Sociology Assessment Report Summaries


2009-2010

Each year sociology faculty selects various aspects of the program learning goals to assess. Sociology program goals were adapted by the IU Kokomo resident sociology faculty from the "Learning Goals for the Sociology Major" developed by the American Sociological Association Task Force on the Undergraduate Major (2004). (These goals are attached as Appendix A: Learning Goals for the Sociology Program in the full report.) In 2008, the IUK resident sociology faculty agreed the program assessment focus for the 2009-2010 academic year would be Goal #1c— The discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to the understanding of social reality, such that the students will be able to: (a) describe how sociology differs from and is similar to other social sciences and give examples of these differences; (b) describe how sociology contributes to a liberal arts understanding of social reality; and (c) apply the sociological imagination, sociological principles, and concepts to her/his own life. 

As these goals were not written expressly for the assessment process as defined by IU Kokomo, all of the components are not taught in any one course. Instead they are embedded in numerous courses that majors take. We have chosen therefore, to focus on Goal #1c as highlighted above which we will refer to as Outcome #1.  We look only at this aspect of applying the sociological imagination in SOC S252 writing assignment in the spring semester of 2010. This is required course for all majors. 

Overall, four out of five students were able to satisfactorily identify features of the sociological imagination, describe a personal experience of a "social" nature that could be explained by features of the sociological imagination and apply these features to this personal experiences.  We will continue to emphasize and allow students to practice this goal in all required courses of the major. We will follow this cohort of majors periodically measure their development in this ability.

2007-2008

Each year sociology faculty selects various aspects of the program learning goals to assess. Sociology program goals were adapted by the IU Kokomo resident sociology faculty from the "Learning Goals for the Sociology Major" developed by the American Sociological Association Task Force on the Undergraduate Major (2004). (These goals are attached as Appendix A: Learning Goals for the Sociology Program in the full report.) In 2006, the IUK resident sociology faculty agreed the program assessment focus for the 2007-2008 academic year would be on Goal #2d (which relates to students’ ability to integrate and apply sociological theory in their SOC S470 senior seminar papers). This course is required for all sociology majors, and is usually taken in the student's final year before graduation. This report summarizes the data collected relating to Goal #2d of our assessment plan only as these features and activities relate to the SOC S470 course in the spring 2007 semester. Goal #2d specifies two aspects of using theory (integration and application of theory) that faculty agree are important to the discipline of sociology and are important for students to learn before graduating with a bachelor degree majoring in sociology. Our interpretations of the findings suggest that overall students are doing an adequate job of applying and integrating theory in their senior seminar papers. Students' papers were read and scored by each of resident full-time faculty member and the average score for each component was computed. Averages for both components exceeded the benchmark score of 3.0. We provide some discussion of possible reasons for these findings. Results were discussed among the resident sociology faculty and we conclude that no significant changes in the program or in pedagogy are required but that we will continue to focus on this goal in the sociology curriculum and identify students who may need assistance learning how to apply or integrate theory early in the curriculum.

Link to Assessment Full Report 2007-2008

2006-2007

Each year sociology faculty selects various aspects of the program learning goals to assess. Sociology program goals were adapted by the IU Kokomo resident sociology faculty from the "Learning Goals for the Sociology Major" developed by the American Sociological Association Task Force on the Undergraduate Major (2004). (These goals are attached as Appendix A: Learning Goals for the Sociology Program in the full report.) In 2005, the IUK resident sociology faculty agreed the program assessment focus for the 2006-2007 academic year would be on Goal #5 (which relates to students’ ability to articulate basic concepts in sociology) as demonstrated in SOC S100 Introduction to Sociology. This course is required for all sociology majors, but it is also taken by many students each semester who either have not declared a major field of study or who have declared a major other than sociology. We know from experience that most IU Kokomo students do not declare sociology as a major until after the freshman year. Thus, our assessment of concepts from SOC S100 necessarily involved collecting data from all SOC S100 students in order to ensure that we have outcome measures for those students who will eventually become sociology majors. The full report describes the assessment activities that took place in all sections of SOC S100 taught by resident faculty in the fall of 2006. This report summarizes the data collected relating to Goal #5 of our assessment plan only as these features and activities relate to the SOC S100 course in the fall 2006 semester. Goal #5 specifies several concepts (such as socialization, culture, stratification and social structure as examples) that faculty agree are important to the discipline of sociology and are usually, but not always, introduced in the introductory course. Our interpretation of the findings suggest that overall students are doing a very good job of demonstrating sociological knowledge and understanding about these content areas. In 16 out of 20 questions students reached our 70% correct benchmark. We provide some discussion of possible reasons for the other 4 questions where students’ correct responses ranged somewhat below the 70% benchmark (64%-69% correct). Results were discussed among the resident sociology faculty and we conclude that no significant changes in the program or in pedagogy are required.

Full Assessment Report for 2006-2007 available at this link

2005-2006

In the 2005-2006 academic year student performance data from two, required courses for the sociology major were used to assess the following program goals:

#1-- Students graduating with a degree in sociology will be able to articulate the sociological perspective on human behavior.

#2-- Students graduating with a degree in sociology should be able to articulate the role of theory in sociology. Explain how theories reflect the historical context of the times and cultures in which they were developed.

#3–Students graduating with a degree in sociology will be able to articulate the role of social research methods in sociology.

Dr. Richard Aniskiewicz collected data in the SOC S340, Social Theory, course for Program Goal #2 and Dr. Earl Wysong collected data in SOC S252, Methods of Sociological Research for Goals #1 and #3. Data collected included students’ responses to essay examinations, multiple-choice examinations, and other written and oral exercises.

Findings suggest that with regard to all three program goals, the benchmarks of 70% were met or exceeded for all learning outcomes in most cases at 82% or 100% levels. These data will be reviewed by IU Kokomo resident faculty to determine possible pedagogical refinements that will further enhance student performance in these two particular courses. These data do not suggest major revision of the sociology curriculum is in order. Future assessment of other program goals and learning outcomes will continue to shed light on needed curricular or pedagogical refinements.

This summary was prepared by the current sociology coordinator. The full report was prepared by the former coordinator, Dr. Earl Wysong.

If you have questions or comments regarding this report, please contact –

Dr. Nancy A. Greenwood
Sociology Coordinator
Associate Professor of Sociology
Indiana University Kokomo
765/455-9445
ngreenwo@iuk.edu

Full Assessment Report for 2005-2006 available at this link