Per requirements and standards of SACs' principles and assessments, institutions must show ongoing, integrated planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of mission and goals. Faculty generated student outcomes and assessments have received a greater focus in recent years in higher education, especially at the author's university, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide (ERAU). In an effort to answer to all the consumers of our products, ERAU values programs that focus on making student learning outcomes central to the assessment process. To immediately implement this philosophy of outcomes based objectives and assessments within a program and estimate the value of implementing them within a course, the author redesigned and updated her ECON 210, Undergraduate Microeconomics online course as a sample within a program. Of special note, Economics is not a full stand alone program, but part of the Humanities and Economics Program within the Department of Arts and Letters at ERAU. The author used the Arnold Economics text and Aplia.com as a software tool in the course. Once she mapped the course's learning outcomes to University expectations and self-defined Program Goals, she could clearly indicate where students were held accountable for learning a specific learning objective and the feedback given. This process makes program improvement actionable. The author also shares the results of her analysis and implementation of indicated changes. Not all quantitative results were statistically significant, but qualitative data suggests overall positive results. This process was an enlightening exercise for the author at a minimum as a formal tool to improve the delivery and effectiveness of her course. In addition, this has served as a model for the Department of Arts and Letters pilot assessment process of student learning outcomes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kelly_whealan-george/26/