Student Achievement Assessment Committee
At the completion of baccalaureate degree studies in the Dietetics Program, students will have mastered the following F&N program learning outcomes:
1. Acquire knowledge of biological and chemical concepts and apply these concepts to food and nutrition science.
2. Develop critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills needed to investigate food and nutrition science problems.
3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively within groups.
4. Demonstrate competent use of a variety of laboratory techniques and instruments to investigate food and nutrition science problems.
5. Plan and evaluate various menus and diets for individuals and groups that emphasize optimal nutrition for promotion of health.
6. Acquire food safety knowledge and apply principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to prevent food borne illness.
7. Apply knowledge and skills necessary for quantity food production and management of a food service establishment.
8. Acquire knowledge required to pursue post-graduate dietetics internship.
1. Learning Outcomes assessed this year:
a. Develop critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills needed to investigate food and nutrition science problems.
b. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively within groups
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
a. Innovative assessment of the development of critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills needed to investigate food and nutrition science problems includes the use of an inquiry-based pedagogy in F&N 210, fundamentals of Food Science. In small groups, students discover solutions to food science problems similar to those experienced in the food industry. The students develop hypotheses and methods for testing their hypotheses in actual food laboratory experiments. Each small group makes presentations to the entire class. The students document their problem-solving process in a lab book style portfolio, which includes formative and summative assessments of self and team efforts. More traditional methods of assessment include exams, team projects, computer assignments, homework problems, laboratory reports, research proposals, abstracts of scientific articles, clinical assignments, and the alumni survey.
b. Assessment methods for demonstration of effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively within groups include term papers, team projects, laboratory reports, abstracts of scientific articles, oral presentations, and alumni surveys. An example of a project that incorporates several aspects of this outcome is in F&N 431, Experimental Foods. Teams conduct a food product development research project thus necessitating the ability to work effectively with groups. In addition to a written research report, the groups utilize their communication skills to present their results to the class with ti-fold poster presentations.
3. Inferences from Assessments:
a. Eighty-seven percent of dietetics alumni responded that the Food and Nutrition courses were very helpful/very helpful in increasing their critical thinking skills. One alumnus particularly mentioned that the research proposal assignment in F&N 440, Research Methods was worthwhile. Another suggested increasing readings of scientific literature.
Directors of dietetic internships programs were surveyed to indicate obtainment of critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills by F&N students completing internships in their programs post-graduation. Evaluation by the program directors was very positive. All of the evaluators indicated that students had “at least average knowledge and ability to apply concepts,” while 87% of the responses were in the “above average knowledge and ability to apply concepts” to the “excellent, was extremely knowledgeable and able to apply these concepts” range. More data is needed, however, to be statistically meaningful. This survey will be repeated annually. One director noted that the graduate had a good foundation for interpretation of research.
b. Results of alumni surveys indicated that 68% of alumni surveyed responded that the Dietetics Program was “very helpful/helpful” is increasing communication skills, and 84% indicated that the program was “very helpful/helpful” in preparing students to give effective professional presentations. Frequent public speaking opportunities was indicated as a program strength by one of the respondents to the alumni survey. Another agreed that the “constant presentations” were a program strength and indicated that “ a graduate teaching assistant,] she taught undergraduate seniors that had never done a professional presentation. It definitely needs to be required. I remember always giving presentations and receiving feedback. Each one has helped for improvement of the next.” An alumnus also suggested increasing assignments for review papers that require synthesis of many scientific articles.
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
F&N faculty member, Dawn Hentges and the Dietetic Internship/Didactic Program in Dietetics (DI/DPD) program director, Chris Haar recently received a $3920 grant from the Assessment Grant Subcommittee of the Student Achievement Assessment Committee at BGSU to develop rubrics to assess the learning outcomes associated with the program’s integrated learning experiences and for preserving those experiences in digital format. Several rubrics have been developed and will be pilot tested next year.
Starting AY 2004-05, two integrated learning experiences of the dietetics seniors will be evaluated by a team of food and professionals external to BGSU (e.g. dietetic internship preceptors and/or advisory con-miittee members). Use of the external review team will be valuable 1) to the students by providing interaction with professionals working in various areas of food and nutrition and 2) to the faculty by providing feedback on the scope and depth of these learning activities and suggestions for curriculum development. Training in the use of the rubrics will be provided to the reviewers. A digital video camera has been purchased. Recording the students’ presentations digitally will permit the external reviewers to evaluate these activities if they are unable to come to campus during class time. The outcome measure, 80% of students receive satisfactory ratings on two integrated learning experiences, will be established.
Students will be encouraged to use new communication technologies in oral presentations and written assignments. Students are somewhat indiscriminate in their use of the Internet when finding relevant information. To help address this issue, students will attend a library-sponsored workshop on the use of research databases in completing literature searches for food and nutrition topics.