About MCC

Teaching and Learning Assessments

MCC understands that our students’ goals are diverse: some students want to take a class or two for enjoyment or to improve their job skills while others seek to transfer to a four-year college or earn a certificate or degree. To help students reach their goals, MCC’s instructors and administrators measure student success in ways that lead to improvement in teaching and learning at five levels:   

  • Program: The College measures student success in its three programs: Learning Skills, Occupational, and Liberal Arts/Transfer.
    • Examples of how the college measures student learning in its three programs:
      • Academic Master Plan (Learning Skills and Liberal Arts/Transfer programs)
      • External Evaluations (Occupational program)
        • NCLEX Exams for Nursing
        • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act Grants
    • Examples of how the College uses results from these kinds of measurements to improve teaching and learning:
      • In response to Academic Master Plan goals, the college strengthened the opportunities it provides high achieving students by chartering a chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in 2005 and by consistently expanding the number of courses students may take for honors credit each semester.
      • Even though Respiratory Therapy students have consistently done well on their external credentialing exams (98% and 100% pass rates for its two certifications seven years in a row), when students expressed nervousness in preparing for these exams, instructors changed the way they prepare their classes for these tests. They now use retired exams as well as mock oral exams at the end of each year, and the results have been continued excellence on the exams, improved student confidence, and glowing evaluations from employers who hire graduating respiratory therapists from MCC.
  • General Education: The College measures student success in its general education requirements both for students seeking an A.A.S. in the Occupational Program and for students seeking an A.S.A. in the Liberal Arts/Transfer Program.
    • Examples of how the college measures student learning in general education:
      • The General Education Transfer Survey collects subjective responses from former students who report how much they knew about specific subjects before beginning classes at MCC and how much they know about them now that they’ve completed their coursework.
      • The Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) test, which is given to a random sampling of students enrolled in general education courses, measures both skills and content knowledge in an evaluation of students’ achievement in general education.  
    • Examples of how the College uses results from these kinds of measurements to improve teaching and learning:
      • In response to a faculty survey about their students’ ability to conduct and use research, a committee of instructors and librarians developed the Information Literacy Modules – interactive, web-based instruction designed to guide students through the research process.
      • When instructors were asked in a survey whether they believed their classes taught each of the general abilities defined in the General Education Purpose Statement, they reported that the general ability least likely to be taught across the curriculum was critical reading. In response, a committee of instructors began an initiative to promote critical reading in their classes. 
      • The MAPP test confirms that the College’s “Ready to Succeed” policy, which requires students to meet reading proficiency standards before enrolling in many college-level courses, prepares students to be successful in their classes. The test also confirms that the College’s Academic Probation policy, which requires struggling students to meet with an academic advisor, is well-founded in its intent to help students persist toward achieving their college goals.  
  • Discipline: The College measures student success in disciplines sharing a catalog prefix, for example CIS (Computer Information Systems) or BIOL (Biology).
    • Examples of how the college measures student learning in its disciplines:
      • Self Study Evaluations of Occupational Programs (SSEOPs) (In this title, “Program” refers to what the College calls a “discipline.”)
      • In the Learning Skills and Liberal Arts/Transfer programs, teams of instructors use surveys, pass rates, and thorough evaluations of syllabi and course objectives to write Discipline Reviews, which evaluate the quality of instruction in their discipline. These reviews also include feedback from MCC instructors in other disciplines as well as instructors from other colleges.
    • Examples of how the College uses results from these kinds of measurements to improve teaching and learning:
      • In their discipline review, French instructors found that they would need to make improvements to the technology they use to teach their courses in order to appeal to multiple learning styles and in order to compete with area colleges in language instruction. They received the funding to do so and now enjoy multimedia classrooms.
      • In response to their discipline review, Life Sciences instructors improved hands-on instruction, developmental offerings, and assessment techniques.
      • SSEOPs look at models in the market and industry as well as trends in employment in order to create “Plans of Action” that lead to changes in curriculum requirements, improvements to scheduling patterns, facility improvements, and accreditation from governing bodies. 
  • Course: The College measures student success in courses that share a catalog description and, in most cases, learning objectives but that may be taught by a various instructors with diverse teaching styles. 
    • Examples of how the college measures student learning in its courses:
      • Student learning surveys ask students the degree to which they achieved the course objectives.
      • Instructors of both Manufacturing and Health/Physical Education/Recreation courses use video cameras to record students’ demonstration of technique for evaluation and skill refinement. 
      • The English Department holds annual assessment days for composition courses; here, instructors norm their grading, discuss trends in the strengths and weaknesses of student writing, and share teaching techniques to address these issues.
    • Examples of how the College uses results from these kinds of measurements to improve teaching and learning:
      • Biology instructors share learning activities to help their students achieve shared learning outcomes.
      • Experienced online instructors offer feedback to and share teaching materials with new online instructors who then incorporate these suggestions into their courses.
  • Classroom: The College measures student success in individual classes.
    • Examples of how the college measures student learning in its classrooms:
      • Student learning surveys include questions about the instructor’s style of delivery, teaching materials, desire to help students learn, and so on.
    • Examples of how the College uses results from these kinds of measurements to improve teaching and learning:
      • Instructors often refine a lecture, add a review activity, or simply spend more time on a concept in response to students’ feedback on Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs), which make sure students are learning what they are meant to be learning in each lesson.