Academic program assessment can be a complex undertaking, looking at how students build upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities defined by each program student learning outcome as they progress from course to course. Sometimes, patterns emerge across the program student learning outcomes that can be addressed through a comprehensive initiative addressed in the use of results for future improvement, as is the case for the MFA Art.
The MFA Art relies on a cross-disciplinary curriculum that combines technical skills, creative work, inquiry, and investigation to prepare students to be leaders in art and design thinking, scholarship, and education. Through reflection on the assessment results for all three program student learning outcomes, faculty recognized that students would benefit from the range of expertise represented by faculty from both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses. Even though the MFA program is currently offered only on the Statesboro campus, Armstrong faculty who were able to participate in the Graduate Committee via Zoom during the COVID pandemic became an invaluable part of the graduate experience. The department wished to formalize efforts to make access to Armstrong faculty expertise more equitable by incorporating a Bi-Campus Active Graduate Committee into the Use of Assessment Results for Future Program Improvement for all program student learning outcomes. Incorporating this additional engagement to support all program student learning outcomes will broadly enhance learning opportunities for students.
In addition to this initiative to enrich student learning through faculty engagement across all program SLOs, the faculty identified specific actions to make improvements to assessment processes and to the curriculum and student learning specific to each program SLO. For example, for program SLO 2, which requires students to “verbally articulate their stylistic and aesthetic decisions in reference to research conducted,” the department chair proposed implementing a creative vision questionnaire to help students more systematically chronicle their conceptual growth throughout their academic program.
The MFA Art has thoughtfully considered the interdependence of their program SLOs in drafting action plans that are both comprehensive and specific and address the needs of students on multiple levels while also giving attention to improving assessment methods to refine results in future assessment cycles.