Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Yu Bao


Higher education assessment measures student knowledge across multiple specific skills within the general education curriculum. Results are used to inform programmatic improvement, holding universities accountable for satisfying the requirements of the state and/or accrediting agencies. Current methods for assessing student learning in higher education assess institutional objectives through aggregated information using a single total score. The Diagnostic Classification Method (DCM) has been shown to yield fine-grained information about students individually and in the aggregate, providing individual-level and SLO-specific feedback. Unfortunately, few studies have investigated the role of the DCM within higher education assessment of student learning, indicating the utility of the model to the current model. The purpose of the current study was to question if the DCM provided a more comprehensive understanding of general education results, given the model's ability to provide individualized find-grained information from a multidimensional perspective. The data from the Fall 2019 and Spring 2021 assessment days were examined using the current assessment methods and the DCM framework to address the purpose of the study. Overall, results indicated that the DCM framework could capture minor changes in assessing longitudinal student growth and aid with feedback on student learning differently than current assessment methods. The results suggest that higher education assessment practitioners should consider other methods (such as the DCM) that may provide reliable information about students' knowledge beyond a total score. Given the beginning stage of research demonstrating the utility of the DCM, several areas of research avenues are proposed.

Available for download on Friday, July 12, 2024