The City College of San Francisco Honors Program conducts assessment via survey questionnaires. The questionnaires are distributed to students after they attend informational workshops about the Honors Program. The questionnaires consist of quiz questions that assess whether or not students remember and understand items discussed in the workshop. The rationale for these quizzes is that they tell us whether or not our workshop is effective in teaching the students the information we feel they need to know in order to be successful in our program. If students remember and understand the material in the workshop, they can then use the information to be more successful members of the Honors Program. If at any time we discover our workshop is not effectively teaching the students, we can adjust our teaching methods accordingly.
The measurement instrument has been developed over time. In the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013 we crafted a measurement instrument in order to conduct assessments. In the fall of 2013 we piloted that assessment instrument. In the spring of 2014 we modified the instrument in response to problems we discovered with the instrument during the piloting process. We use our revised measurement instrument to conduct assessments each semester from Fall 2014 onward (refining our process as necessary).
Our assessment study consists of a comparison group design. We compare the quiz results of students who took our Honors Program informational workshop with students who have not taken the workshop. If there is a significant difference between the two groups and the group that received the treatment did better on the quiz, we know that the workshop is working. If there is no significant difference or the non -treatment group does better, we know that the workshop is not working and that teaching adjustments need to be made.
Over the years we will continue to collect assent data and make adjustments in accordance with what that data tells us. We will also continue to refine our measurement instrument so that it more accurately measures our learning outcomes.