B.A. Communication – Written Communication (2013-2014)

Have formal Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) been developed?

YES, “Goals for Student Learning in the Major”

Published where? (website)

Communication Webpage

Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2013-2014: Written Communication)?

We have PLOs for oral communication but not for written communication. A new PLO for written communication will be under consideration this summer.

Process of Core Competency Assessment:

Course (400- level)

COM 400 (Seminar in Human Dialogue)


Students will write a paper in which they examine their real-life communication for the presence of those conditions that are conducive to human dialogue, using a model from class. They will record their observations and learning.

Type of Student Artifact

A 7-page narrative of approximately 1500 words.

Rubric or other instrument

GE Rubric for Written Communication

Data (measurement of the competency)

19 papers (n = 19) were collected and distributed for blind reading by members of the assessment support committee, which found that 16 of the 19 papers fell below competency for written communication (competency = “3”). Per the average scores for each category, students appear to have the most difficulty in organization and structure (2.42) and maintaining a clear, logical line of reasoning (2.5). Readers commented on the possibility that the assignment may have been interpreted by students as a “self-reflective” narrative as opposed to an analytic assignment. Readers also commented that while these papers were not being evaluated for information literacy that the lack of independent research and the integration of sources outside of lectures may be problematic for a 400-level course.

Evaluator Tabular Data

Action Taken in Response to the Data (What will you do in response to the Findings?)

The Department will attend more specifically to “Organization/Structure” and “Line of Reasoning” in or future written communication assignments. These focal areas will be highlighted in future teaching efforts.

The Department urges that training be made available for faculty to more effectively teach writing.

The Department also requests the development of a rubric for “reflective writing” assignments that do not fit the mode of the traditional library research paper.

The Department also wishes to point out that inter-rater reliability for the Assessment Committee is problematic with exact agreement of scores of 58% to 63%.

Date of Last Program Review