Data Collection Process

The General Education program at Ferris State University is both large and complex. Hundreds of different courses taught by hundreds of different faculty members make up the curriculum. A standardized, and largely automated, system has been created in order to obtain valid, reliable, and meaningful data to support program assessment by the faculty. This process involves the following six, simple steps:

Step 1) Identify the appropriate Ferris Learning Outcome (FLO) for the semester.
The FLO to be measured in each academic semester has already been determined for the next ten years. You can find the FLO for any semester of interest by referring to our FLO measurement schedule.

Step 2) Pick an assignment to measure.
Each instructor will select an existing assignment in their course that best aligns with the FLO being examined that semester. They then determine what type of measure will be used to evaluate the selected assignment. A listing of the fourteen standardized measures for General Education is available online.

Step 3) Define the instructional approach.
Each instructor will next determine what type of pedagogical practice will be used to prepare the students for the selected assignment. A listing of the eleven defined pedagogies for General Education is also available online.

Step 4) Register your General Education course online.
Each reporting instructor will register their measurement plan using an online form. This form will provide the General Education facilitators with the information needed to generate TracDat assignments near the end of the academic semester. The registration log will also be used to provide evidence of participation for courses applying for re-certification.

Step 5) Complete a data workbook.
The reporting instructors will then download and complete an appropriate data reporting workbook. This workbook will provide both a record of individual student performances and a standardized summary of the class’ performance on the selected assignment.

Step 6) Complete the TracDat assignment.
Near the end of the semester, each reporting instructor will receive a TracDat assignment via email. These assignments contain a link to a TracDat results form that can then be completed. This process is more completely explained in the General Education outcome documentation training