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At Napa Valley College, departments and programs are continually engaged in assessment of learning outcomes to improve teaching and learning. These examples of student learning outcome assessment reports show faculty, staff, and administrators working collaboratively on the use of assessment results to improve college programs and services.


Communication and Collaboration

Communicate ideas clearly and concisely in written, oral, and other forms, using a variety of complementary media.

Assessment Method: An inquiry group of 16 faculty, staff, and administrators designed a survey to collect information from students about how they have developed their oral presentation and communication skills while attending Napa Valley College.

Results: 465 students completed the student oral communication survey. 43.7% of responses indicated small group participation and 30.6% of responses indicated critiques were the tools they have used to support and enhance their oral presentations at NVC. Students indicated that group interaction contributes to the development of their oral communication skills.

Action Plan: A Speech Lab accessible for all students would help them give presentations in their classes and provide more opportunities for teaching how to do that effectively.

Follow-Up: The Speech Lab is to be located on the second floor of the LLRC, next to DSPS offices. Assessment has determined that students need a mechanism and venue to practice and critique speech making.  Students will have access to recording/video equipment to complete assignments for Speech/Communication classes.

ARTH 106

Survey of Art History: Renaissance to Modern

SLO 1: Recognize the formal characteristics of individual works of art and monuments from a range of historical periods and geographical locations.

Assessment Method: Embedded essay assessed on a 1-5 Art History Rubric.

Criterion: 60% of students should score 3 or higher.

Results: Of 54 students, 43% scored 5; 24% scored 4; 13% earned 3; 19% scored 2; 1% scored 1. Criterion Met: Yes.

Action Plan: To help students recognize canonical artists/works, more works (in high quality images) should be incorporated in lectures. Art History will increase Image-based lecturing, demonstrating and delivery of course material.

Follow-up: The approval of our latest technology request will now allow all 6 instructional spaces in 3700 and 3500 to have projection capabilities. Campus Wi-Fi, ArtStor subscription and a general push by faculty to address visual literacy has improved student achievement. Art history instruction is utilizing high resolution images that allow detailed examination of images to improve student ability to recognize media, specific artists and styles.

ENGL 120

Reading and Composition 1

SLO 2: Write unified, coherent, well supported, and grammatically correct documents while also demonstrating adequate research skills, including locating, evaluating, integrating, and documenting sources using discipline appropriate styles, such as MLA.

Assessment Method: Students will write a research essay, including a Works Cited page. (The length of the assignment may vary). A research rubric will be developed to include traits and criteria agreed upon by the department and will be used by faculty to assess students' skills and assign a holistic grade based on a 5-point (A-F) scale.

Criterion: Based on rates of student success in the course over the past 4 years, we expect to see 67% of students receive a grade of C (70%) or higher on the research essay assignment. 

Results: 88% of students received a passing score on the essay. Research was well analyzed, with some synthesis showing areas of agreement between sources. Areas where sources disagreed or gaps in the research could have been explored more fully. Most papers demonstrated correct use of direct quotation, particularly with author identification, and only a few errors in punctuation. More spacing and punctuation errors were present in long (block quotations) and with quotations involving the use of ellipsis for the few students that chose this option. Students struggled in the process of research when attempting to expand their searches wide enough to pull together diverse and effective support material. Their evaluation also seemed limited to the publication, with less exploration of the author's appropriateness for the topic. Criterion Met: Yes.

Action Plan: More instruction on formatting long or partial quotations is planned, as well as encouraging students to use summary and paraphrasing more in these circumstances where the need arises to condense large sections of researched evidence. The department will discuss ways we can work collectively to provide students more practice evaluating sources outside of library databases.

Follow Up: The department discussed the need for access to computer labs or updated laptop carts so students can search for sources with faculty assistance. An updated laptop cart was purchased in Fall 2016.

BIOL 120

General Biology

SLO 1: Communicate scientific information effectively through written or oral means.

Assessment Method: Lab report measured on a five-point, eight-trait rubric.

Criterion: 70% of students should score 24.5 points out of 35 total points (70% of the points). Class average should be above 24.5 points (70% of the points). Criteria for each category (raw scores, not the weighted score) format, introduction, results and conclusion: 3 out of the 5 possible points is the criteria for success. 70% of the students will score 3 or better and the average score will be above 3 points. Grammar: 3 out of the 4 possible points: 70% of the students will score 3 or better and the average score will be above 3 points. References: 1 out of the 2 possible points: 70% of the students will score 1 or better and the average score will be above 1 points.

Results: Overall the students performed well on this assignment. The average score was 30 pts out of 35 pts (84%). This was similar to the average score last time this was assessed but there were improvements. This assessment no category showed an average below 70%. The introduction category showed an improvement from 66% to 73%. More instruction time was spent going over the important points need for a satisfactory introduction. The students continued to perform well in the format category, an area that has previously been a challenge to the students. Giving the students the rubric with the assignment has improved this area. The students also continued to perform well in the grammar category. Requiring a rough draft has helped this area. There were less low performing students this semester. 32 out of the 34 students scored about 70%. The students prepared their written assignments individually but gave group oral presentations. I attempted to use the rubric developed by the inquiry group but I found it difficult to assess the individual students' performance. Criterion Met: Yes

Action Plan: Although the performance was good and met the criteria for success, there is still room for improvement. In the future I will invite a speech instructor to give a workshop on speech if an oral component is used. I will also get help from speech instructor on how to grade oral presentations when given as a group. Most of the students scored at least 70% on the assignments, the two students who did not meet this criteria were also the students who did not submit the required rough draft.

Follow Up: A speech instructor visited class to provide a mini-lecture on speech techniques.


PLO 2: The McCarthy Library develops resource guides to provide guidance and multiple points of entry to information.

Assessment Method: The library tracks the number of web page hits to each of its library guides. Using Google Analytics and SpringShare, the Library will track the number of hits to each of its library guides (LibGuides).

Criterion: A 5-10% increase in yearly utilization (from 2012-13 baselines) will indicate that LibGuides are successfully viewed as a viable information resource.

Results: Library 2012-13 Baseline LibGuides with page views greater than 50 included Viticulture (407), Respiratory Therapy (245), Jobs and Career Resources (172), Music Resources (158), Nursing Resources (148), Child Development (112), Culinary Arts (77), English (76), Disabilities (67), and Local History (64). 2014-15 Library Guide Page Views greater than 50 included: Anatomy & Physiology (388), Viticulture (261), Biology (182), Child Development (123), Nursing (78), Native American (58), Culinary Arts (51), and Criminal Justice (50).

Action Plan: The library will purchase the SpringShare LibGuides platform and transfer/update all guides into the new user-friendly format. SpringShare metrics will be used to monitor LibGuide usage on monthly basis. LibGuides will be aligned with Course Outline of Record on Curricunet. The Library will collaborate with discipline faculty to include resources vital to courses, and introduce LibGuides in all library orientations and workshops.

Follow-up: The new platform was purchased in Summer 2015. All guides were transferred by June 2016. LibGuides were incorporated into orientations and workshops, and faculty were made aware of the new resources.