ERIC Number: ED219011
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Improving the Effectiveness of Undergraduate Education: An Experience from a Belgian University.
Dyck, W.; And Others
A research-oriented project to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate education at the state University of Antwerp, Belgium, is described, and the higher education system and conditions in Belgium are noted. Attention was focused on the outcome-based paradigm, according to which the primary goal of instruction is to ensure that all students who decide to enroll and who are prepared to make the effort, are successful. The project started in 1977 at the University of Antwerp with the introduction of the concept of mastery learning. For the first time, freshmen were systematically informed in detail about the course requirements, before and during the academic period, and received feedback. Participating departments were asked to make explicit their expectations concerning the cognitive entry level for the courses (e.g., mathematics, physics, chemistry, dentistry). Self-evaluation instruments for general and organic chemistry were also constructed. In this ongoing project, other disciplines have been included: zoology, botany, anatomy, and the first year curriculum of medical school. Evaluation was directed to determine whether the innovation affected undergraduate learning and instruction. The results of entry tests, progress tests, examination scores, and grades were studied. On the entry tests, 20 percent of the students reached a mastery score of 80 percent. Later tests, that are essentially domain- or criterion-referenced, revealed that most students fell below the 50 percent cut. Despite these objective test findings, the attitudes of students toward formative self-evaluation were very positive. It is suggested that a staff-training program be implemented to help improve objective measurement of learning. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Behavioral Objectives, Cognitive Objectives, Feedback, Foreign Countries, Formative Evaluation, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Mastery Learning, Mastery Tests, Measurement Techniques, Self Evaluation (Individuals), State Universities, Undergraduate Study
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Brussels (Belgium).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Note: Research for this paper was supported by IPEK (Interuniversity Project for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education), an initiative of the Belgian Minister of Education.