Welding Program Assessment




Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)


At the completion of the Welding Program , a student will:


  1. Be able to know and have an appreciation for the safety knowledge required in the welding trade.

  2. Demonstrate the ability and theory to effectively solve problems encountered while welding or cutting as per job requirement.

  3. Demonstrate step by step the procedure required to perform at the skill level dictated per job-fab standards.

  4. Be able to understand the variables involved at the performance level stage as a welder.

  5. Foster the importance of proper training and preparation for today’s employment qualification requirements.

  6. Be prepared to pass the required National Certification Exam, essential for employment as a welder.

PSLO Assessment Report Summary


What we wanted to learn about our students:


What Program Student Learning Outcomes does this project assess? 

PSLO #1 – Know and have an appreciation for the safety knowledge required in the welding trade and PSLO #2 – demonstrate the ability and theory to effectively solve problems encountered while welding or cutting as per job requirements.


What is the research question investigated by this project?


Direct measure of student learning in our Weld 10 Basic Arc Welding Theory class. 


Why is this research question of importance to the program? What background information is needed to understand the rationale for this project?


To provide us feedback on whether our students are properly trained and prepared in the field of welding to meet industry needs.


What we did:

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.

By analyzing the final exam grades of all students in both the day and evening classes during the Spring 2011 and Fall 2011 semesters.


Were direct, indirect, or qualitative measures used in the assessment?


Direct measure of final exam scores.  Tests given were Scantron format with multiple choice answers.  Students who were able to accurately answer questions regarding arc welding safety equipment, welding procedure fundamentals, welding power supplies and consumables at a 90%  level or above were placed in a “High Proficiency” category.


Students who scored at a 70% to 89% were placed in “Meets Proficiency” category and are considered to have basic knowledge required to survive in the welding industry.


Students who scored less than 70% on the final exam are considered to be in the “Below Proficiency” level. 

What we learned about our students:


What are the findings or results of this project?

Data is described below:


Spring 2011:                                        Day Class                    Evening Class


# of students in High Proficiency       4 or 19%                         4 or 11%

# of students in Meets Proficiency     9 or 43%                        27 or 77%

# of students in Below Proficiency    8 or 38%                         4 or 11%

                                    Total                21                                 35


Fall 2011:


# of students in High Proficiency        1 or 4%                         4 or 14%

# of students in Meets Proficiency     14 or 58%                     16 or 57%

# of students in Below Proficiency      9 or 38%                       8 or 29%

                                    Total                24                                 28


Combined results are shown below:


# of students in High Proficiency        13 or 12%

# of students in Meets Proficiency     66 or 61%

# of students in Below Proficiency      29 or 27%

                                    Total students    108

What do the results mean? What hypothesis is the most plausible explanation for the results?


Upon initial review, one can surmise that the majority (73%) of the 108 students are meeting the proficiency requirements.  This is good news and it validates that we are doing the right thing (methods) in teaching our students about welding.  However, it also shows that just over one-quarter (27%) of the students are below proficiency.  This group will most likely have to repeat the class as they will have difficulty succeeding and surviving in the welding industry. 


The Spring 2011 data illustrates the same quantity of students meeting the high proficiency level whereas the rest of the numbers show vast differences. One reason for this is the larger evening class of 35 students.  To clarify, the classes are taught by different instructors.


The Fall 2011 data is much more aligned between the day and evening classes in that they show very similar data. 


What we plan to do next to improve student learning:

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?

It is desired to reduce the number of students in the “Below Proficiency” category.  It is planned to change the homework assignments from answering questions from the book content to assignments involving problem solving.  It is believed that these assignments will have the students engaged in more critical thinking and effective communication as well as improved decision-making skills.  Assignments involving ‘welding problems’ similar to what a student would encounter in industry can be developed and given.  These assignments are more comprehensive and challenging and may prove to be more engaging to the students.


In addition, future program changes planned for the Welding Technology curriculum will include a new skills certificate which will encourage students to take Math & English earlier in their college schedule.  The completion of Math and English is expected to make them more likely to succeed in all of their classes.  Joseph Meyer, will be responsible for implementing this action plan.