Assessment Grant Recipients

The UCDC Assessment Subcommittee and the Hub for Teaching and Learning Resources has awarded the following Assessment Grants. 

Spring 2020

Business Analytics, MS

The assessment grant will support Decision Science faculty in developing an assessment instrument aimed at providing more specific information on quantitative skills of incoming Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) students.  This instrument will be used in Management Science, one of the first courses taken by new MS-BA students.  Faculty will use the data provided by this instrument as they develop an optional online boot camp, focusing on prerequisite quantitative topics.  The assessment grant will also be used to fund development of formative or summative assessments within each of the boot camp modules. 


The assessment grant will support the Department of Education’s revision of its program assessments under the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Grade Band restructuring of teacher certification licensure requirements. Faculty plan to: a) analyze and update the current program and courses (Fall 2019– Fall 2020) necessary to establish the standards needed for the assessment process; b) then create program and discipline level assessment rubrics (Summer 2020); c) collate all required documents, assessments and necessary narratives and matrix for submission to MDE (Summer-Fall 2020); d) complete final revisions (Fall 2020).

Political Science

The Political Science Program seeks to improve its online offerings, and potentially develop a fully online major to complement the existing major. This requires careful comparison and assessment of current online and in-person student learning. With this grant, Political Science faculty will directly assess and compare student work and learning across several courses already taught in both in-person and online formats. POL faculty will also indirectly assess student learning in online courses through an online feedback session with students. Finally, we seek to gather information from other political science programs that combine traditional and online degrees, to consider how to achieve program goals and maintain the breadth and depth of political science major requirements.

Public Administration and Policy, Masters

With support from this assessment grant the MPAP Program aims to evaluate and improve its online offerings. The grant will enable the program to compare its face-to-face courses and online courses by examining student and teacher perspectives and by directly and indirectly assessing student learning. The MPAP faculty, the Program Director, and one student assistant will work in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 to compare MPAP courses taught in both online and face-to-face formats as well as examine the general MPAP students’ experience with online courses. We will also identify best practices to assess public affairs online programs to inform our plan on improving online offerings and identify best assessment practices in online graduate programs, in general, to be shared with other graduate programs at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Spring 2019

Behavioral & Biological Sciences

The grant will allow this relatively new multi-disciplinary program to bring faculty together for a faculty retreat and multiple meetings in order to re-evaluate and update the program goals, curriculum, and course matrix. It will fund a partial stipend for the program director to lead the creation of a new assessment plan and assessment tools. Additionally, it will fund a student assistant who will help implement and analyze a survey of students and alumni in the program, in order to study transfer of skills from undergraduate degree to vocational and advanced degree contexts.

Health & Human Services

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed a single comprehensive major in the department: a BS in Health and Human Services. With this grant, the HHS faculty will establish a practical assessment plan that enables a sustainable but flexible system for ‘closing the loop.’ This entails refinement of measurable competencies and a corresponding course map, development of the competency assessment survey tool for faculty and alumni surveys, and preparation of a workplan for piloting student portfolios as a tool for assessment and student success.

Mathematics & Statistics

The proposers will develop a comprehensive assessment plan, including updated learning goals, a systematic plan for assessing goals, and tools with benchmarks for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The grant allows four faculty members to research assessment models in mathematics and statistics, and to build and implement a plan that directly affects change in the curriculum. The project’s expected outcomes are the establishment of learning goals that address recent changes in the department, a framework for assessing goals in the required courses, and assessment materials, including problems, rubrics, and surveys designed to measure student learning.

Spring 2018

Education, Teacher Certification

The assessment grant will support the Department of Education’s revision of its professional dispositions assessment process, which is used to evaluate pre-service and student teachers’ non-academic and non-cognitive qualities throughout their teacher training program. To meet the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) requirements, the Department must revise that professional dispositions assessment document and evaluation process. Faculty plan to: a) analyze and update the current professional dispositions rubric (Summer 2018); b) pilot with students and train supervisors/faculty to use the rubric with inter-rater reliability (Fall 2018); c) complete final revisions (Winter 2019).


The Sociology discipline plans to evaluate the experiences and outcomes of its graduating students and alumni by creating and administering two assessment surveys, one quantitative and one qualitative. Faculty hope to learn how current and former students apply their sociological imagination to real-world experiences and how faculty can better prepare students for life after graduation. The surveys will gather information not only on employment status but also on how students have learned their knowledge about diversity, inclusion, and social justice, and their critical thinking and research skills in their post-graduate experiences. This assessment is unique in that students in the quantitative and qualitative sociology research courses will help conduct the assessment, which will enhance their education and provide the program with data.

Spring 2017

Education, Teacher Certification

The Department of Education currently requires students to complete a MPortfolio, which serves as the capstone evaluation for pre-service teachers to demonstrate their learning and self-reflections. Recently, the teacher certification program adopted the Danielson Framework for Teaching as a practica evaluation, and this change requires that the MPortfolio be modified to align with the Framework. This major revision is planned as follows: a) in Summer 2017, faculty will analyze and revise the MPortfolio guidelines and assessment rubric; b) in early Fall 2017, it will be piloted with student teachers; c) by the end of Winter 2018, final revisions will be completed. During the pilot phase, supervisors/faculty will be trained to use the rubric to develop inter-rater reliability.

French Studies

This program will develop a system to assess its entire curriculum, from French 101 to French 408. The program will develop a systematic approach to assessment with a clear plan, rotation and flow, as well as more structured meetings throughout the year to make meaning of data and use it to close the loop and implement changes to the curriculum.  The grant will allow two lecturers to help a tenure-stream faculty member meet during summer and throughout the academic year to identify the best assessment tools in foreign language courses to assess the three M&CL program goals that are most relevant to all French courses. The faculty will develop a series of writing activities; create listening and speaking activities and oral exams; and design a test for each level to be administered at the beginning and end of each semester. Next, the faculty will establish measurable benchmarks for each course and determine performance targets.

Urban and Regional Studies

The Urban and Regional Studies (URST) core program faculty will pilot a MPortfolio assessment process, which will be linked to a set of URST program assessment goals. This summer, faculty will design the portfolio collection process, learning/reflection prompts, and rubric for assessing student portfolios. URST program alumni will be asked to provide input on the Mportfolio process while it is under design.  During the academic year, URST students will be required to collect research papers from URST core courses (URS 300, URS 450 and community-based research) and to write a reflective essay summarizing their learning and their intellectual growth.  Next summer, the URST faculty will meet to evaluate the portfolios and review MPortfolio integration with program assessment. 


Writing Certificate

This assessment apparatus will study the transfer of skills from academic to vocational contexts through an electronic survey administered to alumni writing certificate recipients and writing center consultants (many of whom completed the writing certificate). It measures the relationship between theory and practice emphasized in the writing certificate as well as in writing center methods. The survey will be used as a continuing apparatus for graduate UM-D alumni, and copy from the survey (along with an accompanying alumni speaker series) will be repurposed as publicity material for the certificate and for CASL.

Writing and English Language Proficiency

This project will collaborate with the English Language Proficiency Program to jointly assess how we are supporting international students’ print literacy. We study a crucial “pivot point” – the transition from ELPP to the Writing Program (especially in COMP 099, a common bridge course for international students.) A core group of faculty will analyze student writing across these programs, looking at issues like transfer, apprehension and the acquisition of higher-order literacies in a new cultural context. We will also interview students about their perspectives and conduct focus groups with faculty in both programs to gauge and describe print literacy conventions as international students navigate programs.

Spring 2016

Education, Teacher Certification

The CEHHS Department of Education will select, modify and pilot a performance-based assessment instrument to use in clinical experiences in its teacher certification courses. The goal is to support the Department’s process to improve assessment of students’ clinical experiences that will address the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation’s (CAEP) Program Goal #2: Candidates for certification will be capable users of pedagogical knowledge. Being able to address this goal has a direct impact on the Department’s accreditation from the Michigan Department of Education and will allow for a more streamlined process for the assessment of clinical experiences.

Health Policy Studies

Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services assumed responsibility for the Health Policy Studies program. The program was developed and administrated by the Behavioral Sciences Department within the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters for many years prior to this transition.  This grant will support a summer retreat of the four HHS tenure track faculty with the specific intention of revising the goals of the HPS program and planning assessment activities for the next five years.


This fund will support the History Assessment Committee’s project to assess history majors’ MPortfolios, an activity which the discipline has never undertaken. The assessment, which will require about 60 hours of faculty work in Summer 2016, will involve three faculty members in developing criteria and a rubric, evaluating approximately 20 students’ MPortfolios and writing a report that analyzes findings and provides recommendations for improvement of the assessment instrument and the History curriculum.


Political Science

This fund will support the facilitation of two meetings among Political Science faculty, especially those who teach the introductory American government course (POL 101), during the 2016-2017 school year. The Political Science program has implemented a preliminary assessment protocol, but has not had the opportunity to collectively analyze the results. This grant will enable the Political Science program to revise and refine its assessment tool(s), and to ensure a cohesive set of learning goals for students taking the introductory course.

Psychology MS

This fund will support the Psychology graduate program’s collection and analysis of assessment data using a pre-test, post-test design. This continuous quality improvement model furthers the goals of the program and reflects both course-specific learning objectives and global programmatic learning objectives. As students complete the graduate program in small cohort groups, it is necessary to collect data over a number of years to accumulate a significant amount of data. Each year, an additional two courses are added to the pre-test, post-test process. The courses assessed previously continue to be assessed each year, and program changes are made accordingly. A graduate student with statistical expertise assists in soliciting the faculty to provide the questions, develops and administers Qualtrics surveys and codes and analyzes data in SPSS.

Hub for Teaching & Learning Resources

1190 -
Social Sciences Building (SSB)
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