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2020 Student Learning Assessment Conference

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions

Seventh Annual Student Learning Assessment Conference | June 23, 2020

Social Justice Education Peer Inclusion Educator (PIE) Program

Qiu Fogarty | Social Justice Education

The Peer Inclusion Educators (PIE) in Social Justice Education at Northwestern University is a program started by students, for students, dedicated to fostering an inclusive learning environment by addressing issues surrounding personal awareness of social identities, power, privilege, oppression, and social justice with peers at Northwestern. Over the past academic year, the PIE program has developed a new structure for facilitator training and engagement involving several sources of feedback.  This year a shadowing assessment was created for students to receive direct feedback on every aspect of the workshops they facilitate. Additionally, data from the audience who attended the workshops has been leveraged in combination with the shadowing assessment, such that students can now receive multi-pronged feedback on how workshops are running and skills are being developed.  The result of this new combination of assessments will explore what impact facilitator's increased engagement may have on their performance, and how new teaching strategies have influenced their experience or development.

Related Learning Outcomes: Social Responsibility, Personal Development

Assessing Event Management Survey Engagement and Responses

Jason Harber | Norris University Center

This project will assess the Event Management Survey and results for Norris University Center. The survey has been in place for several years, but data is looked at annually instead of tracked over a period of several years.  In the Fall of 2019, the survey was updated and sent to users of all Norris venues as opposed to just users of the University Center. For this assessment project, several years of data will be analyzed. Results will be compared with changes in service (rate increases, new staff positions, etc.) over time. This presentation will provide an overview of general survey engagement and responses and discuss next steps for implementing the knowledge gained from the surveys into the current Event Management process.

Related Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

Assessing the Impact of the Area Model on Student Housing Decisions

Dani O’Hara | Residential Services

In the Fall of 2019, a new Area Model Concept was implemented for the live-on undergraduate population. This model consisted of dividing the campus into four unique areas: North, Northeast, Southwest, and South. Residential areas are clusters of Residential Services building in which residents will have access to a set of common amenities, services, and programming. Each area was led by a team of Resident Directors and Faculty-in-Residence to enrich the experience of all residents living in the area. The aim was to “create a sense of affiliation based on awareness of shared spaces and opportunities.” This project assesses whether students are able to identify key components of this new area concept.  Additionally, we’re interested in whether area-level engagement has any impact on future housing decisions. In essence, if students are engaging in the Area Model Concept, we’ll see differential behavior and choices compared to those students who have no engaged with the area model.  Results and their implications for future programming are discussed.

Related URE Pillars: community, care and support, student agency, and academic linkages.

Assessing Learning in an Intentional Student Employment Program  

Linda Luk | Multicultural Student Affairs

The Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) office employs 18 - 20 undergraduate office assistants during the academic year to oversee our operations at the temporary Black House, Multicultural Center and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC.)  Office Assistants work 10 -12 hours per week and participated in bi-monthly team meetings and training.   The purpose of this project is to better understand how office assistants develop cognitive and practical leadership skills, cultivate social responsibility and enhance their personal and interpersonal competence.  As part of their employee duties, office assistants engaged in intentional trainings throughout the academic year and formative assessments were distributed following the trainings. Additionally, office assistants completed a summative survey in the spring quarter to gauge learning of key concepts crucial to MSA’s mission. Student learning results and programming implications are discussed.

Related learning outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills, Interpersonal Competence, Social Responsibility

Connectedness and Help Seeking: The Posse Scholar Program at Northwestern

Briana Newkirk | Campus Inclusion and Community

Abstract: The Posse Foundation is nonprofit college scholarship program that began in 1989, guided by the mission to expand the pool from which top colleges and universities recruit leaders from diverse backgrounds, help partner institutions build more interactive campus environments, and ensure that Posse scholars persist in their studies and ultimately take leadership positions in the workforce.  Northwestern University entered into partnership with Posse Los Angeles in 2013 and has since welcomed 71 students to the Northwestern Campus. Students who participate in the Posse Scholar Program at Northwestern will be able to feel a sense of affinity to the Northwestern Posse Program and posse community (peers and mentors, gain skills in navigating campus resources, and feel empowered to engage in leadership opportunities at Northwestern. 

This research initiative will holistically assess Posse scholar’s current sense of affinity to Northwestern and their Posse Community and help-seeking skills compared to the broad Northwestern undergraduate community to better inform future program initiatives and assessment efforts. 

Related Learning Outcomes: personal development, interpersonal competence, and social responsibility

The Impact of the Roommate Agreement Process on Student Satisfaction, Connection and Room Changes

Vivi Matthews | Student Affairs Information Technology & Amanda Mueller | Residential Services

In the Fall of 2018, a digital version of the Roommate Agreement for non-single rooms and suites was rolled out to students. The goal of this application is to help students identify their preferences, compare them to those of their roommates, and identify and resolve any potential areas of disagreement.  As an evaluation of its efficacy we have tried to determine whether it has yielded the expected results. If the new roommate agreement application is successful, we should see: a high volume of completed agreement forms and fewer subsequent room changes. Additionally, student satisfaction with the agreement process should be higher for those that completed the form. Finally, because this tool enables students to have a candid discussion with their roommates regarding potential areas of friction, perceptions around conflict resolution should be more favorable for students who successfully completed an agreement.  Historical data of individual preferences and agreements along with more recent housing data and survey responses were used in the analysis. Implications for Resident Assistant training will be discussed.

Related learning outcomes: Interpersonal Competence, Cognitive and Practical Skills

Creating New Student Organizations: Challenges Faced & Support Systems in Place

Joe Lattal and Hayley Kretchmer | Student Organizations and Activities

Some students charter a new group when they find their passions or interests are not met by the current student organization offerings at Northwestern. The mission of Student Organizations & Activities (SOA) includes providing students the tools for collaboration, engagement, and mindful exploration. While students expend time and energy proposing a new organization and taking the next steps to be recognized by the university, only 43% of organizations proposed in the 2018-19 academic year and only 36% of organizations founded in the 2017-18 academic year are still active. By conducting conversations with this student population, this assessment project will identify the ingredients for new organization success, the challenges that doom new organizations, and the role SOA can play in supporting these students. 

Related Division Strategic Themes:  Enrich the Northwestern Community

Student Engagement: Outcomes and Perceptions of the Conduct Process by Student Demographics

Heather Cohen | Student Conduct

This assessment leverages three data sets - The Office of Student Conduct's pre and post satisfaction and learning outcome survey; Maxient case management data, limited to conduct cases involving alcohol and other drug policies of concern; and Northwestern registrar data regarding student demographics as well as financial aid gradings.  Combining the complex datasets at the student-level enabled researchers to examine any potential relationships between demographic data, perceptions, and sanction severity.  Our main research questions are as follows: Are there demographic differences, such as socio-economic status, race, or class year, in how policies are perceived or how sanctions are applied? Furthermore, do demographics predict how students perceive the process and student code both prior to and after engagement? Finally, do student demographics or sanction severity predict student perceptions post-engagement with the conduct process? We will explore the findings and some early analysis of what this might mean for process and policy application.

Related Division Strategic Themes and Department Values: Advance Social Justice, Further Student Learning

Patient Support Services: Assessing Student Learning with Developing Competency in Health Literacy

Brian Druley | University Health Service

Health literacy as defined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010, Title V) is the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process and understand basic health information. In 2016, the Health Service launched Patient Support Services as a programmatic approach to educate students on developing competency in health literacy. Through collaboration with the Patient Advocacy Coordinator, students are educated on approaches to successfully navigate barriers to their access and use of health care resources. The Patient Advocacy Coordinator provides a student with basic instruction on interpreting medical bills, reconciling medical claims from Explanation of Benefits forms, and learning to comprehend the complexities of their health insurance plan. Data from the Patient Support Services Survey over the past two academic years demonstrates the success and positive impact achieved by student participants using the program’s resources.  This presentation will provide quantitative and qualitative evidence of students growing their functional knowledge of how the health system works, achieving appropriate outcomes in making informed decisions about personal health care needs, and managing associated expenses. While many segments of Northwestern’s student population have taken advantage of the program, Patient Support Services has become a valuable resource for First Generation – Low Income (FGLI) and other students who require significant financial support to attend Northwestern.  Ultimately, the student learning provided by the Patient Advocacy Coordinator provides the path for each student to acquire the knowledge and negotiation skills to be better self-advocates for their health and wellness needs.

Related Learning Outcomes: Cognitive and Practical Skills, Personal Development


Past Annual Conferences