MARA Program Performance

 

Program Based Assessment

The SJSU School of Information has developed a set of Program Learning Outcomes that are focused on the core competencies of our profession. The culminating e-Portfolio serves to assess a student's mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies) for the MARA degree before graduation.

Review and Measurement of Individual Program Learning Outcomes

e-Portfolio data is collected to assess the achievement level of graduating students in meeting specific program learning outcomes.

Starting with the Spring 2011 semester, the school has collected data on the number of revisions needed to satisfactorily demonstrate achievement of each of the 9 MARA Learning Outcomes or Core Competencies presented in students' culminating electronic portfolios. Our goal is to have 90% or better of MARA 289 (e-Portfolio) students who need no or only 1 revision to a Statement of Competency, the essay in which they demonstrate achievement of a specific Program Learning Outcome. If less than 90% of students submit work at that level, then that identifies for the faculty a need for curricular review of the courses that address that PLO.

Since 2011 we have collected datasets on all of our competencies and are in the process of reviewing all of them as part of our ongoing curricular review process.

Assessment of Individual Program Learning Outcomes Reports MARA

Course Student Learning Objectives and Course Mapping to Program Core Competencies (Program Learning Objectives)

Each course has both student learning objectives - linked to assignments - as well as core competencies (program learning objectives) defined for that particular class. - See http://ischoolapps.sjsu.edu/slo-core/mara.php

Mapping of MARA Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) to University Learning Goals (ULGs)


External Inputs into the Curriculum


Retention Data

As a student progresses through the MARA program there are two key decision points where we can see students leave the program.

1. After the required new technology workshop, Online Social Networking, and between that course and the start of the following semester. The students start this workshop before they begin their first semester and must pass it to continue in the program. One of the purposes of the class is to help determine if a student is equipped for the online environment. This workshop is not taken for credit, and statistics were not available before summer 2011. Beginning in spring 2013, MARA students could also start their program in January. Figures are available for spring admits from 2013 forward.  A process has been implemented to track this information going forward. Some students complete the technology workshop but don't register for classes for the following term.  These figures are also available from summer 2011 forward.

Table 1.a. MARA New Technology Workshop: Online Social Networking  Retention and Pass Data (through fall 2015)

Semester

Total Enrolled by iSchool

Withdrawn/ dropped

Still Enrolled at End of Course

Not Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Retention Rate

Pass Rate

Enroll in classes the first term % Completed Enrolled in classes the first term
Fall 2015 20 2 18 0 18 90.0% 100% 18 100%
Spring 2015 16 1 15 0 15 93.75% 100% 15 100%
Fall 2014 18 4 14 0 14 77.7% 100% 14 100%
Spring 2014 17 5 12 0 12 70.5% 100% 11 92%
Fall 2013 22 4 18 2 16 82% 89% 15 94%

Spring 2013

17 0 17 0 17 100% 100% 17 100%

Fall 2012

25

2

23

0

23

92%

100%

22

96%

Fall 2011 18 4 14 0 14 78% 100% 9 64%

Table 1.b. MARA Program Technology Preparation course (optional, self-paced), Spring 2016 and beyond.

The previous process of providing an introduction to the technology that would be used in MARA classes was dropped in favor of a self-paced. optional approach. A Canvas course was created with the program coordinator as instructor to interact with students and answer questions. Students were invited but not required to participate.

Semester Started the Course

Completed the Final Assignment

Retention Rate Enrolled in Classes First Term Completed Classes First Term
Spring 2016 29 23 79% 24  
           

 

2. Core Courses. Students who began the MARA program in the fall semester between 2008 and 2011 were required to take two core classes: MARA 200 (The Records and the Recordkeeping Professions) and MARA 202 (Information Technology, Records, and the Information Age).

Table 2.a. Data about Students Taking MARA 200 and MARA 202 in their first term (Students entering program prior to fall 2012 ONLY) and continuing on to a second term the following spring.

 

200 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

202 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term

% Started following term

Fall 2011

9

7

78%

9

0

100%

8

89%

Fall 2010

15

14

93%

15

14

93%

10

67%

Fall 2009

11

4

36%

11

8

73%

5

45%

Fall 2008

8

8

100%

8

8

100%

8

100%

 

MARA students who entered the program in the fall, beginning in fall 2012, were expected to take MARA 200 and MARA 204 (instead of MARA 202 as previously required). 
However, students could elect to take just one course if they wished.

Table 2.b. Data about Students Taking MARA 200 and MARA 204 in their first term. Students entering program in Fall (beginning in fall 2012) and continuing on to a second term the following spring.

First Term

200 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

204 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term in MARA

% of highest total in either course
who started following term

Fall 2015 18 13 72% 15 13 87% 12 67%
Fall 2014 13 12 92% 13 13 100% 12 92%
Fall 2013 15 14 93% 15 14 93% 12 80%

Fall 2012

22

20

91%

19

18

95%

19

86%

 

MARA students who enter the program in the spring semester, beginning in spring 2013, were required to register for MARA 210 and were advised to take one MLIS elective (optional)..

Table 2.c. Data about Students Taking MARA 210 required and an MLIS elective (optional) in their first term (Students entering program beginning in spring 2013) and continuing on to a second term the following fall).

 

210 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

MLIS Elective
Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term

% of students
who Started following term

Spring 2015*

12

8

67%

9

6

67%

4

33%

Spring 2014

11

10

90%

8

7

87.5% 

9

81.8%

Spring 2013

13

11

84.6%

11

9

81.8%

7

54%

*In Spring 2015, 7 students registered for a third course, MARA 249 (6) and MARA 284-IA (1).

 

3. In order to graduate with their MARA degree students must complete as a culminating experience: MARA 289 (e-Portfolio).

MARA students are required to complete an e-Portfolio for their culminating experience. The goal of the e-Portfolio is to provide a program-based assessment to ensure that each student demonstrates mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies) for the degree before graduation.

The e-Portfolio can be completed in one semester though the preparation happens all throughout the student's program and is reviewed following the MARA e-portfolio rubric developed to evaluate the MARA competency statements.

Table 3. MARA 289: e-Portfolio Statistics

 

Total Enrolled

Passed

Failed*

Incomplete

% Completion Rate

Spring 2016 16 15 1 0 93.7%
Fall 2015 1 1 0 0 100%
Spring 2015 14 13 0 1 92.8%
Spring 2014 7 7 0 0 100%
Spring 2013 8 8 0 0 100%

Spring 2012

5

5

0

0

100%

Spring 2011

5

5

0

0

100%

*Students who fail MARA 289 have one more chance to retake the e-Portfolio course. If they fail again, they are disqualified from the MARA program. To date, there were no disqualifications due to failing to produce a satisfactory e-Portfolio.


About Our Students

Graduating Student Exit Survey Data

We survey our graduating students as they complete the MARA program. The information below is from our most recent exit survey, presenting the responses we received from MARA students (n=10) who graduated in spring 2016.

Key survey findings include the following:

  • 50% of survey respondents completed the MARA program within 3 years.
  • 100% of survey respondents said their overall education experience in the MARA program was either very good (80%) or good (20%).
  • 100% of survey respondents said they would recommend the MARA program to others.

The survey also provided insight regarding the employment trends of our recent MARA graduates, such as:

  • 70%  respondents were working at the time they completed the MARA program.
  • Most of employed respondents were working in either a government agency or corporate organization. One-third worked as archivists.

The survey also provided insight regarding the MARA program's top strengths, including:

  •  Flexibility was the top program strength, followed by Curriculum, Online Learning Environment, Faculty and Diversity of Faculty and Students.
  • The internship program and expertise of faculty were also cited as strengths.
  • 100% of survey respondents who reported working with the student support services staff rated their services as very good or good.

Survey results also provide insight regarding MARA student demographics, including the following:

  • 100% of survey respondents reside in the United States 
  • 80% are women and 20% are men
  • 10% identified themselves as either an ethnicity other than "White," or chose "Two or More Races."
  • 30% of survey respondents were age from ages 31 - 35 at the time they completed the program. 20% of respondents were from the ages of 46 - 50 at time of completion.

Students reflected on their reasons for recommending the MARA program:

  • “The curriculum is very relevant to those working in the field as well as for those who want to work in the field.”
  • “This program offers the tools to deal with the mass of information that needs to be made accessible to those who wish to create knowledge.”
  • “Classes are applicable to real life, and having an online program allowed me to get my school work done, as well as carry on with a job.”

Alumni Placement Data

Our most recent MARA alumni survey was conducted in summer 2016 and queried graduates who completed the MARA program in spring 2015, capturing data from MARA alumni approximately 14 months after they completed the program. The survey was sent to 15 graduates. We received nine responses. Our alumni surveys allow us to track employment trends and ensure that our curriculum remains relevant.

Here are some highlights from our survey of our 2015 MARA graduates:

  • 100% of alumni responding to the question are currently employed, with 100% of these working full time.
  • 33% of survey respondents held their present job when they graduated from the MARA program, and 100% of those individuals reported that earning the MARA degree made it possible for them to receive a salary increase or promotion.
  • 57% of survey respondents are working in government agencies, and 29% of respondents are working in archives.
  • 100% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that the skills and knowledge they learned in the MARA program prepared them for their job.

The first MARA alumni survey was conducted in spring 2013 and queried graduates from spring 2011 and spring 2012 (a total of 10 individuals), capturing data from them 1-2 years after they completed the program. The results of the first MARA alumni survey revealed that 83% of respondents were working either full time (66.6%) or part time (16.6%) within two years after completing the program.  Of those who reported having a job, 80% of those responding to the question indicated they held that job when entering the program. The second MARA Alumni survey was conducted in June of 2015 and queried graduates from 2014. Five responses were received. The survey revealed that 60% of respondents were working either full or part time within two years after completing the program.

The MARA program began as a cohort model, with students entering between 2008 and 2011 required to take a specific number of courses each session in order to complete the program in just under 3 years. In this cohort model, the students could only start the program in the fall semester, and they followed a required course sequence. It is believed the lack of flexibility in this model is the reason for the small number of graduates.  Five students graduated in spring 2011 and again in spring 2012.  In spring 2013, eight MARA students graduated. In spring 2014, seven MARA students graduated, the last group of students to follow the cohort model, who started the program in fall 2011. A number of changes were made to the MARA program model, which resulted in an increase in class sizes beginning with the fall 2012 entering class.

Employer Survey

Because the MARA program is fairly new, and the first four MARA graduating classes were small (5, 5, 8, and 7), a decision was made to conduct the first MARA Employer Survey during the 2014-2015 academic year in order to include a larger number of graduates.  At that time, employers of MARA alumni and potential employers will be surveyed.

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