Skip to main content

2019 Student Learning Assessment Conference

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions

Sixth Annual Student Learning Assessment Conference | June 25, 2019

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions

New Student and Family Programs CORE Team Student Leader Curriculum

Molly Basdeo Mountjoy (with Mayra Garces) | New Student and Family Programs 

The CORE Team in New Student and Family Programs consists of 20 student leaders selected to lead their peers in programming for new students and family members at Northwestern University. Throughout their time in the role, the CORE Team used a variety of opportunities to develop skills to help lead their peers and plan programming. Students self-evaluated their learning and development throughout their time in the role using a series of rubrics. Then they met 1:1 with their respective supervisors to self-reflect and receive feedback on their growth and development. Students and supervisors focused on learning outcomes in the following categories: Facilitation, Organization, Conflict and Tension, Communication, Peer-to-Peer Accountability, and Leadership. The preliminary results of this study will be shared in this session.

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

Assessing Resident Assistant Learning in Leadership Lessons

Dana Spencer | Residential Services

Since 2018, Northwestern’s Resident Assistants have been participating in monthly “Leadership Lessons.” These hour-long programs are designed and facilitated by various members of the Residential Life professional staff team and are intended to bolster the leadership skills that the RAs bring to their residential community. Each month the Leadership Lessons center around a different theme from the Northwestern Leadership Framework. This assessment project sought to assess the learning taking place during the January 2019 leadership lessons, which centered around four competencies under the Framework’s “Executing Change” theme: initiative & follow-through, collaboration, praxis, and sustainability & generativity. Each competency was covered in a separate Lesson, with 1-2 learning outcomes assessed for each Lesson. Outcomes were directly assessed through quiz-style questions and pre/post confidence scores at the end of the Lesson satisfaction survey that all RAs were required to fill out at the end of their session. Preliminary findings suggest that RA confidence in their skills across all four competencies increased by an average of 1 point on a 1-10 scale as a result of the Lesson, and that the RAs answered the learning assessment questions with 83% accuracy following the Lessons.

Related learning outcomes: Cognitive and Practical Skills, Personal Development

Assessing Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training

Kate Harrington-Rosen | Office of Equity

The Office of Equity provides training on its resources, policies, process for students across the university. The goal of the training is to make students aware of their rights and responsibilities under Northwestern’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, and to foster a culture of access, belonging, and accountability for all members of the Northwestern community. By the end of the training, students should be able to demonstrate what classifies as sexual misconduct at Northwestern and endorse knowledge of reporting procedures. For this project, student learning was assessed via a summative online survey. The survey collected both qualitative and quantitative data to assess student learning which will be used to tailor future training efforts to better meet community needs.  This presentation will cover the assessment results and discuss next steps for programming improvement.

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

Assessing Fraternity & Sorority Life's Harm Reduction Education

Keith D. Garcia | Fraternity & Sorority Life

Fraternity & Sorority Life facilitates educational workshops on harm reduction monthly. The focus areas for FSL’s harm reduction efforts include hazing, sexual violence, alcohol and other drugs, mental health, and bias and racism. As part of the development of an assessment cycle this project explored the learning outcomes associated with the overall series of workshops and in particular the workshops on hazing and alcohol and other drugs. Learning outcomes were focused on students' abilities to articulate the issues raised, identify strategies for addressing them, and utilize the strategies they learned to prevent and reduce harm. Pre- and post-workshop surveys were facilitated to compare students' knowledge prior to workshops with what they had learned afterward.

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

Finding Home: Authenticity, Connection, and Strength in the First-Generation and/or Lower-Income Northwestern Community 

Rachel Roseman | Student Enrichment Services

Research in higher education has revealed numerous barriers that impede the retention and the well-being of first-generation and/or lower-income (FGLI) students. In order to address these barriers and assist students in navigating the “hidden curriculum” of the college experience, Student Enrichment Services piloted Compass four years ago. Compass is a year-long mentorship program that connects first-year FGLI students with upper-level FGLI student mentors. Through one-on-one meetings, social events, and workshops, students learn how to successfully navigate the Northwestern experience while developing strong interpersonal relationships. Historically, assessment of Compass has utilized multiple forms of data collection including interviews, field observations, and personal reflections. This year, student learning was assessed via qualitative interviews with program mentors with the intention of uncovering themes that elucidate the most salient aspects of Compass.  Additionally, the interviews assessed if students met Compasses three goals: self-efficacy, a sense of belonging, and FGLI identity development. Preliminary results will be presented.

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

Assessing Harvest Indigenous Discussions

Aaron Golding | Multicultural Student Affairs

Harvest Indigenous Discussions is a monthly dinner and discussion series centering the experience of Native and Indigenous students. Native and non-Native students engage in conversations around topics relevant to Indian Country and the experience of Native and Indigenous students at Northwestern. Through participating in facilitated dialogue sessions, students should be able to craft and offer a land acknowledgement that honors the land and the original stewards, challenge notions of settler colonialism, and relate challenges facing contemporary Native Americans across the country. In centering a Native and Indigenous perspective in conversations, the aim is that Harvest increases a sense of allyship and community between Native and non-Native students. Student learning regarding land acknowledgements, allyship and identity development was assessed through a summative survey. Results of the assessment and improvements to the program will be discussed.

Related Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Competence, Social responsibility, Personal Development

Attendance as a Measure of Student Engagement in Student Affairs

Kelly A. Schaefer, Ph.D. | Student Engagement

Amy Huntington | Student Affairs Assessment & Planning

Brent Turner | Campus Life

In the past several years, enthusiasm has grown for creating intentional programming that supports Northwestern University Student Affairs’ vision–to be full partners in the student learning experience–and mission to educate students, enrich the Northwestern experience, and engage the community. A number of related, yet distinct, initiatives have emerged through several functional areas in the division, such as first-year experience resources, student engagement programming, and academic initiatives in residence halls. These initiatives must be integrated or complement one another, and they are being measured systematically across the division for impact via the Student Engagement Database (SED). Measures of attendance allow for a deeper conversation using student demographics regarding who is engaging, who is not, and how participating in Student Affairs programming shapes key developmental outcomes for students. This presentation outlines the implementation and initial results of SED which measures engagement through student attendance, and aims to map engagement to outcomes related to community, support and learning domains. Preliminary results from the student engagement database and related data sources will shared, and future directions will be discussed.

Assessing Learning in Patient Alcohol Education

Lisa Teel | Health Service

In 2017, the health service launched an initiative to provide patient education on the risks associated with alcohol use and where to find more information and/or assistance, if needed.  To that end, during the appointment check-in process, all patients are asked a question about their alcohol consumption in the last 30 days. Those who answer positively to the following question, “Within the past 30 days, I have consumed four or more (for females) or five or more (for males) alcoholic beverages in one sitting?” are sent a secure message with an informational link to the Alcohol & Other Drug resource page on the health service website.  The objective of this assessment is twofold: 1) to evaluate how many students who received the secure message during the Fall 2018 term clicked on the link to access the resource page; and 2) for those that did, we want to determine whether they now have a better understanding of where to find information and support if they have questions about their alcohol use.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Practical Skills, Personal Development

ResilientNU: Assessing the Impact of Social and Emotional Wellness in Small-Group Programming

Samantha Conway and Glenn Xu | Health Promotion and Wellness

ResilientNU is a student and staff collaboration which hosts small group cohorts for four weeks each quarter with the aim of increasing students’ social and emotional wellness.  Small group cohorts meet with an undergraduate student co-facilitator and a Health Promotion and Wellness (HPaW) staff co-facilitator for structured sessions that include meditation, discussion, journaling, and experiential activities.  The topics each week range from values, emotions, mindfulness and experiences of failure.  The curriculum and structure of the program were also developed by staff and students.  By the end of the program, students should be able to describe the relationship between their values and their day-to-day actions, identify one of their typical responses to stress, identify at least two adaptive ways for coping with hard feelings or stress, and describe a time where they experienced hardships and identify how they responded with resilience.  Additionally, students should be able to indicate an increase in mindfulness-related behaviors and experiences.  Learning was assessed through individual post-interviews, which includes a summative and qualitative recorded interview and a quasi-pre and post-test of the Freiberg Mindfulness Inventory, which assesses mindfulness-related behaviors and experiences through Likert-type questions.  

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

Student Voice in the Student Organization/Group Conduct Process: Student Representative Role

Christine DePilla | Office of Student Conduct

Students are important partners in understanding the culture and issues facing student organizations/groups at the University. In the newly developed Student Representative role, the Office of Student Conduct has included the voices and perspectives of students as key partners in the organization/group conduct process. This presentation will share information about the new student organization/group co-adjudication model where undergraduate and graduate students (student representatives) are trained to serve as hearing officers with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct in non-separation level cases involving alleged violations of university policy by student organizations/groups. This presentation will provide an overview of general hearing officer competencies developed for the student representative role, and the assessment methods used to evaluate the competencies of each individual student representative. The project sought to identify ways to strengthen training to better prepare students for this position, as well as develop ways for the students to stay invested throughout the academic year.

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

 The Experience of First Generation, Low Income and Students of Color who have gone through the MLOA and Reinstatement Process 

Nicole Eggleston Watkins | Student Assistance and Support Services

The Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) process has been a topic of discussion for many years. In Fall 2018, a survey was administered to all students who have gone through the MLOA reinstatement process. This presentation will explore and compare these survey results to determine, what, if any, are the differences in experience of first-generation, low-income (FGLI) and students of color versus majority students who have gone through the medical leave of absence and reinstatement process. The ultimate goal is to use these results to develop targeted learning programs to support the re-entry of this student population. 

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

Educators of the Profession: Student Affairs Practitioners as Non-Tenured Faculty

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, Ph.D. | Division of Student Affairs

Student affairs practitioners are often called upon to teach graduate students in student affairs or higher education preparatory programs.  By doing so, these professionals provide much-needed linkages between theory and practice for students in these courses. These instructors also share both cognitive and practical skills with future professionals in our field.  While research exists on the experience of non-tenure track faculty writ large, there are no empirical studies available that focus on the experience of non-tenure track faculty in these student affairs programs.  This session will provide the results of an expanded research project focused on the insight into the experiences, perceptions and preparation of student affairs practitioners in non-tenured faculty roles, as well as share information about perceptions these non-tenured faculty face by peers in and outside of the profession.


Past Annual Conferences