses assessment in her Calculus classroom to maintain and increase rigor while meeting these increasing demands. By focusing on mastery of specific content and process standards, Professor Byrnes is able to more accurately gauge student learning, empower students to fail forward, and increase student confidence and preparation for further mathematics. Through low-stakes quizzes and rubric based grading students understand where they stand and have clarity on what they need to do next to accomplish their goals.


Frangelo Ayran

Jennifer Miller

Carol Roberts-Corb

Assessing Student Life
The Division of Student Life provides various co-curricular resources and programs that are vital for Cal State LA student success and well-being. This session will discuss how the Division designed and implemented it’s collaborative approach to assessment and evaluation with an intentional alignment with the University’s strategic initiatives and institutional learning outcomes.


Nina O’Brien, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Distinguishing Public Presentation Confidence and Competence of Undergraduate Business Majors
The ability to deliver effective oral presentations is related to both student competence and to student confidence, but these two constructs are rarely distinguished. This study analyzed data on the public speaking confidence and competence of students enrolled in the upper-division business communication course to determine whether students improved in each area, as well as to better understand the relationship between confidence and competence. The results show that students developed greater confidence in public speaking over the course, but did not significantly improve in their competence. Implications of these results and recommendations for curriculum design are advanced.


Elina Saeki, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education and Counseling

Evaluating Real Life Integration and Application of Content Knowledge
In COUN 5370: School Psychology Practicum, students select one PK-12th grade student at their fieldwork sites and implement an academic intervention, collect data, and analyze the data to measure their student’s academic progress. A grading rubric is used to evaluate each project component, ranging from 0 (unsatisfactory) to 3 (excellent). Dr. Saeki will discuss how the grading rubric is used to provide summative feedback to the students, as well as how data are used to analyze mastery of course objectives and program outcomes.


Ni Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Developing a Survey Instrument to Improve Students’ Learning
In EDSP 489: Demonstration of Instructional ME 3210: Kinematics of Mechanisms. Throughout the semester, students in ME 3210 are required to take different surveys: Pre-knowledge survey, Progressive survey, and Post-Exam self-reflection survey. Dr. Li will demonstrate how she uses these different types of surveys to help students achieve learning goals of the class, and improve their studying effectiveness.


Jessica Morales-Chicas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Family Studies

Making Assessment Fun and Interactive using Kahoot!™
Assessment of student learning is critical in teaching, but how do we make it fun and interactive? In my courses, I incorporate an online, interactive, and free game called Kahoot!. Through this online game, I generate questions about course content that students see projected in real-time. Students answer each question anonymously (e.g., using their phones) and compete for points based on accuracy. Collectively, we review and discuss the projected responses while also debunking misconceptions about incorrect answers. Through this group-based and low-stakes testing tool, I assess how well students learned the material and adapt future lessons accordingly.


Ji Son, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Assessing (And Building) Transfer
What good is learning if is not useful in solving new problems? Dr. Son’s statistics exams are designed to mimic whole authentic situations that students may come across rather than stand-alone problems from textbooks. These exams are both difficult and practical for students because these exams are transfer exams, applying learned statistical ideas in new situations. These exams are useful for shaping students’ self-directed attention because (1) they illuminate for students the relevance of what they are learning and (2) point students to the skills they need to practice to have a useful understanding of statistics.


Michele Dunbar, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Institutional Research

Wayne Tikkanen, Ph.D.
Coordinator of General Education

Assessing GE in the Face of Changing Outcomes, Calendar, and Curriculum
Students’ perception of their GE learning outcomes achievement can help assess GE course contributions to student learning and the GE program. The GE Survey collects students’ rating of their achievement on each GELO for a select GE course they completed. The survey was refined for 2016 and 2017 administrations, coinciding with pre- and post-curriculum and Q2S changes. We will present an overview of the survey results from 2017 with 2016 comparisons. Results will show if the changed GE curriculum has improved students’ ratings of GELO achievement, especially for the new civic learning and diversity outcomes. Effects of administrative changes and direct assessment will be discussed briefly.