Paralegal Data Analysis, 2013-2014

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Outcome 1:  Identify the areas of law and concepts that apply to a fact situation.
 
Project A:  Key Terminology Examination #1
Success Standard: 70% of students will get each question related to terminology correct.
 
Data Indicating Strengths: 27% of students achieved a 70% or better score on the Key Terminology Examination. Key Terminology Questions are reviewed after the examination to ensure that all students understand the definition of the term. There was not a key term that every student missed during this assessment. 
Data Indicating Weaknesses: 73% of students achieved lower than 70% score on the Key Terminology Examination #1.
Data Indicating Trends: Students did not do as well on Key Terminology Examination #1 as in the past. In Fall 2012, 94% of students achieved a 70% or better score on the Key Terminology Examination #1.
 
Project B:  Key Terminology Examination #2
Success Standard: 70% of students will get each question related to terminology correct.
 
Data Indicating Strengths: 63% of students achieved a 70% or better score on the Key Terminology Examination #2. Key Terminology Questions are reviewed after the examination to ensure that all students understand the definition of the term. There was not a key term that every student missed during this assessment. 
Data Indicating Weaknesses: 37% of students achieved lower than 70% score on the Key Terminology Examination #2.
Data Indicating Trends: There was a 10% improvement in students from Key Terminology Examination #1 to Key Terminology Examination #2. Students did not do as well on Key Terminology Examination #2 as in the past. In Fall 2012, 94% of students achieved a 70% or better score on the Key Terminology Examination #2.
 
Project C:  Key Terminology Examination #3
Success Standard: 70% of students will get each question related to terminology correct.
 
Data Indicating Strengths: 72% of students achieved a 70% or better score on the Key Terminology Examination #3. Key Terminology Questions are reviewed after the examination to ensure that all students understand the definition of the term. There was not a key term that every student missed during this assessment. 
Data Indicating Weaknesses: 28% of students achieved lower than 70% score on the Key Terminology Examination #3.
 
Data Indicating Trends: There was a 9% improvement in students from Key Terminology Examination #2 to Key Terminology Examination #3. There was a 45% improvement in students from Key Terminology Examination #1 to Key Terminology Examination #3. Only two examinations were evaluated during the Fall 2012 Assessment.
 
Analysis:  In Project A, 27% of students achieved a score of 70% or better on the Key Terminology Examination #1. In Project B, 63% of students achieved a score of 70% or better on the Key Terminology Examination #2. In Project C, 72% of students achieved a score of 70% or better on the Key Terminology Examination #3. The lowest score in Project A was a 50%. The lowest score on Project B was 50%. The lowest score on Project C was 37%. The overall average on Project A was 77%. The overall average on Project B was 88%. The overall average on Project C was 89%. It can be discerned that although slight there was some improvement from Project A to Project B to Project C in terms of the overall average. It is significant that scores improved from Project A to Project B to Project C, because this demonstrates that student learning may improve as the student is exposed to the key legal terminology over time. Learning outcomes for the Key Terminology Examinations may improve as students hear the terms more frequently. It may be beneficial for students to be exposed throughout an entire semester to key legal terminology, as opposed to merely an abbreviated time as needed for a certificate program.   
 
Outcome 2:  Identify the facts, issues, and holdings within a court case.
 
Project A:  Case Brief Initial
Success Standard: 50% of students will correctly identify each element of the case brief.
 
Data Indicating Strengths: 9% of students correctly identified each element of the case brief.
Data Indicating Weaknesses: 81% of students did not correctly identify each element of the case brief.
Data Indicating Trends: The data compared in the Fall 2012 assessment, was somewhat different and it is difficult to compare the 2012 data for Project A, which comprised of case briefs completed for an assignment, to 2013 data where the case brief information is part of an examination.
 
Project B:  Case Brief Final
Success Standard: 80% of students will correctly identify each element of the case brief.
 
Data Indicating Strengths: 27% of students correctly identified each element of the case brief.
Data Indicating Weaknesses: 73% of students did not correctly identify each element of the case brief.
Data Indicating Trends: Students improved on extracting information from judicial opinions from Project A to Project B by 18%. The data compared in the Fall 2012 assessment, was somewhat different and it is difficult to compare the 2012 data for Project B, which comprised of case briefs completed for an assignment, to 2013 data where the case brief information is part of an examination
 
Analysis:  In Project A, only 1 student (9%) correctly identified each and every element of the case brief. In Project B there was slight improvement where 27% of students (3 students) correctly identified each and every element of the case brief. All students turned in this portion of the exam. The lowest score on Project A was a 50%. The overall average on Project A was 75%. The lowest score on Project B was 62%. The overall average for Project B was 83%. It can be discerned that although slight, there was some increase in overall average from Project A to Project B. Although specific data is not available, I believe that the increase in scores from Project A to Project B results from the students being required to complete similar assignments multiple times throughout the semester, thereby improving their awareness and ability to extract the information from judicial opinions. It is significant that scores improved from Project A to Project B because this demonstrates that student learning may improve as the student practices identifying facts, issues and holdings within a court case as the student conducts this exercise more frequently.