ERIC Number: EJ925583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
The Case for Assessing Complex General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Penn, Jeremy D.
New Directions for Institutional Research, n149 p5-14 Spr 2011
Assessment of general education has a long history, although relative to the age of liberal education and educational evaluation it is a very recent development. One of the first recorded efforts to comprehensively assess student achievement in higher education in the United States occurred in the late 1920s and early 1930s, when many institutions had general education programs in practice but not necessarily in name. In this effort, nearly forty-five thousand high school and college students were given a multiple-choice test that assessed students' knowledge of the physical world, mathematics and science, and the social world including psychology, sociology, statistical methods, and ancient cultures. This article gives a brief history of general education assessment, responds to common criticisms of general education assessment, and makes a case for assessing general education as a critical element of faculty members' responsibility.
Descriptors: General Education, Multiple Choice Tests, Outcomes of Education, Student Evaluation, Educational History, High School Students, College Students, Knowledge Level, Academic Achievement, Mathematics Education, Science Education, Social Studies, History, Psychology, Statistics, Academic Freedom, Accountability, Teacher Responsibility
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A