Dimensional Analysis of Short Answer Essay Responses to Assess a High-Impact Course (poster 1)
High impact experiential courses are often difficult to assess, because it is difficult to link the treatment in the course (e.g., a hands-on lab activity) to student learning outcomes. A digital circuit lab was introduced as an experiential component in Creighton University's CSC 414 (Computer Organization) course. To assess a possible increase in student learning supported by this addition, a pre-/post-test of short answer essay questions was administered in the treatment semester. The same instrument had been offered in a prior semester. The student responses were compared between pre- and post-offerings and also between the treatment and non-treatment semesters. This poster presents some of the dimensions available when using short answer essay responses employed in a pre-/post-test instrument, and how effectively some dimensions provide evidence of student learning over others. In general, item completion and word count dimensions are ineffective for providing evidence of student learning, while some linguistic dimensions (such as the general use of technical words, cognitive words, and specific terms used within the profession) are more effective.
Creighton University, Office of Academic Excellence and Assessment