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California State University, Fresno


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Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE)

Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE)
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Grant Projects

Each year, beginning in Fall 2005, the Provost issues an RFP for projects that implement direct measures of student learning with the grants to be administered by OIE.

These assessments are posted online to facilitate sharing of assessment resources and expertise among faculty. For more information on any of these projects, contact the appropriate faculty member or administrator for that program.

View the Grant Process

Grant Process

Each year, beginning in Fall 2005, the Provost issues an RFP for projects that implement direct measures of student learning with the grants to be administered by OIE. In the first cycle, 15 proposals were received and 11 were funded. The projects all began in Spring 2006 and ended at the close of Fall semester 2006. The next round of proposals was due in January 2007 for implementation beginning Summer 2007 and ending at the close of the academic year (Spring 08). During this round, nine proposals were received and four were funded.

For 2008-09, nine proposals were received. Two were funded. Although this was a markedly well-presented group of proposals overall, those that were not funded were primarily due to a few reasons: 1) the RFP calls for implementing projects that use "direct" measures but "indirect" measures were proposed; 2) rather than a specific project, the request was to stipend faculty for implementing the ongoing activities of their assessment plan; 3) proposal was to develop or refine a SOAP; 4) not enough specificity about how the project would be implemented and sustained. Because we want to support faculty through funding these grants, "Tips for Getting the Grant" and good examples of proposals that were funded are posted below. 

Tips for Getting the Grant (Word format)

pdf formatExemplars :
Proposal from Steve Blumenshine in Biology
Proposal from Mary Barakzai in Nursing

Academic Year 2010-11

Funded projects include:

Assessing Student Terminal Outcomes of Construction Management Students in Senior Project Courses Utilizing Direct Assessment Methods by Industry Sponsors and Faculty
Bradley Hyatt & Manoochehr Zoghi, Construction Management

The project, which will incorporate industry professionals into the assessment process, will create an online rubric to grade “deliverables” of student projects.  An electronic data collection system will be used by both faculty and industry sponsors participating in the Senior Project courses to assess students’ work.  Findings of the project will then be included in future capstone courses to “close” the loop.  The methodologies and implementation of this project will be shared with other programs who intend to incorporate industry feedback in their assessment plans.

Determination of Level of Preparedness of Juniors to Take Upper Division Courses in the Plant Science Major
Andrew Lawson, Plant Science

This project will develop and implement an online test to measure prerequisite knowledge and preparedness of Plant Science students in their junior year to take upper division courses.  The results may be used to make curricular changes in the prerequisite course required, or to identify particular areas of knowledge where students are unprepared. These areas may then be incorporated into a particular Plant Science course. Plant Science may also work with the Department of Biology to strengthen particular content areas within their current required course.

Assessment of Effectiveness of Information Literacy Tutorials
Monica Fusich & Vang Vang, Henry Madden Library

This project will assess two of the four Madden Library’s more task-oriented online tutorials: Searching, Finding & Evaluating Books, and Searching, Finding & Evaluating Articles.  In the pilot study, 25 students will give feedback on the effectiveness of the tutorials, the perception of the utility of the tutorials, and if they are attaining the learning outcomes outlined in them. Findings will then be used to adjust the tutorials, write a pretest, and create a new task-oriented quiz which will be mapped to the learning objectives to determine if the students were able to accomplish them.

Academic Year 2009-10

Funded projects include:

Assessment of the Effect of Undergraduate Research Experience on Student Success
Madhusudan Katti, Biology

Approximately 15-20% of Biology majors gain undergraduate research experience through activity and lab based courses, faculty-supervised independent study projects and as volunteer and paid research assistants in faculty labs. To test the hypothesis that research experience enhances learning, the performance of Biology majors who participate in formal research and those who don't will be compared on the learning outcomes of understanding basic research methodology, critical thinking, and intellectual independence. Findings will be used to help plan, develop and propose a Biology Honors Program and modify the curriculum to provide equivalent experiences in critical thinking and analytical skill development to students who do not participate in research.
Final Report PDF

Assessing the ECE Clinic
Nagy Bengiamin, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Through a new ECE Clinic, student cohorts will enroll for a 3-semester sequence of one-unit courses in which they participate in faculty members' research at progressive levels of difficulty. Drawing on the interactive learning environment and cohort nature of the clinic, students' progress on multiple learning outcomes will be assessed. These include the ability to: apply science and math knowledge; utilize engineering tools; work in teams; communicate orally and in writing; work independently; think critically; and demonstrate leadership skills.
(Proposal Withdrawn)

Utilizing a Standardized Test to Gauge the Effect of Curricular Change
Paul Price, Psychology

Psychology will administer the ETS Major Field Test to undergraduates to follow-up on the test's previous administration in 2000. Based on those results, two new faculty members were hired to teach in an area that was shown as a weakness. The 2009 test administration will determine if that intervention was successful, compare Fresno State Psychology students' learning nationally, and reveal any other strengths or weaknesses in learning.

Assessing Preparation for Licensure
Helda Pinzon-Perez & Mohammed Rahman, Public Health

Utilizing sample questions developed for the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam, Public Health will administer a pre- and post-test to measure the extent to which the program prepares students to pass that licensure exam.
Final Report PDF

Academic Year 2008-09

Funded projects include:

Assessment of Effectiveness of a Cross-Departmental Prerequisite and Its Role in Curricular Revision.
Steve Blumenshine, Biology

This project is in response to biology faculty observations of students struggling to apply statistical skills learned in inter-departmental courses (Math 70, 75 and 101 and Psych 42) to biology and a recent Program Review recommendation that development of a statistical methods course specific to the biological sciences be considered. A pretest/posttest design will be used in Biosc 130 (General Ecology), a core course required of all biology students that has Math 101 or Psych 42 as a prerequisite, to assess biology-relevant knowledge and skills at the beginning and end of the semester. Results will identify and help guide biology faculty in addressing any quantitative analysis skill deficiencies.
Final Report PDF

Comparing Industrial Technology Curriculum and Seniors' Learning to National Standards
Darnell Austin, Industrial Technology

The national Certified Industrial Technologists (CIT) exam will be administered to seniors in IT 196 (required senior seminar) in order to compare how well CSU, Fresno students are prepared relative to seniors nationally. As an added incentive to student participation, those who pass can continue on to receive CIT certification. Classes will be treated like focus groups in an effort to learn which topics students were comfortable and uncomfortable with. This assessment effort is intended to validate the overall focus of the department and identify specific areas of the curriculum that are working or that need improvement. Tracking the program's current curriculum and revised SOAP in relation to similar programs in the nation was identified as a weak area in the department's Program Review self-study. This project addresses that concern.
Final Report PDF

Academic Year 2007-08

Funded projects include:

Assessment of Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Nursing
Cricket Barakzai and Dorothy Fraser, Nursing

This project will use computer-based clinical case studies to enhance critical thinking skills. The case studies are intended to motivate students to construct knowledge by searching for, critically analyzing, and applying information to solve authentic problems. Instruments used will be the Assessment Technologies Institute Critical Thinking Examination and two web-based critical thinking problem-solving case studies developed by DxR Nursing.

Final Report PDF

Administering the iSkills (formerly known as the ICT) to Determine Information Competency
Ross LaBaugh, Library

The iSkills will be administered to 125 freshmen and 125 juniors and seniors. The test will be used to design changes in the Library’s Information Competency program. Additionally, it will provide a university-level measure of information competency for external accountability purposes. (Project was postponed.)

Preparing Students to Meet Industry Design Standards
Jan Edwards and Candace Egan, Mass Communications and Journalism

MC&J is developing an event through which their undergraduate students will learn about industry standards for employment, showcase their work, and have it judged by mass media professionals using a rubric that employs industry performance standards. The department will use the collective results to improve the curriculum.  

Final Report PDF

First-Year Writing Portfolio Assessment
Ginny Crisco, English

In Fall 2006, composition faculty implemented a new first-year writing program. The program shifted from a single course offering (English 1) with a lab component (English 1LA, 1LB or 1LC) for students scoring below 151 on the EPT to a program that gives students more course offerings. Additionally, a new placement mechanism, Directed Self Placement (DSP), asks students to make decisions about their own ability by effectively placing themselves into the appropriate class or set of classes (English 10 or English 5A/5B). This assessment project will examine exit portfolios of 5B and 10 students to analyze their performance of academic rhetorical, stylistic, and genre conventions after their placement decision and compare portfolios from the two courses
Final Report


Spring 2005 - Fall 2006

Funded projects include:

Earth & Environmental Sciences (Zhi Wang and Robert Dundas)
This assessment project involves a practical examination of students prior to entry into Geol 107.  Final Report PDF

Craig School of Business (Robert Harper)
The CSB project involves “taking a second-look” at student writings in capstone courses.  Final Report PDF

Craig School of Business (Robert Harper)
This project draws off of the results of the CAAP Reading Test administered in Spring 2005. It is intended to assess the reading abilities of CSB students in order to incorporate the development of reading skills into the curriculum. 
Final Report

Physics (Douglas Singleton)
This project involves administering the ETS Major Field Exam.

Final Report PDF

Art & Design (Martin R. Valencia, Doug Hansen, and Charles Shields)
This project reviews students’ portfolios at two points in time in order to assess development as they progress through the program.  Final Report PDF

Child & Family Consumer Studies (Marianne Jones)
This project involves the use of scoring rubrics and electronic portfolios to assess students' ability to compare and contrast  theoretical perspectives of child development.
Final Report

Plant Science (Jim Farrar)
This project follows-up on the results of the CAAP Reading Test administered in Spring 2005. Tests will be administered to students in two upper division Plant Science classes and results will be analyzed on their own and in relation to results from the Spring test with the goal of using results to help faculty design classroom activities that reinforce reading and math skills. 

Final Report PDF

Nursing (Mary Barakzai)
This project analyzes test results over time and compares them to licensure pass rates and with the intent of relating the results to changes that have occurred in the curriculum. 
Final Report

Rehabilitation Counseling (Charles Arokisamy) and

MS in Counseling (Christopher Lucey) 
This project involves developing a comprehensive examination and correlating local exam scores with the Certification Exam for Rehabilitation Counselors.  Final Report PDF