University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Assurance of Learning

Student learning and curricular excellence is central to the success of the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Assurance of Learning (AoL) for each degree program is defined and conducted by the faculty with the aim of continuously improving the curriculum and quality of our programs.

Assessment Overview

The overall process of assuring learning at the Walton College has been designed to be consistent across all programs to aid in clarity of expectations, information, and procedures at all stakeholder levels. The spirit and intent of our assessment process – curricular improvement – is maintained through a climate of open dialog and voluntary faculty involvement. The primary principle is an understanding that the process is intended to assess student learning outcomes at the program curriculum level, not the course, major, department, or individual faculty levels. The curricular effect on student learning outcomes, throughout a program, is the unit of assessment. Additionally, while measurement of outcomes is a component of the process, the ultimate objective is curricular improvement and verification of improvement effect (a.k.a., "closing the loop") based on evidence.

Walton degree program AoL activities directly support AACSB accreditations, however additional learning assurances are necessary to support the University of Arkansas' North Central Association - Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC) accreditation. While data and reporting for degree program AoL is also repurposed for the university reports, NCA-HLC HLC requires learning assurance in certificate programs. Likewise, the Walton provides assurance reporting for the portion of the university core social science curriculum in Economics. As an aid in ensuring a consistent assessment timelines and expectations of reporting frequency, we have established a standard that all assessment planning, execution, and reporting is conducted using the Walton's AACSB Continuous Improvement Cycles.



Process Overview

Click to view enlarged flow diagram
View Figure 1. Overview

The AoL process is comprised of three cycles, as illustrated in the Figure 1. During the first cycle, faculty develop, or refine from previous cycles, the desired program-level goals and measureable learning objectives.

The curriculum is also mapped during the first cycle in order to identify where the measures can logically be drawn. Rather than developing, measuring, and or improving all learning outcomes simultaneously, each goal can be run through the process separately from other goals to allow balancing of effort throughout the maintenance cycle.



Program Assessments (2011-2016)

Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the BSBA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate effectively in professional situations.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will show proficiency in writing and producing a broad set of professional quality business documents.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will prepare and deliver professional presentations.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Standard Presentation) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the BSBA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to think critically when evaluating business decisions.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate critical thinking and strategic problem solving skills through systematic and objective consideration of business related problems.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the BSBA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be knowledgeable of the application of concepts in their business major and core cross-discipline concepts.


  • Learning Objective 1 (Core): Students will demonstrate proficiency in core business concepts, across disciplines.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in core course mid-term and final exams as defined/identified by core course faculty.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Major): Students will demonstrate proficiency in their major-specific business concepts. (Pilot in limited set of majors).
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) and essay responses in major course mid-term and finals as defined/identified by course faculty.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

Note: BSIB shares Communication, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, and Technical Competency with BSBA programs, as the degrees have a common core.

GLOBAL BUSINESS COMPETENCY

Graduates of the BSIB program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to critically analyze and engagement with complex, global business contexts.

  • Learning Objective: Students will analyze global perspectives of an experiential international business context.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by faculty leading study abroad experiences using the BSIB Global Business Learning Rubric.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and AACSB-Accounting

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the BSBA Accounting program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate effectively in professional business situations.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will be able to write for a professional audience as demonstrated by writing an effective Constructed Response.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will be able to prepare and present accounting-related documents for a professional audience.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Standard Presentation) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the BSBA Accounting program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to make, and develop support for accounting decisions based on a systematic and objective consideration of the problems, the issues, and the relative merits of feasible alternatives.

  • Learning Objective: Students will identify a problem or situation, address important questions, and gather relevant evidence to lead to an appropriate conclusion or recommendation.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.

INTERPERSONAL/DIVERSITY

Graduates of the BSBA Accounting program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will effectively work in teams and interact with persons from diverse backgrounds, interests, and roles in order to accomplish accounting related goals and objectives, while fostering an atmosphere of tolerance and fairness.

  • Learning Objective: Students interact and cooperate productively and maturely with others when working on a team, demonstrating leadership and team-facilitation skills as needed.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Standard Presentation) Rubric.

TECHNOLOGY UTILIZATION

Graduates of the BSBA Accounting program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will effectively use and apply prevalent accounting-related technology.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will show proficiency in the design of spreadsheets and databases.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of final exam questions, covering (1) Access databases and SQL, (2) Excel proficiency, and (3) process flow analysis.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will show proficiency at retrieving data from databases of professional literature, such as the tax code and regulations, Statements of Financial Accounting Standards and related literature.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of tax database retrieval assignment artifacts.

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE OF ACCOUNTING

Graduates of the BSBA Accounting program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will demonstrate competence and understanding of accounting knowledge required for admission into nationally-ranked professional graduate programs in accounting, or for entry-level jobs in public and private accounting.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Financial): Students will demonstrate proficiency in key concepts of Financial Accounting.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in core course final exam questions covering key financial accounting concepts.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Tax): Students will demonstrate proficiency in key concepts of Taxation of Individuals and Entities.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in final exam questions covering taxation of individuals and business entities.
  • Learning Objective 3 (Auditing): Students will demonstrate proficiency in key concepts of Audit and Assurance Services.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in core course mid-term and final exams as defined/identified by core course faculty.
Assessment Scope: NCA-HLC

SS-ECON

To introduce students to the breadth of inquiry in the social sciences, such as the study of ideas, the behavior of individuals, groups, institutions, and their interactions.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the contribution of economics to understanding human organization and behavior.
  •  Learning Outcome: Upon completion of economics courses, students will be able to identify and describe human organization and behavior.
  •  Method of Assessment:Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in core course mid-term and final exams as defined/identified by Economics core faculty.
Assessment Scope: AACSB, AACSB-Accounting, and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the MAcc program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate effectively in professional situations.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will prepare business documents or constructed responses for a professional accounting audience.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written deliverables taken from course-embedded written professional memorandums by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will will be able to deliver professional quality presentations.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations related to an accounting decision or judgment by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Formal Small Group) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the MAcc program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will make and develop support for accounting decisions based on a systematic and objective consideration of the problems, the issues, and the relative merits of feasible alternatives.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate critical thinking and strategic problem solving skills through systematic and objective consideration of business related problems and evidence.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will identify relevant information and support for an appropriate conclusion or recommendation.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 3: Students will employ appropriate quantitative and model-building techniques to test solutions and explore the likelihood of alternative scenarios.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using the WCOB Quantitative Analysis Rubric.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the MAcc program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will demonstrate competence in and ability to apply broad accounting knowledge (financial, tax, audit, managerial) as expected of a professional accountant.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively apply fundamental business knowledge to analyze accounting problems.
  •  Method of Assessment: Ongoing student selection during the admission process and analysis of topical groupings of final exam questions.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will excel in the pursuit of post-graduate professional certification.
  •  Method of Assessment: Ongoing monitoring of Student CPA Exam success.

ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM

Graduates of the MAcc program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will demonstrate understanding of the professional responsibilities and ethical standards of the accounting profession.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will be able to recognize ethical problems and apply appropriate guidelines, regulations, and codes of conduct to promote professional integrity.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using Accounting Department Professional Ethics rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will recognize the professional obligation to engage in professional development and continuous learning.
  •  Method of Assessment: Ongoing monitoring of Student Membership in local and national accounting organizations.

RESEARCH

Graduates of the MAcc program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to assess and apply appropriate standards, regulations, or other professional guidance to address multifaceted accounting problems.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will support a financial audit position based upon professional guidance/requirements applicable to financial reporting, as well as guidance related to the conduct of audit engagements.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using Accounting Department Professional Research rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will support a Tax position based upon both strategic business practices and professional requirements applicable to financial transactions and Federal Tax.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using Accounting Department Professional Research rubric.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the MAEcon program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate effectively in professional situations.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will show proficiency in writing and producing professional quality reports.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will be able to deliver professional quality presentations.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Standard Presentation) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the MAEcon program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to provide economic analysis in support of policy recommendations.

  • Learning Objective: Students will employ appropriate quantitative and model-building techniques to answer economic questions.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the MAEcon program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to demonstrate competence in core economic knowledge.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate proficiency in a breadth of microeconomic knowledge.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in comprehensive exams as defined/identified by course faculty.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will demonstrate proficiency in a breadth of macroeconomic knowledge.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of topical question groupings (sub-scores) in comprehensive exams as defined/identified by course faculty.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the MBA programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will possess strong persuasive communications skills, both individual and as part of a team.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will prepare business documents for a professional audience.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will prepare and present business documents or findings to a professional audience.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Formal Small Group) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the MBA programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to employ strategic approaches to solve managerial challenges, synthesize information, and recommendations that support achievement of organizational goals and address potential opportunities.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate critical thinking and strategic problem solving skills through systematic and objective consideration of business related problems.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the MBA programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to collect, organize, and analyze relevant economic, financial, marketing, legal, and technical information using appropriate tools and strategies.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate effectively analysis strategies, using appropriate information and tools, to manage a complex business environment.
  •  Method of Assessment: Analysis of scored student project components by faculty.

ETHICAL AWARENESS

Graduates of the MBA programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to recognize, evaluate, and address ethical consequences of business decisions.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize and explain ethical consequences of business decisions.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using the MBA Programs’ Ethical Awareness Rubric.

GLOBAL AWARENESS

Graduates of the MBA programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be knowledgeable of the strategic, resource, market, and institutional interconnectedness of global business environments.

  • Learning Objective: Students will exhibit an awareness of the global business environment and integrate this awareness in business practices and solutions.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using the MBA Programs’ Global Business Awareness Rubric.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the MIS programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate effectively in professional situations.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will show proficiency in writing and organizing professional communications.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using ISYS Presentation and Communication Skills Rubric by the course instructor.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will be able to deliver effective presentations.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student presentations using ISYS Presentation and Communication Skills Rubric by the course instructor.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the MIS programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to employ ethical problem solving and strategic decision making approaches to information system challenges.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Decision Making): Students will employ industry-accepted problem solving and decision making skills for IT problems/as well as the ability to evaluate and propose alternative solutions to managers and users.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using ISYS Problem Solving/Decision Making and Ethical Problem Solving rubrics by the course instructor.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Ethical Problem Solving): Students will demonstrate ethical problem solving approaches to IT challenges and opportunities faced by today’s businesses in achieving their goals
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using ISYS Problem Solving/Decision Making and Ethical Problem Solving rubrics by the course instructor.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the MIS programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be will be knowledgeable of the application of information technology and business concepts.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate the ability to identify, assimilate, synthesize, and analyze the information technology needs, make recommendations, design, and develop IT transaction systems and decision support systems for the organization.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using ISYS Technology Assessment – IT Development Rubric by the course instructor.

TEAM WORK

Graduates of the MIS programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be effective at working in team environment.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills as a part of a team.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using ISYS Team Work Rubric by the course instructor.
Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the PhD in Business Administration program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate scholarly research.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will demonstrate proficiency in academic writing conventions.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will present research findings effectively.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Formal Small Group) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the PhD in BA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will contribute knowledge through original research.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate ability to develop and conduct original research.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student dissertation defense pass rates.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the PhD in BA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will possess deep knowledge in their areas of specialization.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate ability to articulate discipline’s main theories and foundational literature.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student comprehensive exam responses using the WCOB PhD Technical Competency Rubric Part 1.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will demonstrate deep knowledge of discipline’s research methods.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student comprehensive exam responses using the WCOB PhD Technical Competency Rubric Part 2.

TEACHING

Graduates of the PhD in BA program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will employ quality teaching principles and practices.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate the development of pedagogically sound courses.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student developed course syllabi and actual course assignments developed during teaching experiences, using the WCOB PhD Teaching – Course Development Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will demonstrate effective teaching practices.
  •  Method of Assessment: Aggregate trend analysis of student evaluation data for PhD student-taught courses.
Assessment Scope: AACSB-Accounting

AoL for the Accounting concentration is based on the goals, objectives, and measures of the PhD-BA. Data is reported specifically for Accounting to contribute to the Accounting Department's specialized accreditation.

Assessment Scope: AACSB and NCA-HLC

COMMUNICATION

Graduates of the PhD in Economics program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to communicate scholarly research.

  • Learning Objective 1 (Written): Students will demonstrate proficiency in academic writing conventions.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student written artifacts by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Written Communication Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2 (Oral): Students will present research findings effectively.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of recorded student oral presentations by Communication Center staff using the WCOB Oral Communication (Standard Presentation) Rubric.

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the PhD in ECON program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will contribute knowledge through original research.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate ability to develop and conduct original research.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student dissertation defense pass rates.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the PhD in ECON program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will possess deep knowledge in their areas of specialization.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate ability to articulate discipline’s main theories and foundational literature.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of comprehensive exam pass rates.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will demonstrate deep knowledge of discipline’s research methods.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of comprehensive exam pass rates.

TEACHING

Graduates of the PhD in ECON program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will employ quality teaching principles and practices.

  • Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate the development of pedagogically sound courses.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student developed course syllabi and actual course assignments developed during teaching experiences, using the WCOB PhD Teaching – Course Development Rubric.
  • Learning Objective 2: Students will demonstrate effective teaching practices.
  •  Method of Assessment: Aggregate trend analysis of student evaluation data for PhD student-taught courses.
Assessment Scope: NCA-HLC

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Systems program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be able to identify, analyze, compare, and select systems and data to provide solutions to business problems using enterprise technology.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate critical thinking and strategic problem solving through classroom projects and/or exams.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using the WCOB Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Rubric relating to critical thinking and strategic problem-solving.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE (Discipline Knowledge)

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Systems will be able to develop and implement enterprise solutions to business problems.

  • Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate the ability to design, develop, and utilize enterprise technology appropriately in the context of business applications.
  •  Method of Assessment: Evaluation of student artifacts using the project rubric criteria relating to design, development, and utilization of enterprise technology.
Assessment Scope: NCA-HLC

Formal learning assurance definitions are in development.