What about my goals? Using an individualized course evaluation to assess meta-goals.

Submitted by Christina Van on
What is the Purpose of the Assessment?

 Are students in Abnormal Psychology achieving my desired student outcomes?  Is my high-contact, time intensive approach worth it?

Describe the necessity for this assessment

I have carefully built this course to achieve a number of higher-level student outcomes that are hard to assess with traditional measures. I needed to build a measure specific to my goal.

Describe how the practice will be implemented

I used a qualitative individualized course and instructor evaluation form that I developed to assess the higher level student outcomes I was hoping to achieve.

Interpret, compare, and describe the results

Attached you will find a copy of the assessment instrument,  and a document highlighting the results of a content analysis of student responses. The results indicate that I am achieving my goals for student outcomes and that in an unexpected bonus, students are aware of the changes taking place in themselves and their thinking. My high contact approach to teaching this material appears to be a critical ingredient in my success.

After analyzing, and reflecting on the outcome, what are the next steps?

In this class the next step is to continue doing what I am doing (whew)!  I will duplicate this approach in my other classes because the information that I gathered is rich and extremely informative.


When teaching Abnormal Psychology I have a number of student outcomes beyond course competencies:  Critical thinking about mental health and mental illness, paradigm shifting, and reducing or eliminating mental health stigma.  I use an extremely high contact and time intensive teaching style in this online class to attempt to achieve these outcomes. I developed a personalized course evaluation to assess my effectiveness and used a qualitative, content analysis approach to analyze my data in Fall 2018.  Student feedback demonstrated very clearly not only that students had learned to think critically and challenge cultural norms about mental illness,  shift away from the paradigm of categorical thinking about mental illness, and become self-aware and self-monitoring about stigma but that there were also significant metacognitive changes in the desired direction.

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Assessment of the Month
Average: 4 (1 vote)


Becky Baranowski Tue, 01/29/2019 - 1:18pm

Christina - this is wonderful work you are doing.  Thank you for this detailed information.  Several semesters ago, I incorporated Wellness in the classroom and loved the community it built amongst my students (students were free to pick mental health or physical health that they wanted to work on).  This is encouraging me to do this again.  I love how this shows that you are not just a faculty member teaching course content; you are working with the whole student.  Thank you!  

Catherine Cochran Tue, 01/29/2019 - 1:47pm

Hi Christina,

This is a great tool to measure student learning.  This is great for faculty to self-reflect on their students' learning progress.  In addition, students are able to use critical thinking about issues that are outside of the classroom.  This is a great method to help our students to critically think about these issues. 

Great job!