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2015 Learning Conference

View full pdf from 2015 Learning Conference here (pdf)


Center for Student Involvement
Andrea Bell
The Freshman Urban Program is a pre-orientation experience for incoming students, led by Sophomore, Juniors, and Senior Northwestern students, to engage with the Chicago community through community service. The program includes lectures from faculty and neighborhood explorations led by community leaders and activists. This assessment project will explore student learning in Social Responsibility, Personal Development, and Interpersonal Competence during the 2015 program scheduled for September 5-11, 2015. Currently, data has been collected from the applications submitted for participation. Following the program, participants will participate in a survey in the fall quarter and focus groups in the winter quarter.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, Social Responsibility

View the Freshman Urban Program poster here. (pdf)


Northwestern Career Advancement
Laura Myers
The Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) presented by Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) and the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA), is a shadowing program that offers current Northwestern students the opportunity to accompany alumni on the job (in all parts of the country and outside the U.S.) in order to learn more about different professional fields. In total, 511 alumni/student matches have been made. Students spend time observing and often working alongside their alumni hosts in order to gain insight into the practical aspects of potential careers. This assessment project explored the learning that occurred through student training sessions presented by the NCA career counseling team and NAA staff, and how that training prepared students and impacted their experience.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) poster here. (pdf)


Northwestern University Health Service, Nursing
Sue Whiting
Students receive allergy shots to reduce symptoms to individually-identified allergens. A significant risk to this therapy is the possibility of life-threatening allergic reactions which can occur after receipt of allergy shots. Health Service nurses’ experience and patient surveys identified problems with patient compliance with prescribed allergy shot therapy and knowledge about both specific therapy and allergy shot practice in general. A written teaching tool was developed and presented at one-to-one patient/nurse visits during the end of Winter Quarter, 2015. Patients were then surveyed in early Spring Quarter, 2015, about their confidence/comfort levels with various aspects of allergy shot therapy, and also asked to give answers to specific questions pertinent to that therapy. We found that the length of time that patients had received allergy shots, whether or not it was at NU Health Service, did not distinguish level of knowledge about allergy shot practice. We additionally found that while some patients felt comfortable with their level of knowledge, this was not demonstrated by their direct answers to specific questions. The findings support the need to continue patient education in this key area. Re-evaluation of methods of teaching and reinforcement particularly of patient actions in the case of severe allergic reactions need to be pursued.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Patient/System Critical Interaction poster here. (pdf)


Northwestern University Health Service, Evanston
Amber Parish & Brian Druley
The Health Service Pharmacy assessed the knowledge acquired by students who were provided counseling by the pharmacist related to their personal prescription medication(s). The goal of this brief counseling session is to improve students’ management and understanding of personal health and wellness needs. Students who agreed to participate in the counseling session were provided information about the prescription medication, why it was prescribed, the importance of taking the required dosage on the schedule as documented on the prescription label, and how to recognize potential adverse side effects and drug interactions. One week later, a brief web-based survey was administered that explored students’ understanding of the medication.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Prescription Counseling & Health Care Consumerism for Pharmacy Services poster here. (pdf)


Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Ben Wiebers
The annual Winter Education Conference seeks to educate new members of the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council chapters. Given the large number of concerns facing Fraternities and Sororities on a national level, it’s crucial to understand how new members are learning about these topics and changing negative habits. Using a professional speaker and small group breakout sessions, this experience seeks to inform new members about Fraternity and Sorority stereotypes, bystander intervention, and community needs. Using an online survey, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life collected quantitative and qualitative data.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the FSL Winter Education Conference (WEC) poster here. (pdf)


Residential Academic Initiatives
Nancy Anderson & Matthew June
Each spring, new officers from Northwestern’s eleven residential colleges (RCs) attend a three-hour dinner and conference to prepare for their new roles and responsibilities as RC officers. To measure the effectiveness of that pre-existing program, this assessment project first had to enunciate five learning objectives that corresponded with the perceived outcomes of past conferences. Because officer positions and duties are not standardized and vary widely across the eleven RCs, learning objectives focused on general categories of knowledge instead of specific skills, tasks, or policies. A series of qualitative assessment questions were designed to correspond with those five learning objectives, and those questions were first sent to all 118 new RC officers a few weeks before the conference and again sent to all new RC officers immediately following the conference. Using a checklist-style rubric, graduate assistants rated the open-ended responses to the pre- and post-assessments on a scale of 0 (incomplete/unacceptable)
to 3 (excellent).
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the RAI New Officer Training poster here. (pdf)


Multicultural Student Affairs
Noor Ali & Alejandro Magana
Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) has approximately 25 student employees each year, serving in one of three positions- Office Assistants (OA), Student Interns (SI), and Graduate Assistants (GA). This year, MSA sought to unify the Student Staff experience and maximize the training of these students by
addressing four key areas:
  1. Identity Awareness
  2. Collaboration
  3. Social Media
  4. Professional Skills

We did this by engaging all student staff in a retreat at the beginning of the year and quarterly training meetings for all of the students, as well as monthly meetings for each of the positions (OA, SI, and GA) separately. We also ended the year with a final retreat. During the End of Year Retreat, learning was assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, Social Responsibility

View the MSA-Multicultural Approach to Learning poster here. (pdf)


Northwestern Career Advancement
Jeff Jenkins & Christina Siders
The training of undergraduate and graduate students in career centers is nothing novel. Many centers employ students as part of their staff throughout the year and some run internship programs specifically for graduate students studying counseling and higher education. Although the practice is commonplace, how do we ensure our training methods are effective in building successful career professionals? This presentation will introduce the development and usage of learning outcomes, pre- and post-test evaluation methods and a career counseling skills rubric.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the NCA-Graduate Intern Training poster here. (pdf)


Norris University Center
Pete Dully & Milvia Rodriguez
The Shanley pre-production theater assessment project explored what the students learn as a result of their participation in the theater pre-production
process. Student learning was assessed during pre-production meetings (6-week and 2-week) through a theater summary, a guideline document, and a risk management plan. A student survey was distributed post-production to assess how the students had learned.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Norris Center-Process Participation poster here. (pdf)


Counseling & Psychological Services
Henry Perkins
Stress associated with academic, personal, and social pressures is one of the most frequently cited concerns of Northwestern students seeking Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The Stress Management Clinic (SMC) is designed to provide information regarding stress, stress reduction, and relaxation skills to NU students. A widely used stress questionnaire, The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered as a pre-post measure to 83 students who participated in one of five four-week psychoeducational workshops.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Stress Management Clinic poster here. (pdf)


Student and Academic Support Services
Mona Dugo
During the academic year 2013-2014 the Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS) team processed 130 medical leaves of absence (MLOA) and 79 reinstatements, the majority of which were related to mental health concerns. The study aimed to assess students learning in the following areas: coping skills, insight, support systems, self-reliance, and sense of purpose and knowledge of resources. A survey was conducted of students who returned from reinstatement during academic year 2013-2014 as well as Fall Quarter 2014. In addition, qualitative data was yielded through focus groups. Findings are statistically significant, demonstrating that students use the opportunity while on MLOA to enhance their resiliency around mental health. In addition, focus groups and open-ended questions have provided rich data to inform SASS staff on strengths and weaknesses of the learning process through MLOA.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Medical Leave of Absence poster here. (pdf)


Student Affairs Information Technology
Harry Seong
Student Affairs Information Technology (SAIT) assessed the acquisition of technical, communication, and teamwork skills gained by student-employees through training and on-the-job experience. Because these three skills are crucial for any student-employee to succeed in the SAIT work-study program, assessment was carried out on those three categories to highlight the areas of strengths and weaknesses of the training program. Thirteen student-employees were evaluated with rubrics by staff in the demonstration of communication and technical skills at the beginning and the end of the year, while teamwork skills were measured through a quasi-pre-post survey that asked student-employees to reflect on their abilities at the end of the year.
Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the SAIT Student Staff Learning poster here. (pdf)


Campus Inclusion and Community
Michele Enos
Sustained Dialogue (SD), a program that creates an opportunity for students to dialogue across lines of difference, is in its second year at Northwestern. As this program continues to grow on campus, it has become important to assess the mandatory training moderators attend in order to serve as facilitators. This assessment project explores what students learned about themselves, others, and the Northwestern community as a result of participating in the SD moderator training. Furthermore, this project will share the findings from both the November and May training assessments as well as how the findings from the fall were used to change the spring training. Using a post-training evaluation, data was collected through direct, indirect, and open-ended questions that were created based on the training’s eight learning outcomes.
Related learning outcomes: Interpersonal Competence, Social Responsibility

View the CIC-Sustained Dialogue poster here. (pdf)


Off-Campus Life
Anthony Kirchmeier & Ann Merrell
Northwestern’s Off-Campus Life office conducts “Knocks and Talks” in the fall and spring of each academic year. Through this program, Dean of Students staff members, the Evanston Police Department, the Northwestern University Police Department and student staff visit the residences of NU students living in the neighborhoods surrounding the Evanston campus and share information regarding student rights, responsibilities, and resources. The Knocks and Talks initiative has been connected to a decrease in off-campus issues, and has been appreciated by many non-student residents. It was not known, however, how this program helps students learn about being a better member of the NU and Evanston communities, and whether students learn ways of managing their own off-campus affairs. The Knocks and Talks assessment project thus explored what students learned about establishing positive neighbor relations, rights as a tenant, responsibilities of being a tenant, resources provided by the City and Northwestern, and the Illinois Social Host Law. Off-Campus Life distributed a survey to more than 700 students with open-response questions.

Related learning outcomes: Social Responsibility, Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Off-Campus Life “Knocks and Talks” poster here. (pdf)


Center for Student Involvement
Hope Wallace
The Student Organization Symposium (SOS) is a three-hour training held each spring for over 350 incoming student organization presidents and treasurers designed to teach key student organization information and provide student leaders with necessary resources for their summer planning. The symposium featured speed networking, event planning information, and a discussion of student organization general membership. This assessment project sought to determine whether students could apply the information taught to their student organization efforts. Strategies used to measure student learning included asking student leaders to complete a sample timeline and budget for a proposed collaborative event. Additionally, students created an updated general membership section of their constitution. Finally, students completed a pre- and post-assessment to measure whether students could identify key campus resources. Our results will assist us as we strategize the way we do student leadership training in the future.
Related learning outcomes: Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the Student Organization Symposium (SOS) poster here. (pdf)


Residential Academic Initiatives
Brad Zakarin
Working with academic partners to deliver more academic support in residential spaces, the Office of Residential Academic Initiatives is assessing student learning related to collaborative study skills and help-seeking behaviors that are often essential for academic success. In contrast with traditional forms of review sessions that position instructors at blackboards and students in auditorium seats, these programs rely on facilitation by circulating instructors and active participation by students. Surveys of Math students and instructors suggest that we have created an environment in which students are working together and perceiving the benefits of doing so (as opposed to studying in isolation). In response to prompts about the review study table experience, students generally report comfort studying with peers and self-awareness about their mastery of course content (or lack thereof).
Related learning outcomes: Cognitive and Practical Skills

View the RAI-Math Surveys poster here. (pdf)