Assessment

Once again the mission, goals and outcomes for the Computer Science programs are as follows.

Computer Science Program Mission Statement

 In accord with the mission of Southwest Minnesota Statue University and the mission of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science it is the mission of the Computer Science program to offer courses and other services to individuals and organizations within our service region.  These courses and other services will develop the computer science content knowledge, skills and attitudes that will best prepare participants for future endeavors.

Computer Science Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Towards achieving its stated mission, the program sets forth the following goals and outcomes.

Goal 1:  Students will understand how computer systems work in detail.

Outcome 1.1:  Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the essential core content of the discipline of Computer Science and the ability to use that knowledge in the creation of solutions to practical problems.

Goal 2:  Students will apply their knowledge to solve problems algorithmically.

Outcome 2.1:  Students will demonstrate the ability to apply content-knowledge in the specification, analysis, design, implementation and testing of a software solution.

Outcome 2.2: Students will exhibit the ability to learn and apply new technologies as they are developed.

Goal 3:  Students will express ideas logically and clearly.

Outcome 3.1:  Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate Computer Science concepts both orally and in writing.

Outcome 3.2:  Students will exhibit the ability to work effectively with others as leaders or members of a project team.

Goal 4:  Students will work ethically and responsibly.

Outcome 4.1:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ethical standards promulgated by various professional computer societies.

Our assessment plan developed in 2003 consisted of the following.

Assessment Plan for the Computer Science Program (From 2003)

The program will assess its achievement of the stated goals using the following instruments.

1. Entry Survey

Survey students at the beginning of Comp 160: Computer Science I to determine the extent of their computer technology, computer science and mathematics backgrounds.

Use:  Establish a baseline from which student growth can be measured.

2. Student Portfolio

Students are required to place an entry in their portfolio for each course in the Computer Science core.  The proper entry will be determined for each core course and identified in the course syllabus.  The entry should be a significant program, project or exam.  For example, a student’s entry for Comp 160 or 161 might be the their choice of the program they believe best shows their ability.

Use:  Measure of overall academic growth.  Quantitative and qualitative measures of the attainment of outcome goals 1 – 4.

3. Comprehensive Senior Exam

Develop a comprehensive exam that determines the students’ mastery of the content knowledge identified in the goals statement.  The exam will be administered during the capstone course.  Possibly use an external, standardized exam such as the GRE subject test in Computer Science.

Use:  Quantitative measure of attainment of outcome goal 1.

4. Graduation Survey

Survey students at the end of the capstone course to determine their perception of how well the curriculum has met its stated goals.

Use:  Qualitative measure of attainment of outcome goals 1 – 6.

5. Post Graduation Survey

Survey graduates 3 – 5 years after graduation.  Compare to results from graduation survey.

Use:  Qualitative measure of outcome goals 1 – 6.

6. Advisory Council

Establish an advisory council composed of program faculty, computer science professionals from the region and program alumni.

Use:  Aid the interpretation of assessment data.  Make curricular recommendations based on assessment results.

1. Entry Survey

We have conducted the entry survey at the beginning of the semester, in the first course (COMP 160, COMP 130, and now COMP164) taken by CS majors. The survey has been modified slightly over the years. The survey is completed during their first lab in COMP 164. The assignment requires the students to download the file, edit it with the source code editor used for class, and then submit it using our electronic submission program. Here is the current version of the survey.

Please insert answers to each of the following questions.

1. What is your name?

2. What is your class standing?

3. What are your intended major and minor(if any)?

4. List any college-level Mathematics classes you have taken or are currently taking. (Please give the title if not taken at SMSU.)

5.On a scale of 0 to 5 please rate your proficiency at each of the following tasks with 0 being not all proficient and 5 being highly proficient.

a) Using a web browser (e.g. Firefox)

b) Using a search engine (e.g. Google)

c) Using a word processor (e.g. MS-Word)

d) Using a spreadsheet (e.g. MS-Excel)

e) Using a DBMS (e.g. MS-Access)

f) Using a flash drive

g) Burning a CD or DVD

h) Writing programs

The results of the survey have changed very little over the extent of its use. The survey shows that:

  1. All students know their name.
  2. Almost all students in the course are planning to major or at least minor in Computer Science.  If not, they are almost exclusively Mathematics majors you desire and introduction to programming.
  3. Most students in the course are freshmen, with Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in that order.
  4. About half the students in the course are at the Calculus level in Mathematics and slightly less are at the Precalculus level.
  5. Almost all students rate themselves as proficient at using a web browser (a), using a search engine (b), using a word processor (c), using a flash drive (f), and burning a CD or DVD (g).  About one third of the students rate themselves as proficient using a spreadsheet (d).  Almost no students rate themselves as proficient in using a DBMS (e) or in writing a program (h).  Only a very few students rate themselves as having any proficiency writing programs.

2. Portfolio

In practice, the students' papers and projects from the Professional Issues seminar and the Capstone Project are the only ones kept for each student. We have done little to study the students' writing skill. The Capstone projects have been our main vehicle for assessing the overall effectiveness of our program. However, almost no formal analysis has been done. The Speech and English programs are in the process of developing rubrics that can be applied to student presentations and writing samples. Once these are finished and adopted, we will apply those rubrics to the papers and presentations that students give in COMP 120, COMP 30 and COMP 492-493.

3. Senior Exam

A comprehensive senior exam was never developed. Our revised plan replaces this with the Major Field Test in Computer Science.

4. Graduation Survey

This was never completed.

5. Post Graduation Survey

This was discussed by the advisory council and ideas were put forward as to how such a survey could be implemented. However, it was never completed.

6. Advisory Council

The advisory council was formed and consisted of: the Computer Science faculty, members of the IT staff, a student, and representatives from Schwan's, Daktronics and IBM Rochester. The council met annually for 3 years but staffing changes both at SMSU and at Schwans and IBM caused the council to dissolve. We plan on re-creating it.

During the fall semester, the computer science program reviewed the previous assessment plan and revised it as follows.

Assessment Plan for the Computer Science Program    (Revised 2012)

The program will assess its achievement of the stated goals using the following instruments.

1. Entry Survey
Survey students at the beginning of Comp 164: Essentials of Computer Science, to determine the extent of their computer technology, computer science and mathematics backgrounds.  These will establish a baseline from which student growth can be measured alert us to changes in the needs of incoming students.
2. Student Portfolio

The presentation and paper from COMP 120 Computing Seminar, the paper from COMP 390 and the presentations and projects from COMP 492-493 will be kept for each student.  The written and oral communication rubrics adopted by SMSU will be used to assess students’ growth in these core skills over their time in the program and a qualitative measure of Goal 3.

The projects from COMP 492-493 will be used as a qualitative measure of student attainment of Goals 1 and 2.

3. Comprehensive Senior Exam
Have each student in COMP 493 take the Major Field Test in Computer Science.  This will provide an external quantitative measure of attainment of Goal 1.
4. Graduation Survey
Survey students at the end of the capstone course to determine their perception of how well the curriculum has met its stated goals. The will provide a qualitative measure of attainment of outcome Goals 1 – 4.
5. Post Graduation Survey
Survey graduates 3 – 5 years after graduation.  Compare to results from graduation survey. for a qualitative measure of outcome Goals 1 – 4.
6. Advisory Council

Re-establish an advisory council composed of program faculty, computer science professionals from the region and program alumni.  The council’s purpose will be to aid the interpretation of assessment data and make curricular recommendations based on assessment results.

During SMSU's professional development day, the Computer Science faculty created the following course map.

Computer Science Course Map
Goals
  1. Knowledge 2. Problem Solving 3. Communication 4. Ethics
COMP 120
I
I
I
COMP 164
I
I
*
*
COMP 165
A
A
*
*
COMP 166
A
A
*
*
COMP 233
A
A
*
*
COMP 306
A
A
*
*
COMP 324
A
A
*
*
COMP 368
A
A
*
*
COMP 376
A
A
*
*
COMP 377
A
A
*
*
COMP 390
A
A
COMP 425
A
A
A
A
Mathematics
I, A
CS Electives
A
A
LEP
I, A
I

*Students in these courses work in goups, make presentations and are expected to behave ethically. However, communication and ethics are not directly addressed in these courses.

Assessment Plan for the Computer Science Program

5-yearTimeline

Our goal is to establish a regular routine of relevant data gathering so that when programmatic questions arise, the accumulated data may be analyzed in search of answers to those questions.

FY 2012 (Current)

  1. 5-Year Review
  2. Administer Entry Survey
  3. Develop Senior Survey
  4. Begin Reconstitution of Advisory Council

FY 2013

  1. Administer Entry Survey
  2. Administer Senior Survey during COMP 493
  3. Review and Edit Senior Survey
  4. Administer Major Field Test (MFT) during COMP 493
  5. Review Initial Results of MFT
  6. First Meeting of Advisory Council – Spring
  7. Apply Oral Communication Rubric to presentations given in COMP 120, COMP 390 and COMP 493
  8. Review Initial Results of Oral Communication Rubric

FY 2014

  1. Administer Entry Survey
  2. Administer MFT during COMP 493
  3. Administer Senior Survey during COMP 493
  4. Advisory Council Meeting
  5. Apply Oral Communication Rubric to presentations given in COMP 120, COMP 390 and COMP 493
  6. Develop Post-Graduate Survey (using lessons from Senior Survey)
  7. Administer Post-Graduate Survey
  8. Review and Edit Post-Graduate Survey
  9. Apply Written Communication Rubric to papers written in COMP 120 and COMP 390
  10. Review initial results of Written Communication Rubric

FY 2015

  1. Administer Entry Survey
  2. Administer MFT during COMP 493
  3. Administer Senior Survey during COMP 493
  4. Administer Post-Graduate Survey
  5. Advisory Council Meeting
  6. Apply Oral Communication Rubric to presentations given in COMP 120, COMP 390 and COMP 493
  7. Apply Written Communication Rubric to papers written in COMP 120 and COMP 390.
  8. Review Cumulative Data from Entry Survey – Report Recommended Changes

FY 2016

  1. Administer Entry Survey
  2. Administer MFT during COMP 493
  3. Administer Senior Survey during COMP 493
  4. Administer Post-Graduate Survey
  5. Advisory Council Meeting
  6. Apply Oral Communication Rubric to presentations given in COMP 120, COMP 390 and COMP 493
  7. Apply Written Communication Rubric to papers written in COMP 120 and COMP 390.
  8. Review Cumulative Data from MFT – Report Recommended Changes

FY 2017

  1. Administer Entry Survey
  2. Administer MFT during COMP 493
  3. Administer Senior Survey during COMP 493
  4. Administer Post Graduate Survey
  5. Advisory Council Meeting
  6. Apply Oral Communication Rubric to presentations given in COMP 120, COMP 390 and COMP 493
  7. Apply Written Communication Rubric to papers written in COMP 120 and COMP 390.
  8. Review Cumulative Data from Senior and Post-Graduate Surveys – Report Recommended Changes
  9. 5-year Review – Report Recommended Changes

Last Modified: 5/11/17 7:36 AM