Click here to access the UF Quest Assessment Faculty Guide and Rubrics.

Why Assess UF Quest?

Assessment is a common practice across the University of Florida campus. Faculty assess their students’ exams, papers, projects, presentations, performances, productions, and other assignments in order to (a) gauge their students’ learning, (b) identify gaps or weaknesses in student learning, and (c) modify instruction and/or curriculum to strengthen student learning. Our 2017 faculty focus group study on assessment at UF found that

UF faculty value the assessment of student learning and the information it provides. In every college, faculty described clearly the ways they collect and use student learning information. As one participant stated, “we learn how effective we are as instructors,” and that their student learning information helps them to “make adjustments to the course.” (University of Florida, 2017).

We assess UF Quest at the institutional level to determine its effectiveness at achieving the SLOs and aims of the program. Institutional Assessment works in a corollary fashion to the faculty process but with different outcomes and data without reference to student grades or faculty performance. The assessment data that faculty provide through the UF Quest rubrics (or other approved methods) are analyzed to determine the degree to which students are achieving the UF Quest SLOs. The results of analysis are used to determine how we can modify and improve the assessment process, e.g. procedures, criteria, measurement scales, professional development, etc., and how we can strengthen UF Quest.

The UF Quest Assessment Task Force

The UF Quest Assessment Task Force was convened in fall 2019 and charged to develop the institutional assessment plan for UF Quest. The Task Force members represented all of the colleges on campus that provide UF Quest courses, as well as experts in instructional design, assessment, and measurement from across the university.  After review of the Quest 1 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and considerable deliberation and collaboration, the Task Force developed rubrics to assess at the institutional level the various artifacts that students would produce in UF Quest courses. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each type of student work, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. Faculty assessment of the criteria provide data that inform student achievement of the UF Quest SLOs.

The Faculty Role in the Institutional Assessment of UF Quest

As Lindner (2019) attests, faculty are at the heart – and are the heart - of the UF Quest program. Therefore, faculty play a primary role in the assessment of the success of UF Quest as an institutional program. This list outlines the faculty role in the assessment process.

  • The number of students to be assessed. We will select a random 20% sample of students to include in the pilot assessment. You will only need to assess these students for this pilot. Faculty may, however, include other students if they choose to do so.
  • The faculty's existing rubrics remain intact. The UF Quest assessment does not require faculty to substitute or replace their existing rubrics. The UF Quest rubrics are to be applied in addition to the faculty's existing rubrics for 20% of the students in the course.
  • Assignment selection. Faculty select at least one existing assignment to use for the pilot assessment. The UF Quest Assessment Task Force developed rubrics for five types of assignments: papers, presentations, projects, performances/productions, and standalone reflections. (The rubrics for papers, presentations, projects, performances/productions include a criterion for reflection).
  • Canvas support. Once faculty select their assignment(s) for the pilot, Instructional Designers assist them to set up in Canvas the UF Quest rubric that best matches the type of selected assignment.
  • The assessment criteria. Each UF Quest rubric has five criteria for institutional assessment. The criteria will be entered at the bottom of the existing rubric and assessed at the same time that faculty grade the assignment in Speed Grader, the Canvas grading tool for rubrics.
  • Faculty then rate the student on the UF Quest rubric criteria at one of four levels of achievement that are described in the rubric. The ratings are not associated with the student’s grade.
  • Data collection. The levels of achievement that faculty assign will load automatically into a different gradebook than the one that collects grading information. This is the Learning Management Gradebook, which the instructional designers will set up. Once the assessment is completed, Institutional Assessment will go into Canvas and collect the ratings you have assigned.

To summarize, here is what faculty in the pilot will do:

  • Review the guide and the rubrics.
  • Select one or more assignments to use for the pilot.
  • Work with the instructional designer who will set up the rubrics in Canvas for the selectged assignments.
  • Apply the rubrics to the assignments submitted by the students in the random 20% sample selected for the course.
  • When faculty submit their ratings, they will automatically load into the Learning Management Gradebook.
  • Provide feedback on the process so that we can modify and improve. 

Contact Information

For questions about the process or to discuss the validity of a specific measure, please contact:

Andrew Oxman Wolpert, PhD
Director of UF Quest and Associate Professor of Classics
Office of Undergraduate Affairs
138 Dauer Hall
Phone: 352-273-3702
Email: wolpert@ufl.edu

Timothy S. Brophy, PhD
Professor and Director, Institutional Assessment
239C Tigert Hall, Office of the Provost
Phone: 352-273-4476
Email: tbrophy@aa.ufl.edu 

References

Lindner, A.  (2019, August). UF Quest: One year on the horizon. University of Florida. (Unpublished).

University of Florida Institutional Assessment (2017). Assessment@UF: Context matters – A report of the 2017 faculty focus group study. Retrieved from: https://assessment.aa.ufl.edu/assessment--accreditation-/academic-assessment/academic-assessment-committee/assessmentuf-context-matters/context-matters.html