Assessment Methods

The Emerging Caribbean Scientists Programs works in cooperation with the Office of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment and the Committee on Learning Assessment for Student Success (CLASS) to assess, evaluate, and report the strengths and challenges of our HBCU-UP grant activities. We utilize the Nichols Model of Assessment assessment to assure that specific reactions and actions occur with respect to the assessment results reported. Once the fifth step in the process, i.e., the Use of Results, is completed and documented, the assessment report is filed with the Office of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment. The Use of Results, and related discussions, decision-making and actions, occur within the respective activities.

Steps of the Assessment Process

1. Identify Institutional Mission Statement and Institutional Goals;
2. Develop Academic Program Learning Outcomes;
3. Develop Means of Assessment and Criteria for Success;
4. Collect and Analyze Assessment Data and
5. Interpret, Use and Report Assessment Results.


Source:

  • Nichols, J. O. (2005). A Road Map for Improvement of Student Learning and Support Services Through Assessment , New York, Agathon Press.

Institutional Mission/Goal(s) Reference

The University of the Virgin Islands is a learner-centered institution dedicated to the success of its students and committed to enhancing the lives of the people of the U. S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean through excellent teaching, innovative research, and responsive community service.


Vision 2012 Initiatives of Direct Responsibility

Strategic Goal #1 - Educational Excellence

Create a learner-centered experience that fosters academic excellence and student success through innovative, effective teaching strategies and high quality academic and student support programs.


Vision 2012 Initiatives of Indirect Responsibility

1.A.5. - Create academic learning environments that promote student success and enhance student learning outcomes by FY 2008.

1.D.1. - Assess balance of student transfers in and out following the sophomore year and develop appropriate retention strategies by FY 2008.

1.F.3. - Establish a teacher/scholar model that integrates teaching, scholarship, and research to create a more learner-centered approach to the professorate by Fall 2008.


College of Science & Mathematics (CSM) Mission

  • Foster, support and reward excellence in teaching
  • Improve recruitment and retention
  • Improve community service
  • Improve grant management
  • Promote strong faculty research programs
  • Promote excellence and foster high level of competence by students

Educational Support Unit Mission Statement

The mission of the Emerging Caribbean Scientists Programs is to increase research training and promote excellence for students at the University of the Virgin Islands .




Evaluation Methods

Each grant has an external evaluator to conduct short-term and long-term quantitative evaluation.

Quantitative Evaluation
Cognitive - STEM knowledge
Attitudinal - Beliefs or opinions about pursuing STEM graduate/PhD studies
Behavioral Performance - Ability and use of knowledge to develop a professional portfolio and earn above average GRE results


For us, student learning is often measured in the evaluation of pre vs. post test results. It is standard practice for us to distribute questionnaires at the end of each workshop, seminar, and presentation. For long-term evaluation needs, we analyze focus group, longitudinal data, projects, journals, and graduate school acceptance results.


Data Analysis & Management

Data collection is required in today's outcome oriented environment. Stakeholders are demanding concrete evidence of program effectiveness. Quantitative and qualitative data is needed for project monitoring and evaluation.

ECS customized data collection instruments developed by Systemic Research, Inc, as part of a grant from the National Science Foundation. We will work with our division, office of Institutional Research & Planning, Institutional Advancement, and office of Research & Public Service to determine the scope and depth of data needed, analyze the data, and design reports to communicate our successes, milestones, and challenges. The collected data is presented in reports, used for forecasting, and presented to a variety of stakeholders.

In September of 2007, our Data Manager, Moneca Pinkett, gave a presentation entitled "Behind SPMS: Import and Export Data to Improve Communication and Assessment Data Storage" to data managers, evaluators, and project directors/principal investigators supported by NSF's HBCU-UP (Historically Black Colleges & Universities - Undergraduate Programs) grants.

Ms. Pinkett explained how UVI utilized SPMS (Student Progress Monitoring System) 4.2 as a centralized repository for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students' and graduates' demographics, activities, scholarships, and degrees conferred data. Forty-five years of STEM data from many sources were merged into the back-end of SPMS and therefore became accessible to project managers and assistants through the front-end interface. Queries from the backend of SPMS determined which students were eligible for scholarship and research programs. The results of the queries were exported from SPMS and imported into mass mailings and email campaigns to invite students to apply form certain programs. New SPMS fields, tables, and reports were created to support data from the students' research and scholarship online application forms. Ms. Pinkett explained how completing evaluation reports became effortless as a direct result of SPMS. By importing data from three resources, UVI was able to avoid tedious data entry of over 800 STEM students, eventually enhancing the architecture of SPMS to create national and international reports to support their diverse student and program base. [The presentation is available for download. ]