PSLO Assessment Report Summary
What we wanted to learn about our students:
1. What Institutional Student Learning Outcomes and/or Program Student Learning Outcomes does this project assess?
PSLO 1: Be qualified for entry level position in the field.
2. What is the research question investigated by this project?
Do LMC Recording Arts graduates find and keep professional work?
3. Why is this research question of importance to the program? What background information is needed to understand the rationale for this project?
This is the essential question for any program of this type.
Background information: The understanding that “work” in this field is primarily entrepreneurial, though some may find employment in corporate organizations.
What we did:
4. How was the research question investigated? What students were studied? (If sampling was used, how was the sample chosen? Did the sample adequately represent all students in the program? Explain.)
Direct: Former students known to the college to be working in the industry were contacted directly via email.
Indirect: Several former students initiated contact with the department to report their work status.
5. Were direct, indirect, or qualitative measures used in the assessment? answered above
Direct measures of student learning through an assessment of student work: Describe the assessment instrument, the process used for scoring student papers, and give a description of proficiency.
Current student work was not evaluated for this study.
Indirect measures of student performance such as success rates, numbers of certificates completed, etc.
“Success rate” was defined in 2 categories:
- Generating income from freelance or contract work
- Maintaining an income source over more than 3 years
Precisely define the measure. Briefly explain how the indirect measures give information about the Student Learning Outcome.
Success in the Recording Field typically requires a multi-year commitment. Only those willing to endure this process are likely to find long term work. The former students who responded to the survey, as well as those who volunteered unsolicited information give a good indication of the overall effectiveness of the program over the long run.
6. Qualitative measures of student or faculty perception gathered through surveys, interviews, etc. Attach a copy of the survey or interview questions. Briefly explain how the qualitative measures give information about the Student Learning Outcome.
The following questions were asked:
- When did you attend the Recording Arts program at LMC?
- Did you complete the program?
- If not, why not?
- What kind of work have you done in the field since that time? (List all sequentially, including duration).
- Did you feel adequately prepared for the entry level work?
- If not, why not?
- Based on your work experience, what suggestions do you have for enhancing an LMC Recording Arts graduate’s opportunities in the field?
What we learned about our students:
7. What are the findings or results of this project?
Summarize the data.
- Tracking former students is a formidable task. Contact data is often out of date and response ratio is quite small.
- Those respondents who are still involved in the field credit both the instruction at LMC and the regard for the program by the industry in general for much of their success.
- About a third of the respondents began work in the field before completion of the program.
8. What do the results mean? What hypothesis is the most plausible explanation for the results?
- While there is no question that instruction in the Recording Arts Program enhanced opportunities in the field, the changing nature of the industry itself over the past 20 years presents a challenge to the old paradigm of preparing workers, however skilled, for a corporate entity. Technology has made this a career for freelancers and entrepreneurs, by and large.
- This field changes so rapidly that opportunities often present themselves even before a program can be fully completed.
What we plan to do next to improve student learning:
9. How will the results of this project be used to improve student learning in the program? What is the plan of action? Who is responsible for implementing the action plan and what is the timeline?
Timelines for the above will be discussed within the Department over the next several semesters.
- The Recording Arts Prorgam must be adjusted to reflect the realities faced by real-world scenarios. While course content, per se, continues to be relevant, some emphasis shift is in order for individual topics. Discussion will be initiated within the Department as to how best to accomplish this.
- There appears to be a demand for “continuation learning”, such that former students now working in the field can be brought up to speed on current protocols and hardware/software. This may involve the “repeating” of some courses whose content has been updated since the student last attended. It is anticipated that a mechanism can be worked out between the college and the Department so that such “repeats” can be authorized.