Proposal Title

Measuring Intellectual Virtues - With Student Help, It Can Be Done

Proposal Abstract

The Department of Philosophy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University seeks to inculcate four specific intellectual dispositions (‘virtues’) in its students: charitable reading, comfort with ambiguity, resisting the urge to settle for easy answers, and taking pleasure in struggling with difficult ideas. Efforts have been underway since 2009 to develop statistically valid, questionnaire based measures that would provide trustworthy evidence that students actually develop these dispositions. Student research assistants were intimately involved in developing the third and most recent version of these disposition measures. In Spring 2013 a sample of 528 responses to a pilot version of this questionnaire was obtained from the student body at CSB/SJU. Analyses of the data have yielded statistically valid measures for all four dispositions. The presentation will review (a) the development process, emphasizing the role that students played, (b) the validation procedure, and (c) some of the learning outcomes obtained. The project is ongoing, the next task for the department being to use these measures to foster improvement. Audience members will be solicited for suggestions concerning next steps. Learning outcomes for audience members will consist in (a) improved understanding of the vital role that students can play in even rather technical assessment projects and (b) increased confidence that elusive student learning outcomes like “virtues” can be meaningfully and economically assessed.

Location

Room 2005

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Share

COinS
 
Mar 26th, 5:00 PM Mar 26th, 5:45 PM

Measuring Intellectual Virtues - With Student Help, It Can Be Done

Room 2005

The Department of Philosophy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University seeks to inculcate four specific intellectual dispositions (‘virtues’) in its students: charitable reading, comfort with ambiguity, resisting the urge to settle for easy answers, and taking pleasure in struggling with difficult ideas. Efforts have been underway since 2009 to develop statistically valid, questionnaire based measures that would provide trustworthy evidence that students actually develop these dispositions. Student research assistants were intimately involved in developing the third and most recent version of these disposition measures. In Spring 2013 a sample of 528 responses to a pilot version of this questionnaire was obtained from the student body at CSB/SJU. Analyses of the data have yielded statistically valid measures for all four dispositions. The presentation will review (a) the development process, emphasizing the role that students played, (b) the validation procedure, and (c) some of the learning outcomes obtained. The project is ongoing, the next task for the department being to use these measures to foster improvement. Audience members will be solicited for suggestions concerning next steps. Learning outcomes for audience members will consist in (a) improved understanding of the vital role that students can play in even rather technical assessment projects and (b) increased confidence that elusive student learning outcomes like “virtues” can be meaningfully and economically assessed.