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Recreation Studies Assessment
ASSESSING STUDENT SUCCESS
Each semester, the Recreation Studies faculty members determine student success by assessing accreditation based learning outcomes. There are three primary learning outcomes. The following represent three data points that illustrate the degree to which students are succeeding in achieving these learning outcomes.
LEARNING OUTCOME 1 (STANDARD 7.01)
Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate the following entry-level knowledge: a) the nature and scope of the relevant park, recreation, tourism or related professions and their associated industries; b) techniques and processes used by professionals and workers in these industries; and c) the foundation of the profession in history, science and philosophy.
Results: Program faculty members have included multiple specific learning outcomes into various classes within the curriculum that are consistent with Learning Outcome 1. As part of students’ enrollment in ‘REC 4450: Research and Evaluation’, they carry out a research and evaluation project in which they partner with a local organization to assess specific programmatic objectives. In working toward this aim, students are able to develop a better understanding of the practices employed by professionals in the field and explore the philosophical underpinnings that drive certain leisure service organizations. The project offers students the opportunity to gain firsthand experience with each facet involved in evaluating leisure services. As a culmination to their efforts, students prepare a technical report that highlights all phases of the project (i.e., research, methods, data analysis, and conclusions). The project and the completed technical report enables students to put into practice the techniques and process commonly utilized by practitioners in the industry. The following outcome measure reflects the average grade earned by students for their completed technical report. The average grade on this assignment in Fall Semester 2014 was 82.9%.
LEARNING OUTCOME 2 (STANDARD 7.02)
Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate the ability to design, implement, and evaluate services that facilitate targeted human experiences and that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity.
Results: Program faculty members have incorporated multiple specific learning outcomes into their courses that are consistent with Learning Outcome 2. As part of students’ enrollment in ‘REC 2750: Inclusive Recreation’, students develop and design a two hour inclusive recreation event aimed at helping students become more familiar in working with diverse and special populations. The culmination of these efforts involves students preparing and submitting an inclusive recreation program plan. Program plans are comprehensive in nature, and require students to develop a mission and vision statement, program goals and objectives, detailed program descriptions, program timelines, supply and equipment lists, volunteer materials, and other related resources. The assignment is a semester long project for which students submit their program plan for written evaluation. Recreation Studies students earned an average score of 87.3% on this assignment during Fall semester 2014.
LEARNING OUTCOME 3 (STANDARD 7.03)
Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate entry-level knowledge about operations and strategic management/administration in parks, recreation, tourism and/or related professions.
Results: The program faculty members have incorporated multiple specific learning outcomes into various courses within the curriculum that are consistent with Learning Outcome 3. As part of students’ enrollment in ‘REC 3050: Planning and Operating Recreation Areas and Facilities’, students complete a learning activity entitled Energy Crunch. The learning activity requires students to carry out a basic energy audit. Reviews of this type have become an important evaluative tool for organizations that are looking to reduce their energy consumption and achieve a certain level of cost-savings. Students’ completed energy audits reflect a level of knowledge in areas related to the strategic management and operations of recreation areas and facilities. Recreation Studies students earned an average score of 78% on this assignment during Fall semester 2014.