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ERIC Number: EJ878390
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Designing Assessment into a Study Abroad Course
Santanello, Cathy; Wolff, Laura
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v15 p189-195 Fall-Win 2007-2008
One faces several challenges when designing an education abroad program. These include engaging non-traditional majors in study abroad experiences; facilitating learning activities that directly align with the learning goals of the courses; assessing specific learning outcomes; and finding ways to close the circle after the study abroad programs so that the experience becomes part of a continuum of lifelong learning. Those involved in study abroad at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) share these challenges, together with the reality that the vast majority of its students are unwilling or unable to engage in a semester or academic year study abroad program due to financial constraints and family-related issues. Since 2001, the university has offered sixteen sections of interdisciplinary service learning course to SIUE students at Carara National Park. SIUE has planned and revised this course in recent years to meet the interests of various interdisciplinary teams. The principles of course design as outlined by Fink (2003) were used to evaluate critically and refine the course. Fink describes an integrated course as one that incorporates such elements as situational factors, learning goals, assessment activities, instructional strategies, and course evaluations. The key to this design is not only having these components in place, but also integrating each step so that optimal student learning can be achieved. In this paper, the authors highlight some aspects of Fink's process that have been particularly helpful in the course. They describe their approach in incorporating distinct elements of these phases into the study abroad course. They also explain how they assessed the course through the eyes of the currently enrolled students and course alumni.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Costa Rica; Illinois