ERIC Number: EJ923529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 7
Good Practices for Student Learning: Mixed-Method Evidence from the Wabash National Study
Goodman, Kathleen M.; Magolda, Marcia Baxter; Seifert, Tricia A.; King, Patricia M.
About Campus, v16 n1 p2-9 Mar-Apr 2011
Since 2006, 19 institutions across the United States have been trying to figure out how to work smarter through their participation in the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. Drawing on data from the first year of the study, the robust, mixed-methods study the authors report in this article evaluated growth in the first year of college by surveying 4,501 students as they entered college and then again at the end of the first year. In a 2007 "About Campus" article explaining which learning outcomes were chosen as the focus of the study, Patricia King, Marie Kendall Brown, Nathan Lindsay, and JoNes VanHecke describe seven integrated learning outcomes associated with liberal arts education: (1) critical thinking; (2) moral reasoning; (3) psychological well-being; (4) socially responsible leadership; (5) intercultural development; (6) the inclination to inquire; and (7) integrative learning. Therefore, the measures used in the Wabash National Study were valid assessments focused on these outcomes. The research team also conducted qualitative interviews with 315 students at six of the institutions. During the interviews, the researchers asked students about the educational experiences that they regard as key to their growth and why these particular experiences are relevant. These data will be very helpful to institutions as they are called upon to provide evidence of student learning rather than student satisfaction. Those 19 institutions will have indisputable data that demonstrate how they have prepared their students for life after college. Just as importantly, they will be able to link those outcomes to specific campus practices--both in and out of the classroom--that spur the greatest growth on those outcomes. This is the information that will allow them to work smarter. In this article, the authors describe findings from the data and draw inferences to provide recommendations for practices that can be adapted on other campuses.
Descriptors: Evidence, Educational Experience, Liberal Arts, Inferences, Best Practices, Pretests Posttests, Outcomes of Education, College Outcomes Assessment, Expectation, Achievement Gains, Cultural Awareness, Instructional Effectiveness, Teacher Student Relationship, Student Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A