NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ918068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
The State of Undergraduate Learning
Roksa, Josipa; Arum, Richard
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v43 n2 p35-38 Mar 2011
A recent study by the Higher Education Research Institute noted that virtually all faculty report that developing students' ability to think critically is a very important or essential goal of undergraduate education, as is promoting students' ability to write effectively. But even if faculty concur that students should develop critical thinking and writing skills (among many others) during college, the question remains of how those skills should be assessed. In its critique of higher education, the Spellings' Commission claimed, based on findings from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, that "the quality of student learning at U.S. colleges and universities is inadequate and, in some cases, declining." The Commission also highlighted some promising attempts to assess collegiate learning, including the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). In their recent book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," the authors use the performance-task component of the CLA to gauge learning in higher education. While recognizing that critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing are not the only skills to be developed in college and that the CLA is not the only way to measure them, an analysis of students' performance on the CLA can provide useful insights into college-level learning. Their findings indicate that spending time alone studying, having faculty who have high expectations, and taking courses that require substantial reading and writing--what previous research has termed "academic press" and "academic challenge"--are associated with students' learning over the first two years of college. Their findings regarding academic rigor corroborate results from previous research. (Contains 16 resources and 4 online resources.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Adult Literacy