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ERIC Number: EJ767687
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Longitudinal Assessment of Student Learning: Simplistic Measures Aren't Enough
Beyer, Catharine Hoffman; Gillmore, Gerald M.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v39 n3 p43-47 May-Jun 2007
In an attempt to capture the diverse experience of undergraduates at the University of Washington (UW), the authors designed and conducted the University of Washington's Study of Undergraduate Learning (UW SOUL), a longitudinal study that tracked 304 students (about five percent of the entering freshman and transfer class) through their undergraduate experience from 1999 to 2003. The UW SOUL was an attempt to gather information about what students were learning and where and how they were learning it. The authors found that longitudinal studies, just like theirs, that use mixed methods achieve what assessment ought to: give institutions detailed information about the undergraduate learning experience that they can use to improve subsequent learning. The authors do not argue against the importance of colleges and universities being accountable to their constituents. Rather, their findings argue against relying on simplistic measures that can neither capture the complexity of students' learning nor provide faculty with information to help them improve that learning. In the end, such measures may do more harm than good, because they surely would divert money and resources away from more useful assessment practices and quite possibly narrowly channel the curriculum and instruction. (Contains 9 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington