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2018 Student Learning Assessment Conference

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions

Fifth Annual Student Learning Assessment Conference | June 26, 2018

Assessing NU Nights' Event Planning Process

Jake Fields | Student Organizations & Activities

NU Nights is a student organization tasked with planning late night, weekend, alcohol free programming for the Northwestern campus community each week. To help NU Nights members learn critical skills for creating programming on such a frequent basis, SOA facilitated a tailored training on event planning for group members during winter quarter. The session covered strategies for implementing successful events that are informed by the mission of their organization, including schedules for procuring contracts and planning the details for each event as well as tips for advertising and promoting their various events. The assessment plan included two qualitative surveys that participants completed at the beginning and end of spring quarter in which they reflected on the steps they took to plan an event both before and after attending the training, as well as observations of the group's event planning process. This presentation will provide an overview of the assessment results and discuss how to support student organizations with their programming efforts.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills, Social Responsibility

Assessing Learning and Leadership Development in New Fraternity and Sorority Members

Travis Martin, Mimi Mudd, and Marcus Cole | Fraternity and Sorority Life

The Greek Emerging Leaders (GEL) program is a six week course taught by Fraternity and Sorority Life Graduate Assistants and Staff which meets once a week for an hour. All GEL participants are within their first year of chapter membership and represent various chapters across the four Greek-letter councils on campus. The goal of these six classes is to help new members make connections across chapters and councils, develop their leadership skills, and to work towards enacting positive change in our community. Student learning was assessed through weekly journals, a survey sent before and after participation and the use of a rubric.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, and Social Responsibility.

Developing Leadership Philosophy for Student Leaders within Residential Life

Andre Hebert and Eric Swinehart | Residential Life

In 2018, Residential Life held their inaugural leadership summit. This institute offered opportunities and trainings for all student leaders within Residential Services team. These roles range from resident assistants, office assistants, graduate housing assistants, and programing board executive members. This assessment project focuses specifically on the following learning outcomes: identifying contributions to the mission of residential services, the 10 domains of the community development model, differentiating between the 5 departments within residential services, and constructing their personal leadership philosophy. Participants of this program will go through a 5 week Resident Assistant Spring Class which will culminate at an 8 hour leadership summit that will have sessions related to the components of the Northwestern Leadership Framework. Learning was assessed using a minute paper on leadership philosophy and a pre/post survey around the tenants of the leadership summit.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Social Responsibility, Interpersonal Competence,
and Cognitive and Practical Skills

Assessing the effectiveness of the Alcohol and Other Drug True Northwestern Dialogue Series for First-Year Students

Patti Hilkert | New Student and Family Programs

All new students are required to complete a series of True Northwestern Dialogues (TNDs) during Northwestern’s new student orientation program, Wildcat Welcome. The TND series tackles topics important to the new student experience such as consent and healthy relationships, mental health and wellness, diversity and inclusion and alcohol and other drugs (AODs). Over the years, NSFP has worked closely with Health Promotion and Wellness (HPaW) to create informative and engaging programming surrounding alcohol and other drug (AOD) programming. During Wildcat Welcome 2018, a new video was featured which showcased NU students’ experiences with AODs on campus combined with helpful information presented by HPaW. Following the large group presentation, students broke into small groups to participate in a facilitated conversation about AOD culture on campus with their Peer Adviser (PA). To continue the conversation that was started in the fall, PA groups were required to meet for a second AOD TND during the first half of spring quarter. Now that the students have experience with campus culture, it is important to revisit the conversation, especially before Dillo Day. This TND took the form of a small group conversation which was facilitated by the PA. Once students completed both the fall and spring AODs TND, the hope was that first-year students would be able to identify three key components of the Amnesty through Responsible Action policy, identify key protective behaviors to reducing harm associated with drinking, and identify two student resources offered through HPaW. Now that students have context for AOD culture on campus, they should also be able to evaluate their
interactions with alcohol and other drugs since joining the NU community and its impact on their student experience. Finally, they should be able to identify ways to engage socially on campus without alcohol and other drugs.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, and Cognitive & Practical Skills

PEER Services Program for Second AOD Policy Violations: Assessing a new off-site alcohol and other drug educational intervention for students

Sam Giovannetti | Health Promotion and Wellness
Since winter quarter of 2018, Northwestern University has collaborated with PEER Services, a community-based substance abuse prevention and treatment organization, to provide an appropriate, evidence-based educational opportunity for students who have a second alcohol or other drug violation. Students who take part in this program attend three individual sessions over a three-week period with a health educator at PEER Services. Health educators utilize Motivational Interviewing principles and a variety of educational activities, with the goal of enhancing the student’s ability to identify their level of risk related to their substance use and strategies to lower their risk. By the end of the program, students should also place increased importance on and have increased confidence in their ability to make a change in their substance use and be able to identify other resources, beyond PEER Services, for seeking help regarding their substance use. After the third session, learning is assessed through a summative post-survey, which includes open-ended, structured, and rating questions. Preliminary results will be presented from the first quarter of assessments.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence, and Cognitive & Practical Skills

Justice & Allyship Retreat

Noor Ali & Tiffany Song | Social Justice Education

The Justice & Allyship Retreat (JAR) is an immersive three-day experience for undergraduates to learn
about allyship and learn ally behaviors. This year, JAR took place in Oregon, IL, and was brought to
fruition by a cross-departmental planning committee from Social Justice Education, Leadership
Development & Community Engagement, and Residential Services. This assessment measured
participants’ abilities to meet four learning outcomes: articulate a definition of allyship; identify
troubling elements of their conceptualization of allyship related to socialization, personal bias, and
prejudice; recognize areas of agency within their social identities and develop strategies to use agency
as an ally; and propose three ways to enact allyship on campus. Our student learning assessment utilized
a mixed methods approach, drawing on survey data collected at the end of the retreat.

Related Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Competence, Social Responsibility, Cognitive & Practical Skills

Work the Room: Networking for Beginners

Christina A. Smith | Student Enrichment Services
Work the Room is a programming series designed to assist in developing tools for first-generation college students and/or low-income (FGLI) students to craft their career narrative. The purpose of this program was to provide students an opportunity to create and share elevator pitches, refine or develop resumes, learn tips for completing the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) application, and network with FGLI-identified Northwestern alumni. Through attending these events, students were able to describe the connection between their individual strengths, skills, or experiences and those considered important for success in their industry; develop confidence in professional networking within their field/industry; and cite 3-5 examples of how to present one’s self in a professional networking setting. Participants attended presentations about developing an elevator pitch or had a 1:1 consultation with a Northwestern Career Advancement staff member about any aspect of their career narrative. Through a comprehensive survey, we learned how the students have utilized the tools gained from the Work the Room series.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills, Personal Development

SAIT Student Software Developer

Scott Spyrison |  Student Affairs Information Technology

The Student Software Developer program provides a small number of students with an experiential
learning opportunity related to software design and development.  This is a specialized companion
program to our existing student employment opportunities within Student Affairs Information
Technology (SAIT).  The Student Software Developer program is currently in its first year, and will ideally
employ the same student(s) over multiple years.
At the beginning of the program, students focus on comprehension and practice related to core
software development skills.  The primary teaching mechanism is guided self-study through an SAIT wiki
using practice materials. Progress is assessed via team and one-on-one check-ins for clarification and
course correction as needed.  In the final phase, students are expected to demonstrate these core skills
by implementing a "capstone project" of their own design, incorporating all the concepts they have
learned.  We assess progress in this phase through check-ins and code review.   Once accomplished in
the core skills represented on the rubric, student(s) are integrated into existing Student Affairs projects.
The overall goal of the program is to provide students with necessary and transferable skills related to
software development.  As a result of participating in this program, students will use these skills to
evaluate, analyze and create solutions for real-world problems that affect institutions with ever-evolving
technology needs.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills, Interpersonal Competence

Student Employment: Learning Across the Division

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier | Student Affairs Division Resources

Many divisional staff have studied student employment as an experience over the past five years via a number of student learning working group projects. This project aims to look at the student employment experience collectively utilizing both existing data, and results from a newly created assessment strategy. While not a “learning project” in the manner in which our Student Learning Working Groups projects have traditionally been conducted, this project was designed to develop a Division-wide framework for depicting the full student learning experience associated with student employment. Specifically, the project sought to identify how the division can best prepare our student employees for both their current role and their long-term career goals, and address potential training opportunities as they relate to student employment for the division.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills, Interpersonal Competence

Knowing is Everything: The Chlamydia Project

Bridget A Hannum | Health Services

Chlamydia is known as a “silent” infection and is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection especially in young women ages 14-24. Chlamydia can have severe health repercussions if not diagnosed and treated. The purpose of this assessment project was twofold. First, to educate students regarding the basics of Chlamydia infection (for example: symptoms, routes of transmission, and methods of testing) and secondly to increase awareness for the need for routine Chlamydia screening. The assessment consisted of a pretest with 10 true/false items followed by a posttest with five multiple choice items. The pretest served as both opportunity to gather baseline information on students’ knowledge as well as a learning opportunity. After each true/false question, students were provided with more detailed information on why their answer was correct or incorrect as well as website links to learn more about the topic. The posttest questions were more difficult and required a deeper understanding of the information. Female students who came into Health Service for a women’s health appointment were invited to participate in the anonymous and voluntary survey, which was administered via iPad while waiting for their appointment. Results will outline baseline knowledge students already had, overall student increases in health-related knowledge after the intervention and future directions of health-based learning outcomes.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive & Practical Skills

Patient Support Services

Adebola Adeniyi | Health Service

Within Health Service, Patient Support Services assists students at Northwestern with navigating and accessing healthcare services. Through one on one meetings, phone calls or email interaction, students learn how to apply for financial assistance, locate providers that are within their private insurance plan, and set up expedited appointments to see specialist or to get outpatient testing done. At the end of the interaction, students should have a clearer understanding of how to resolve their health or insurance-related issue should they encounter a similar issue in the future. Student learning was assessed through a summative survey to assess the level of knowledge after interacting with patient support services.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills

Norris Mini Courses: Increasing Personal Development Though Engagement in Leisure Activities

Nancy Cambron Perez | Norris University Center

This project will assess The Norris Mini Course program. Established in 1973, the program continues to offer over 30 recreational courses. Courses offer intense individual attention while operating in a relaxed, informal environment. For this assessment project we will be assessing multiple courses with different art and craft elements, however all the Mini Courses will follow one basic overall teaching syllabus for six weeks. I will be using a one minute paper and a 20 question survey to assess knowledge, expectations, recall, and understanding. Students who participate in the Arts and Crafts Norris Mini Courses will be able to participate in interests that contribute meaningfully to their quality of life, will be able to describe their skill development based on the Mini Course they have chosen and will be able to cultivate relationships with individuals outside of the Northwestern community within their classrooms.

Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive & Practical Skills

From Surviving to Thriving: Assessing the Impact of a Trauma Support Group

Carrie Wachter | CARE and Kanika Wadhwa | CAPS

From Surviving to Thriving is a 9 week support group for student survivors of sexual violence. Through 90-minute meetings each week, the group offers a space for learning and restoring social connections, while creating a structure to safely put words to their experiences. During sessions, facilitators lead discussions on various topics that help group members focus on integrating past and present, grieve losses and build tools to increase self and body awareness. Group members participate in journaling and reflection with prompts, facilitated group discussion and opportunities to see others model skills and behaviors. Through participation in from Surviving to Thriving, students should be able to identify strategies to form and sustain healthy boundaries within relationships, be able to distinguish between trauma and stress reactions, apply emotional regulation or healthy coping skills during periods of activation or crisis, and to appropriately label their emotions. Through a mid-quarter survey, end-of-quarter survey, and observations scored with rubrics, we collected qualitative and quantitative data to gauge students’ learning.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Competence and Cognitive &
Practical Skills

Past Annual Conferences