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Linguistics: Undergraduate Programs

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

 

Student Learning Outcomes:  By completion of the BA in Linguistics, students will:

1.     demonstrate ability to analyze patterns in language

2.     show awareness of language usage patterns around the world

3.     describe and address common misconceptions about language

4.     communicate knowledge about linguistics through writing or orally

 

Assessment Activities: 

 

Assessment Activities:

Graduating seniors who are majors or minors in Linguistics are sent a short quiz by email, administered through Qualtrix, during the semester in which they are graduating (Fall or Spring).  The quiz contains content questions that address each of the Learning Outcomes listed above, and this constitutes the direct measure for assessment purposes.  Appendix A shows the quiz questions and their links to the Learning Outcomes.

For comparison, this quiz is also administered in the Department's Tier I General Education course, Ling150A, near the beginning of the semester.  Freshman students' and senior students' scores on this quiz are compared with the scores of graduating senior Linguistics majors to verify learning through the course of the program.

The Qualtrix-based quiz also includes survey questions (also in Appendix A) asking students about their perception of their learning.  These constitute the indirect measures for assessment purposes.

 

Assessment Activity

Outcome 1: analyze language patterns

Outcome 2: language patterns around the world

Outcome 3: language misconceptions

Outcome 4: communicate knowledge

Senior assessment quiz (content questions)

X

X

X

X

Senior survey

X

X

X

X

The quiz and survey in Appendix A are used to assess all of the learning outcomes.  The quiz was designed by the Assessment Committee (consisting of several faculty), was revised by the faculty member who most often teaches the Tier I General Education course after pilot testing on that population, and was approved by the faculty.  The survey was designed by the Assessment Committee and approved by the faculty.  To assess ability to communicate knowledge of Linguistics (Outcome 4), the quiz includes two open response short answer questions (questions 20-21).  This is scored by the Assessment Committee using the scales below.  The quiz and survey were administered for the first time in Spring 2016.  Once each year at the early Fall faculty meeting, the data is reviewed by the faculty.

Scales for scoring of open response quiz questions by the Assessment Committee:

1.   The student's response to question 21 shows an ability to describe and address common misconceptions about language.  (1-5 point scale, 1=not at all, 5= clearly yes)

2.   The student's responses to questions 20-21 provide evidence that the student can communicate knowledge about linguistics through writing or orally.  (1-5 point scale, 1=not at all, 5= clearly yes)

Assessment Findings: 

The department administered these assessment activities for the first time in Spring 2016. As such, there is limited data available.  Of the 19 objective questions in the assessment quiz, nine questions (48%) were answered correctly by all participants. Of the remaining 10 questions, six were answered correctly (33%) by three out of four respondents, whereas three questions (19%) had more varied responses. Because of the limited nature of these results, these disparities may be due to a single individual. Regarding the two free response questions, student replies to Question 21 showed that all respondents had a clear ability to describe and address common misconceptions about language (an average score of 5; see rubric and scale above). The student’s responses to Questions 20 and 21 collectively provide evidence that most students can communicate their linguistic knowledge effectively. The average score for this measure was 3.6 (three respondents scored as 5 and one respondent scored as 3). Students’ responses to the quiz questions are encouraging so far.

Finally, the table below shows that student responses regarding their own learning experiences are generally quite positive, with only one student indicating disagreement on Question 6.

Table Summary of student responses to survey questions about learning experience

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

Neither agree nor disagree

 

Somewhat disagree

 

Strongly disagree

 

Total

1. I learned to analyze patterns in language.

75.00%

3

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

4

2. I learned about how language is used in a variety of places around the world.

75.00%

3

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

4

3. I learned what misconceptions the general public often has about language, and I learned how to argue against these misconceptions

75.00%

3

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

4

4. I learned how to communicate knowledge about linguistics effectively orally and/or in writing.

75.00%

3

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

4

5.I learned how to analyze phonological patterns in various languages.

75.00%

3

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

4

6.I learned how to analyze sentence structures.

75.00%

3

0.00%

0

0.00%

0

25.00%

1

0.00%

0

4

 

Change in Response to Findings: 

Because we just began collecting data through the assessment activities in Spring 2016, we do not yet have data for a large number of students. As stated in the Assessment Plan, the faculty reviewed the results of the assessment activities at the first faculty meeting of the Fall 2016 semester. The faculty decided that it would be premature to alter curriculum or instruction based on the data collected so far, so we will revisit this question at the beginning of Fall 2017. Overall, it appears that both faculty and students judge that the undergraduate program is providing the students with what they need to meet the learning outcomes, although we will closely monitor those particular questions in the current findings to which student responses were not unanimously correct or uniformly positive.

Updated date: Thu, 04/13/2017 - 23:21