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ERIC Number: EJ854822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1527-9316
What Do Students Think They (Should) Learn at College? Student Perceptions of Essential Learning Outcomes
Walker, Paul
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v8 n1 p45-60 Feb 2008
Building on the evidence that administratively determined outcomes for cognitive growth provide only a partial understanding of what is actually learned at the university level, this study puts forward a method to increase the use of student perceptions to determine the quality of a university education. To show the complexity and value of seeking to understand students' learning expectations, over 80 juniors and seniors at a state university participated in a survey wherein they identified five things that everyone should learn at college, and evaluated and described how those expectations related to their courses, faculty, and grades. The students' responses show that they have a wide range of learning objectives that fall unequally under three categories: Academic Content, Career/Academic Skills, and Life Skills. Student responses suggest that learning is often independent of courses and instructors, and that grades are not always indicative of what is learned in classes, suggesting that more could be done institutionally and in classrooms to better align what teachers intend to teach and what students expect to learn. (Contains 6 tables.)
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A