Data Management Plan

General Education Oversight Committee Data Management Plan

Approved by the GEOC, March 8, 2024

The General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC) is charged with making recommendations to the President or her/his designee for the implementation and review of the General Education (Gen Ed) curriculum. Within that charge is a responsibility to assess student learning outcomes in the program with the goal of improving student learning and program design and delivery.

The GEOC's Assessment Subcommittee advises the full GEOC on best practices in Gen Ed assessment and manages the assessment process. This data management plan describes the collection of, access to, and permitted uses of Gen Ed assessment data.

Data Description

Gen Ed assessment occurs in Fall and Winter semesters following an established timeline that includes planning, data collection, analysis, and improvement phases. A subset of the Gen Ed designations is assessed in each academic year on a rotating basis.

Since Fall 2019, course instructors in the assigned designations for a given year have selected one or more assignments from their course that elicit the Gen Ed learning outcomes for the course's designation(s), scored those assignments using a GEOC-approved rubric, and submitted those scores to the GEOC through one of two methods:

  1. The online rubric made available to instructors in Canvas.
  2. An Excel template that aligns with the rubric.

The GEOC assessment data therefore includes rubric scores and instructor participation status (i.e., whether an instructor did or did not submit scores for each relevant course). Individual student and instructor identifiers are included in all Canvas submissions and in some of the Excel submissions.

Access and Sharing

Of primary concern in determining access to the Gen Ed assessment data are:

  1. Privacy of students (see FERPA) and instructors
  2. Use of the data for improving curriculum design, teaching, and learning in the Gen Ed program
  3. Protection against misuse of the data, such as using student performance for instructor evaluation

The co-chairs of the GEOC are the designated owners of the data. Apart from instructors, who have access to their own raw data, access to the raw data is strictly limited to individuals with specific analysis and reporting roles:

Members of the Assessment Subcommittee with analysis and reporting responsibilities have access to the raw data. Other members of the Assessment Subcommittee and the full GEOC only have access to de-identified, aggregated data.

WSU's Canvas Administration has de facto access to the data as part of the system they support. Canvas Administration works with C&IT (their supervising unit) to make the rubric data securely available to Institutional Research and Data Analytics (IRDA) in keeping with campus data governance policies.

IRDA's analysts conduct the cleaning, analysis and reporting of the results in consultation with the Assessment Subcommittee. IRDA holds the data in their secure data storage and archives it annually in their secure data warehouse once analyses for each cycle are complete. Data are purged after no more than six years once comparisons across assessment cycles are complete.

To improve the Gen Ed program and to support university accreditation, de-identified reports of aggregated rubric scores that protect the confidentiality of instructors and students are shared with relevant stakeholders.

To increase participation in Gen Ed assessment, participation data that identify whether or not individual instructors submitted assessment data are shared with supervisors and managers such as program directors, chairs, associate deans, and deans each term. Rubric scores for individual instructors are not shared with supervisors or managers.

Requests for analyses of the data for broader institutional initiatives, such as to improve graduation or retention rates, reduce inequities, or enhance student success can be submitted to the co-chairs of the GEOC for consideration.