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ERIC Number: EJ1081827
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 13
Learning Outcomes Assessment Misunderstood: Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full
Jones, Beata M.; Wehlburg, Catherine M.
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v15 n2 p15-23 Fall-Win 2014
When faculty and the community can see the data about student learning and discover what and how students are learning, they experience a transformational moment. Faculty often see critical thinking, for example, as an important goal in honors, but educators need to explain how, where, and when it is taught directly; how students have learned it; and how educators know that students have learned it. When a measurement tool reliably and appropriately measures an outcome, the data become useful, and critical thinking becomes more than a nice concept. Faculty members begin to talk about how to increase student skills in an area; they share pedagogies; and they may participate in program-wide workshops or discussions. The walls that often surround an individual faculty member's classroom can come down, and student learning can become the important focus. Faculty may also start to look for new teaching methods that measure student learning in authentic ways. These types of transformative conversations and actions can make major changes in the culture of an honors college or program. This article lists benefits of learning outcomes assessments, which along with a "sitting beside" metaphor, can help honors faculty see the value of the practice of transformational teaching and learning. If faculty can find the task relevant and engaging, they might view this exercise of conducting learning outcomes assessments more as a glass half-full rather than half-empty.
Descriptors: Honors Curriculum, College Students, College Faculty, Outcome Measures, Evaluation Methods, Teaching Methods, College Outcomes Assessment
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://nchchonors.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A