We are assessing “Thinking and Problem Solving” in Inquiry and US Seminar courses this year.  The Core Committee has developed the rubric that will be used to assess this learning outcome:

  • Reason using relevant evidence gathered, evaluated and synthesized as appropriate for the scholarly, disciplinary or interdisciplinary field to create meaningful information.  
  • Analyze, construct, or critique arguments or data considering premises, assumptions, contexts, and conclusions and anticipate counterarguments and respectfully consider, accommodate or incorporate opposing viewpoints as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate creative or innovative approaches to asking and answering questions, defining problems, identifying solutions, and creating knowledge or art.

What we need from you:

1) Select student work for assessment

Identify assessment artifacts:  Looking over the assessed elements of Thinking and Problem Solving (listed above), identify an assessment where the student artifact (student activity, project, paper, exam questions, self-reflection, etc.) best demonstrates student achievement of these outcomes.  The artifact should address many of these elements, but it is okay if it does not identify all of the elements of "Thinking and Problem Solving".

Randomly identify 5 student samples:  There are many ways to randomly identify your sample, but here is a link to a random number generator. https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/statistics/random-number-generator.php.  If you are teaching multiple sections or courses, select one course to pull from.  Remember, you only need to submit a total of 5 samples.

2) Submitting student work:

Once artifacts have been collected, send the attached documents to [email protected]  
                a. In the subject line indicate the area being assessed (IH, IA, IS, IN, or US).  
                b. Identify student work by rubric, course number and section (we will be tracking participation as this is the first step to recertifying courses for Core designation). Example: CHMY121IN 004.  If you teach more than one section or course, you may choose one section to submit work from.

Again, you are only submitting a total of 5 assessment artifacts plus a copy of the assignment or exam questions that prompted the student work.  We encourage you to submit all material sent by December 6th (and earlier submission is encouraged).

If you are submitting student artifacts turned in as part of your final exam/project during final exam week, please email [email protected] now with the subject line, Final Exam Artifact, and provide the exact date that you will be able to submit your stuent artifacts in the body of the email. 

3) Assessment Evaluation: 

At the end of fall semester, you will be receiving 5 student artifacts to assess.  These will not be from your class, but will be from the same Inquiry distribution (IH’s will assess other IH courses, and so forth). You will receive these in an email identified as “Core Inquiry Assessment.”  Along with the student’s work, you will receive a link to a Qualtrics survey for the recording of your reviews.  Everyone participating will be using the same assessment rubric (http://ou.montana.edu/msu-core/core_assessment.html). 

Your assessment evaluations will be due by 12/20/2019.  If you cannot complete your assigned assessments by that date, contact your department head for assistance.

4) Data collected:  

The data collected from your analysis will only provide information on how we collectively are achieving the desired outcomes for Thinking and Problem Solving.  We will not be analyzing data at the course or instructor level.  We will be tracking participation, so it is very important that every instructor teaching a Core course participates in assessment.

5. Reporting:

Core Assessment Analysis and Interpretation of student competence in “Thinking and Problem Solving” will be published in a report and posted at http://ou.montana.edu/msu-core/core_assessment.html. The report will be shared with faculty senate, Academic Council and Department Heads.


A printable PDF of this information can be found here.