Student Learning Assessment in Mathematics:
Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Meaningful Results
The math discipline at Oakland Community College is quite large, consisting of 29 full-time faculty teaching 20 courses, totaling approximately 200-230 course sections. Because of the volume of faculty, courses and students, assessment presents a unique challenge in that there are approximately 160 common course outcomes assessed over a two-year cycle.
The first challenge to course assessment of this volume was figuring out how to transform the near 30-50 course objectives into eight common course outcomes to target for assessment of student learning. The discipline accomplished this by breaking into groups, each group containing a representative from the four campuses on which math is taught. Over the course of six months, these groups were able to identify and eliminate objectives that were not taught across the college and distill the remaining objectives to eight essential common course outcomes (CCOs). The result of these activities were presented at a college-wide ‘Assessment Day’ event and confirmed by a discipline-wide vote.