Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Report

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Los Angeles Valley College

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Report

Courses and Programs

Discipline: Department: Anthropology

Program/Course: Anthro 111 Semester/Year: Spring 2011
SLO Representative: Department Chair: Rebecca Stein

Student Learning Outcome Assessed

Students will be able to analyze human anatomy and behavior from an evolutionary perspective.

Description of Assessment Method

  1. Describe the assessment tool (e.g., student essay, performance, etc.)

  2. Describe how the data was analyzed (rubric elements, etc.). Attach rubric if applicable.

*** Please keep all data for at least 3 years.

  1. Lab exercises, Exam essay answers, Capstone Essay assignment

  2. Rubric and Task assignment prompt are below.

Description of Sampling Methodology

  1. Course Sections - How many sections of this course were offered?

If there were more than one section offered – i) State if the sections were offered in the morning /afternoon /evening/ online.

ii) How many sections were assessed?

iii) Describe how these sections represent the diversity of students represented in the course.

  1. Faculty - How many faculty (part-time and full-time) taught this course? How many faculty participated in the SLO assessment process?

  2. Students - How many students in total were enrolled? How many students were sampled?

  3. Random Selection (If this course offered more than one section, at least 1/3 of the total # of students must be assessed) - How was the random selection process conducted? (e.g., chose every 3rd student from roster)

  1. Four sections of An111 were offered in Spring 2011.

    1. Two sections were offered in the evening, two sections were offered during the day. One of the daytime sections was hybrid, with “lecture” via modules in Etudes and lab work done during a 2 hour face-to-face meeting each week.

    2. All four sections were assessed. One section provided a sample of student work, three provided work from nearly all enrolled students.

    3. Students in three sections represent nearly all students enrolled in that section. Two sections represent evening students, the hybrid section includes those who prefer online courses, and one section represents more traditional students, taking day classes.

  2. Two part-time faculty taught the evening courses. One full-time faculty taught the day classes (hybrid and face-to-face). The full-time faculty was responsible for assessing SLOs.

  3. 78 students were sampled. Assessments were done for 6 students out of X from one evening class, 26 students out of X from a second evening class, 18 out of 24 students in the face-to-face day-time section, and 26 out of 32 students in the hybrid day-time section.

  4. I assessed all available student work. One instructor gave me exercises that had not been returned to students. One instructor provided Exam 2 for all students who took that exam. In my two sections, I assessed all final essays that were submitted, except two turned in on paper that were no longer available.

Collaborative Review

  1. Describe the norming process and how inter-rater reliability was achieved (if applicable).

N/A – all SLO assessment done by one person, on one day to maintain consistency.

Assessment Results

  1. Describe the relevant findings according to the criteria set by the assessment tool. (e.g., report results according to rubric evaluation criteria)

  2. What percentage of students achieved the SLO?

  3. What percentage of students did not achieve the SLO?

  1. Each student’s work was assessed using a scale of 0 (Poor), 1 (Adequate), to 2 (Excellent) in five categories (see rubric). On average, students’ explanation of evolutionary theory in the assessed assignments was less than adequate (avg=0.73). Students did do an adequate job of collecting measurements using skeletal materials (avg=1.26) and describing anatomical features (avg=1.11). Students’ ability to link anatomy, function, and behavior in the assessed assignments averaged just below “adequate” (avg=0.95). Students did an adequate job of explaining the anatomical and behavioral changes observed across hominin evolution (avg=1.0).

  2. Using an average of each student’s scores in the 5 categories, 52 out of 78 (67%) students achieved an adequate or higher rating on the SLO ( 1.0). 14 out of 78 (17%) achieved an average SLO rating of 1.5 or greater.

  3. 17 out of 78 (21%) had an average rating of less than 0.8, which I would consider “not achieving” the SLO. Or, those who averaged less than 1.0 might also be considered to have not achieved the SLO (26/78=33%).

How Results were Used for Course/Program Improvement

  1. Describe how the results are going to be used for the improvement of teaching, learning, or institutional effectiveness based on the data assessed.

  2. How do your assessment findings contribute to the assessment of your Program SLO’s? (To access the program SLO’s -

  3. Describe how results will be shared with others in the discipline/area.

  1. These results help highlight areas to emphasize with our students. The lab class is meant to be complimentary to An101, and so frequently spends more time on technical skills and detailed description, such as measuring and anatomy. These SLO results indicate that our An111 instruction and practice need to also emphasize the broader connections between anatomical data, adaptive function, and behavior.

    1. Lab lectures can highlight links to topics from An101.

    2. The required lab manual can include more opportunities for students to practice explaining how the data they collect in lab informs our understanding of function and behavior, and to fit their analyses into the larger context of evolutionary history.

    3. The assignments (prompts & rubrics) used for assessment can be refined to clarify the topics to be discussed. It is possible that less than adequate scores reflect unclear instructions rather than a lack of understanding.

  2. These findings indicate that, with some improvements, An111 will contribute to the Program SLOs of Reasoning Skills and Communication Skills. Students must use reasoning skills to synthesize data and compare anatomy and behavior across species, and use communication skills to relay these insights in their written assignments.

  3. A copy of the data and this report will be sent to all An111 instructors.

    1. I will revise the LAVC Lab Manual to provide a section of broader implications for each topic and more opportunities for students to practice explaining the implications of the data they collect and connecting it to the broader story of human evolution.

    2. All An111 instructors will be encouraged to use the same Capstone Final Essay assignment, both to facilitate future SLO assessment and to consistently emphasize similar skills in measuring, communication, and analysis of data.

    3. The grading rubric and final essay prompt can be revised to stress that students need to explain how natural selection has shaped the anatomical features they are analyzing, link anatomy to function and behavior, and situate anatomical changes within the larger evolutionary context.

Comparison to last SLOAC Cycle Results (if this is the first time the course was assessed, leave this section blank)

  1. Please state the improvement plan that was included in the report from SLOAC Cycle I.

  2. What changes were implemented from Cycle I’s improvement plan? What changes, if any, were made that were not included in the improvement plan? What changes, if any, were made to the assessment process?

  3. How are the results from Cycle II similar to or different from the results from Cycle I?


Insert Rubric or Assessment Tools below:

Capstone Essay Assignment used in two sections for SLO assessment:

Write a 3 - 5 page essay analyzing the changes that have occurred to the pelvis or skull of chimpanzees, Australopithecus afarensis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and modern Homo sapiens over hominin evolutionary history. In your essay you need to describe the feature for each species in detail, and compare the size and shape of this skeletal features for all five species using measurements you have collected in your lab exercises or during our last regular class meeting. You should explain how these features function in each species based on their dimensions, and discuss the evolutionary and behavioral significance of the changes that have occurred in these features over hominin evolution.

Anthropology 111 SLO Rubric

Students will be able to analyze human anatomy and behavior from an evolutionary perspective.

Poor (0)

Adequate (1)

Excellent (2)

Comprehension of evolutionary theory and the process of natural selection

Explanation of evolution and natural selection contain several inaccuracies; important information is missing; examples are incorrectly used

Explanation of evolution and natural selection are mostly accurate; examples are relevant though moderately explained

Clearly and accurately explains evolution and natural selection; displays understanding when explaining examples of evolved traits

Demonstration of correct measuring skills

Measurements absent or mostly incorrect

Collected measurements mostly accurate

Collected and explained all correct measurements

Demonstration of anatomical knowledge

Description of anatomy includes several inaccuracies

Accurately describes some relevant features of anatomy

Accurately and thoroughly describes all or most relevant features of anatomy

Understanding of the relationship between anatomy, function, and behavior

Connections between anatomy, function, and behavior are missing or not well developed

Accurately connects some relevant features of anatomy to their function; discusses some aspects of behavior as it relates to anatomy

Clearly explains the connection between anatomical features and their function; links anatomical function to behavior; discusses most or all relevant material

Comprehension of the changes in anatomy and behavior over the course of hominin evolutionary history

Explanation of how anatomy and behavior have changed over hominin evolutionary history contains many inaccuracies; inaccuracies in the timeline of changes; little or inaccurate discussion of why these changes occurred

Correctly explains some of the changes in anatomy and behavior across hominin species; Some anatomical and behavioral changes are correctly placed in the hominin phylogeny; some discussion of selective pressures favoring these changes

Connects changes in anatomy and behavior to correct hominin species; relates these changes to the hominin phylogeny and the selective pressures favoring these changes

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