Annual Assessment Faire


5TH Annual Assessment Faire

Scheduled for April 16, Friday from 9:30 am- 11:30 am


If you have any queries, please contact the Director of Assessment, Veena P. Prabhu at [email protected].

Presenters from the 4th Annual Assessment Faire on March 29, 2019


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.

Presenters from the 3rd Annual Assessment Faire on April 6, 2018


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.


Presenters from the 2nd Annual Assessment Faire on April 12, 2017


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.