Proposal Title

Outcome Attainment Measures Versus Grades: A Validity Issue

Co-Authors

Mike Simmons

Track

Research Project / Assessment of Student Learning

Proposal Abstract

Making instructional and course design decisions requires the use of a highly valid measure of student performance that is directly associated with student learning outcomes. Grades do not provide a direct measure of student attainment of learning outcomes. However, most institutions continue to use grades as a measure of student success because they don’t have a way to calculate a meaningful measure of outcome attainment. Accreditation organizations at all levels request a measure of outcome attainment at the course, program, and institutional levels for reporting purposes. This session presents for discussion a statistical comparison of grades versus outcome attainment values for course evaluation and reporting purposes, and offers participants a three-level outcomes based assessment model for computing valid outcome attainment. The data for the study was collected over several years by the University of North Texas Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign as part of its SACS Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). The QEP fifth year report was awarded exemplary status by SACS. Although there is a positive relationship between grades and outcome attainment values, only the outcome attainment values demonstrate validity in terms of the use and interpretation of the scores for the purpose of making outcome based decisions.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 212

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 31st, 10:00 AM Mar 31st, 10:45 AM

Outcome Attainment Measures Versus Grades: A Validity Issue

Room 212

Making instructional and course design decisions requires the use of a highly valid measure of student performance that is directly associated with student learning outcomes. Grades do not provide a direct measure of student attainment of learning outcomes. However, most institutions continue to use grades as a measure of student success because they don’t have a way to calculate a meaningful measure of outcome attainment. Accreditation organizations at all levels request a measure of outcome attainment at the course, program, and institutional levels for reporting purposes. This session presents for discussion a statistical comparison of grades versus outcome attainment values for course evaluation and reporting purposes, and offers participants a three-level outcomes based assessment model for computing valid outcome attainment. The data for the study was collected over several years by the University of North Texas Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign as part of its SACS Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). The QEP fifth year report was awarded exemplary status by SACS. Although there is a positive relationship between grades and outcome attainment values, only the outcome attainment values demonstrate validity in terms of the use and interpretation of the scores for the purpose of making outcome based decisions.