Dissertation

Outcomes of math faculty engagement in student learning outcomes assessment in the two-year college

This study utilizes a mixed methods exploratory design to examine the nature of math faculty engagement in the student learning outcomes assessment cycle. The focus of the study is on the types of changes that math faculty are implementing as a result of assessment outcomes and the institutional environmental factors that impact faculty engagement in the assessment cycle. The study fills a gap in the research on student learning outcomes assessment by focusing on how assessment is impacting math faculty teaching practice. This study is of particular importance because of the importance in helping students meet math requirements so they can achieve their educational goals and because of poor success rates in math courses that show room for improvement in math instruction. This study uses a pragmatic framework to explore faculty engagement. The study participants are math faculty from community colleges in the state of California. The mixed methods design utilized math faculty interviews and a survey instrument designed to describe math faculty engagement in student learning outcomes assessment cycles throughout the California community college system. The findings indicate that math faculty are actively participating in assessment and implementing improvement plans that are developed either by individual faculty or by departments. The typical changes that are being implemented are more time or emphasis for particular elements of the content of courses and revisions to SLO statements. Factors impacting math faculty engagement in xiii assessment are faculty workload, obtaining meaningful assessment data, and departmental environment. The math faculty indicate that the types of support they would like their institutions to provide are release-time and support for adjunct faculty involvement in assessment. The math faculty report that there are differences in the changes applied to courses at different levels of the mathematics curriculum due to a number of factors that are either systemic or due to department environment.

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