Comprehensive tests, or selected items in a course examination, provide direct evidence of student learning. For test security or proprietary reasons, the actual test items are not provided in the links below; contact the department/program to learn more about test development, content, and administration.
Locally-developed tests and examination questions
Some departments and programs have developed tests tied specifically to one or more intended learning outcomes in a major or concentration. Others have collaboratively developed one or more questions for assessment purposes and embedded them in an examination being administered in a key course.
Safety quiz – Department of Chemistry
In the spring of 2009, the Department of Chemistry required students in its laboratory program to take a safety quiz of 25 questions on a variety of topics, including equipment, hazards, responsibility, techniques, and St. Olaf-specific procedures. Moodle was used as the vehicle for testing.
Reasoning About P-values and Statistical Significance (RPASS) test – Department of Statistics
The Reasoning About P-values and Statistical Significance (RPASS) test, developed by a St. Olaf Statistics faculty member, was used as a pre- and post-test for students in Stat 272. Seven RPASS items were analyzed to provide a sub-score for drawing inferences related to study design (ILO #4). In addition, a collaboratively-designed question on the final exam was used to evaluate ILO #5 (communicating results effectively). A team of faculty scored this question using a rubric developed for this purpose.
Computer programming skills tests – Department of Physics
The Department of Physics examined student proficiency in computer programming at two points in its curriculum. Students complete a one-question programming take-home quiz in an introductory-level course, and four homework sets and a final exam item in a Level III course.
Tests available from external organizations
Some departments and programs have administered tests developed by national disciplinary or assessment organizations. The administration may involve the use or adaptation of a subset of test items, or may involve the use of an entire testing instrument.
American Chemical Society Exam – Department of Chemistry
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Test – Department of Romance Languages; Department of Russian Language and Area Studies
Area Concentration Achievement Test (ACAT) – Department of Psychology
California Critical Thinking Skills Test – Department of Education; Department of Nursing