General Education Director
820 Campus Drive,
Big Rapids, MI 49307
To support continual improvement, evidence of student achievement is regularly collected, analyzed, and shared at Ferris State University. These processes are structured to promote open sharing of the data (as constrained by FERPA), the analysis code, and the resulting reports. This is achieved by using a process of discovering and enhancing student learning (shown to the right). As we try to enhance student learning - moving from point "A" to point "B" - the first thing that we need to do is step back. We need to take the time to purposefully reflect upon the current state of our students' learning at the program level. While reflection of programmatic results is arguably the most important step in this process, it is currently undervalued. Based upon these deliberations, new plans need to be made and implemented at the course level. In order to provide a programmatic context, the impact of these changes need to be documented across the program's courses. An analysis of these data can then provide an estimate of the student learning at the program level. Tracking these estimates over time (point A B C etc.) can give a fairly robust indication of enhanced student learning. As this pathway is reiterated over time, a pattern of measurement emerges. This is the key (the Greek key) to discovering and enhancing student learning.
An initial "proof-of-concept" attempt of this approach as been carried out with data from thirteen semesters of a 200-level Biology course. The results of this analysis can be viewed as a PDF report. All of the de-identified raw data, analysis code, and documentation related to this report are also available on a public GitHub repository.