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ERIC Number: ED260679
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What Undergraduates Learn: The Role of Assessment in Large Research Universities.
Wallace, John
Undergraduate education at large research universities and the importance of assessment are considered. After summarizing some special characteristics of large research universities, two problems are addressed: the lack of purposiveness in undergraduate education, and the widespread failure to achieve the learning outcomes professed for undergraduate education. The potential of assessment to introduce more coherence and purposiveness into undergraduate education in large research universities is discussed. Limits of assessment in solving the problem are also considered, with attention to other aspects of the problem: funding for undergraduate education, and integration of undergraduate education with the other functions of research universities. Principles to guide the design of assessment activities include: (1) assessment of learning outcomes should be part of a framework that is accepted by faculty and includes deliberation about what students should learn, inquiry into what they do learn, and action to adjust educational practices; (2) the assessment framework should be accepted by students and employers; (3) assessment should emphasize continuities with learning in elementary/secondary education; (4) formal assessment should be employed; and (5) the use of intensively evaluated pilot programs should be increased. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A