Frequently Asked Questions
What are artifacts, and why am I being asked to submit an artifact?
An artifact is an example of student work that demonstrates mastery of a skill or shows what you learned. Student work (artifacts) can include essays, reports, video recordings of a presentation or posters, to name a few. You are being asked to submit a class assignment (artifact) for the College’s assessment purposes.
What will happen to my work?
A panel of Tri-C faculty will use a simple rubric to see if your work shows the expected level of knowledge. Results from all students (not you as an individual) are then shared with faculty and staff to help us improve how we teach and support students. If we can do something better, this is how we learn about it. All the results are anonymous, and the assessment of your assignment is not shared with your instructor.
Will my assignment be published or scored with my personal information?
Absolutely not. Your assignment is never published or scored with your personal information. In fact, results from all students are combined, making the process completely anonymous.
Are there any FERPA concerns with this process?
Faculty who review artifacts do so in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. Therefore, there are no FERPA concerns.
The Department of Education provides the following explanation:
FERPA permits an educational agency or institution to disclose, without consent, personally identifiable information from students’ education records only to school officials within the educational agency or institution that the educational agency or institution has determined to have legitimate educational interests in the information. 34 CFR § 99.31(a)(1). Generally, a school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. (https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/frequently-asked-questions?audience=29&topic=472&page=1)
Why is this process necessary? Didn’t I already get a grade in my course?
Assignments are used for two things:
1. Grading by your instructor, which counts toward your course grade, and
2. Assessment of learning, which does not affect your grade.
When student work is used as an artifact, it helps us know if the College is meeting the intended outcome for the course (i.e., if students have learned what we want them to learn). Some might assume that if a student passes a course or graduates with a degree, then learning has occurred. However, there are times when grading may not reflect learning. For example, if points were deducted due to an assignment being turned in late, that is not something that is taken into account when the assignment is assessed.
Do other schools do this, too?
Yes. Assessment is driven by our College, but also by external accreditors. All accredited schools must participate in outcomes assessment to meet the requirements of the accreditors. Tri-C’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), mandates that Tri-C assess student learning outcomes. The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) also requires that institutions engage in learning outcomes assessment.
Are there sample assignments for each ELO?
Yes! Please visit our Assignment Library on the Research Guides section of the Library website.
Click on your chosen ELO and browse our library of assignments from a variety of disciplines.
Why aren't course grades enough?
Course grades are a useful assessment tool, but they don’t provide more comprehensive, long-term indication of student learning. By submitting artifacts, faculty members get a random, comprehensive look at how well students across the College meet learning outcomes over time.
Where can I find the Assessment Toolkit?
The Assessment Toolkit is available on KWeb.
Here, you will find detailed instructions on how to align an assignment, information about the assessment process and an ELO mapping guide, along with many other assessment-related topics.
How do I know if my course applies to an ELO?
Check out our guide, check your official course outline or contact your on-campus CLOA member.
Will artifacts and assessment be used to evaluate faculty?
No. Outcomes assessment is part of the teaching and learning process and can be used by faculty members to “document, reflect upon and improve subsequent student learning experiences.” The process assesses the effectiveness of programs and courses in meeting outcomes and is not used to evaluate faculty members.
Is submitting artifacts a requirement?
Yes. Submitting artifacts is a requirement of Essential Learning Outcomes assessment, which provides evidence not only for faculty members and programs, but also the Higher Learning Commission and other accrediting agencies as to how well our students are meeting our stated Essential Learning Outcomes.
What is an “application-level” assignment?
“Application” is one of six levels of cognitive skills according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which ranges from less to more complex. At the application level, students are able to take new concepts and apply them. Other verbs related to application level are construct, demonstrate, discover, modify, operate, predict, prepare, produce, relate, show, solve and use. Please see this video for assignment assistance.
What happens if there are two CRNs in my Blackboard site?
Blackboard will pull assignments from both CRNs. If the non-selected CRN's faculty does not want their students' artifacts pulled, two separate assignments should be created.
Do I have to create a special assignment?
No. You do not have to create a new assignment that maps to the Essential Learning Outcome (ELO). The ELO was selected based on course outcomes. Any assignment the students produce to meet the course outcome should also meet the ELO by virtue of the outcomes mapping (i.e., course outcome to ELO) that faculty counterparts have agreed upon. Please see this video for assignment assistance.
What if I don’t have an assignment that maps to the Essential Learning Outcome (ELO)?
Counterpart chairs, counterparts, program managers and program faculty are responsible for mapping courses to Essential Learning Outcomes. If a course appears to be mistakenly mapped to a particular outcome, then contact your counterpart chair or program manager to conduct a review. If needed, you can then contact the Office of Curriculum Development to revise or remove the ELO from the course outline.
Do all students in a course submit artifacts, or can it be a sample of students?
Essential Learning artifacts are submitted by all students in a course.
Should students submit multiple artifacts?
No. There should only be one assignment identified to be submitted as an artifact. Occasionally, faculty might give an assignment that has an additional component, such as a research log. In that case, students would submit all components of the assignment in a single file, along with a context statement from the instructor.
When and how do students submit artifacts?
Student artifacts are automatically submitted once the chosen assignment is aligned in Blackboard. No further steps are needed.
Why do we need ELOs?
Essential Learning Outcomes are part of our accreditation requirements with the Higher Learning Commission. They are also a requirement from the ODHE. Although course grades and ELOs both identify what our students have learned, the way we gather that knowledge, and what it tells us, differs. Below is a list to better highlight some core differences.
Learning is measured for each student in one course.
Learning is measured anonymously for many students from many courses. (For example, a group may consist of all courses mapped to Civic Responsibility in Fall 2017.)
Varies among faculty; may include measures not directly related to learning (such as point reduction if assignments are turned in late).
Does not vary among assessors, as it uses one common rubric for all assignments for a given ELO; only includes measure directly related to learning.
Involves one faculty member evaluating an individual student's coursework.
Involves three faculty members assessing anonymous student work from many courses and disciplines.
Shared with individual students throughout the semester on an assortment of assignments for the same area of concentration. Results are shared with the student throughout the semester so the student alone can view their progress.
Shared twice a year College-wide using an assortment of assignments from many areas of concentration. Results are shared College-wide to promote discussions about teaching, learning and academic support.