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ERIC Number: EJ799926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Assessing Student Learning: A Work in Progress
Ekman, Richard; Pelletier, Stephen
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v40 n4 p14-19 Jul-Aug 2008
In recent years, an acrimonious debate has broken out in higher-education circles about institutional accountability and performance. Efforts to alter federal policy in particular have been flashpoints for often heated discourse about the ways that colleges and universities could--and should--demonstrate their effectiveness to skeptical outsiders. Much of the talk has focused on deliberations in Washington, including those of Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' Commission on the Future of Higher Education, since these deliberations have the potential to affect virtually every institution of higher learning across the country. In quiet counterpoint to the maelstrom over federal policy, though, a more measured approach has been at work on the campuses of a consortium of colleges and universities. This article discusses the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) which has been used by the Council of Independent Colleges' Collegiate Learning Assessment Consortium (CIC/CLA Consortium) to gauge how the college experience helps students develop such "higher-order" cognitive skills as critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and effective writing. Through tests administered to both first-year students and seniors, it has been possible to evaluate the institution's impact on students' command of these skills and to associate the gains--or "value added"--with the institutional effects of the collegiate experience. Key lessons learned from the CIC/CLA Consortium as well as practical challenges and successful approach in administering the CLA are also discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement