Co-Authors

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Track

Non-research Project / About SoTL

Proposal Abstract

What are college students learning? Informed by SoTL, instructors can use a variety of assessment techniques to answer this question. But as questions about learning move into governance and policy circles, challenges of scale, expense, and public intelligibility make academic leaders chiefly open to the idea of standardized assessment. While faculty tend to view standardized assessment tools with distaste, college professors will not turn back the tide of demands for accountability armed only with brooms. A better response to the coming of standardized assessment would view the design of such tools as an intellectual problem to be tackled with the spirit of inquiry that animates SoTL research. One way to bring SoTL into the quality conversation is by engaging faculty in consensus-driven discussions about learning outcomes and assessment. I will report on my experiences with the Measuring College Learning Project (MCL), an initiative of the Social Science Research Council that has been bringing panels of faculty together from six fields of study (biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology) to identify the essential 21st Century competencies, concepts, and practices that students in their fields should develop in college.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 31st, 12:00 PM Mar 31st, 1:45 PM

Measuring College Learning

What are college students learning? Informed by SoTL, instructors can use a variety of assessment techniques to answer this question. But as questions about learning move into governance and policy circles, challenges of scale, expense, and public intelligibility make academic leaders chiefly open to the idea of standardized assessment. While faculty tend to view standardized assessment tools with distaste, college professors will not turn back the tide of demands for accountability armed only with brooms. A better response to the coming of standardized assessment would view the design of such tools as an intellectual problem to be tackled with the spirit of inquiry that animates SoTL research. One way to bring SoTL into the quality conversation is by engaging faculty in consensus-driven discussions about learning outcomes and assessment. I will report on my experiences with the Measuring College Learning Project (MCL), an initiative of the Social Science Research Council that has been bringing panels of faculty together from six fields of study (biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology) to identify the essential 21st Century competencies, concepts, and practices that students in their fields should develop in college.