Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


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In what follows, I lay out the structure and development of assessment design for one of the major methods courses in Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. First, I describe the course including the goals of the course, the student learning outcomes for the course, a description of the course’s place in the context of the department and the university, demographics in the course, and other relevant details necessary to understand the pedagogical goals of research methods in communication studies. Second, I lay out the teaching methods, course materials, and outside activities used throughout the course and connect those to the learning outcomes for the course. In this section, I include a rationale for the teaching methods and assessment choices for the course. Next, I analyze the student learning outcomes based upon the assessment criterion laid out in the first two sections, and draw some conclusions about the effectiveness of the assessment methods from grades and other student data. Finally, I offer reflections and future plans for the course, including changes to the frequency and intensity of some assessment methods. In sum, this portfolio observes that even though some assessment tools are deemed more difficult or time consuming than others, there is correlation between the difficulty of the assessment method and its effectiveness in producing desirable pedagogical outcomes in regards to the specific learning outcomes in the course.