Assessment Plan

The undergraduate programs in Advertising, Graphic Communications Media, Journalism, Public Relations, and Television Production at Murray State University are based on theory and practice, educating students who want to pursue responsible careers in these professions.

Our graduates should be able to work as media professionals and, later in their careers, assume leadership positions.  In addition, they should be qualified to apply to graduate programs or be able to pursue other media-related careers.

Learning Outcomes

The professional values and competencies established by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) serve as the foundation for the 10 learning outcomes (LOs) in our department. These 10 LOs, also are core elements of our mission statement, which can be found at the link in the left panel of this page.  ACEJMC revised and approved revisions to the standards in November 2020. 

Methods to Assess Outcomes

Each program or sequence, in consultation with the assessment coordinator, writes a plan that is due to the university by Oct. 1 for the current academic year. The results must be reported by Sept. 15 of the following year. The University Assessment Committee reviews the plans and results and either approves the documents or returns to the assessment coordinator for revisions and resubmissions.

Each program learning goal must have two assessment instruments: a formative and a summative. In some cases, depending on the assessment need of the program, the formative and summative instruments are from the same course. All measured assessments in the JMC curriculum are direct measures so that instructors can observe and analyze the results immediately and be able to modify their pedagogy accordingly for the current course or future course.

We use a variety of direct measures to evaluate undergraduate student success. These direct measures are course-embedded assessments, which include quizzes and exams, writing assignments, and research projects, among others.

Students are encouraged in all courses to develop a portfolio containing a representative sample of top work produced in their courses, during internships or through any related opportunities (campus media assignments, outside jobs, freelancing, etc.). By the time students begin JMC 499 Senior Seminar, they will have a product to improve and submit for evaluation. The portfolio will be analyzed to determine competence in a student’s area of expertise.

Indirect assessment measures, such as internship reports from the organization or employer and alumni feedback, help the faculty to revise the curriculum for the sequence if needed. Revisions have included course title and description changes, as well as course replacements to reflect the skills that students will need to succeed in the profession or field.

Other Data Sources

Our department members retain close ties with many external constituencies including public relations firms, advertising agencies, and the Kentucky Press Association. These companies hire our graduates, and their feedback provides a very valuable form of student assessment. Therefore, we compile data from these sources:

  1. Survey of JMC alumni.

  2. Survey of JMC Advisory Council.

  3. Anecdotal comments from alumni and professionals.

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