Assessment FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Assessment at Truman State University

I give grades to my students every semester. Why isn’t that considered part of the assessment program?  Don’t grades measure achievement and outcomes?
Many factors affect student grades. For example, some professors tend to curve or average the grades of students. Some professors pay attention to students’ efforts in addition to their achievements.  Futhermore, courses will not always have identical outcomes across sections and time. These factors, unfortunately, will end up giving us discrepancies among outcomes that we try to measure..

What do we do with all the data we collect?
There are many ways that assessment data are used at Truman, but the primary use is to inform decisions. The Undergraduate Council is heading a review project of Truman’s Liberal Studies Program, which includes extensive use of University assessment data to assess learning outcomes in the Essential Skills, Modes of Inquiry, and Interconnecting Perspectives (click here to read some previous LSP reports). Data from the assessment instruments are published annually in the three-volume Assessment Almanac  (click here to read the Almanac). Data are also used as part of our accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

How are assessment data disseminated on campus?
The Assessment Almanac is the primary method of disseminating data.  Discipline-specific data are also routinely shared with department chairs and deans. Furthermore, there are presentations by faculty, staff, and administrators during the Master Plan and Assessment Workshop, the University Conference (held once a year in the spring), and the Assessment Colloquium that use assessment data. Requests for additional data should be directed to the chair of the Assessment Committee.

How are major programs assessed?
Major programs at Truman are assessed primarily during the five-year review, which is required by Truman and by the State of Missouri.  During any given year, 20% of Truman’s programs are undergoing their five-year reviews.  Many elements of the Assessment Program are incorporated into the review, including senior test results and questions from the Graduating Student Questionnaire.  Demographic information, course syllabi, the curriculum, student satisfaction rates, graduate school placement rates and employment rates, and much more are all combined to create a holistic picture of the major program.  External reviewers from outside the University and from separate programs within the University thoroughly examine the program.

How is the general education program (Truman’s Liberal Studies Program or LSP) assessed?
The LSP assessment is led by the Undergraduate Council.  Committees of faculty work together to examine assessment data, course syllabi, and student work produced in the LSP courses.

Who is in charge of the Assessment Program at Truman?
The Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).  Individual programs are overseen by various faculty and staff (see contact information).  The Vice President’s Advisory Committee on Assessment serves as an advisory body to the VPAA on assessment issues.

When did Truman’s Assessment Program begin?
In the mid-1970s.  Through personal commitment to quality academic programming, former President Charles McClain was instrumental in the Program’s inception and philosophy. The creation of the program was achieved during 1970 – 1973 academic years.  The report of the commission, which was adopted by the Board of Regents in  December 1973, clearly outlined a program of development designed to fulfill an  institutional mission as a regional, comprehensive state university.

What assessment instruments are all Truman students required to take
Seniors must take the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ) and their respective senior test.

I’m a student.  Where do I go to register for my senior testt?
The Assessment and Testing Office in Violette Hall 1130, or you can call 660-785-4140 or e-mail

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