On-The-Ground Assessment of Student Learning Out of the Classroom

Moving to a curricular approach calls upon us to become better at assessing student learning. Although it may be common on a campus to have students respond to short surveys providing feedback about a program or service, it is often less common to assess student acquisition of knowledge and skills as a result of an engagement. Institutions and departments transitioning to a curricular approach need to be mindful that every touch point with a student is an opportunity for learning and that assessments should be integrated into these moments to check for… Read More

How to Conduct an Archeological Dig and Write a Curricular Educational Priority

One of the very first steps one undertakes when developing a residential curriculum is crafting an educational priority. An educational priority is the basis upon which all other goals and outcomes are derived. Based in the mission, context, and values of your institution, an educational priority should provide a broad statement about what your division or department aims to teach. In many ways, the educational priority statement serves as a sort of “mission” for your curriculum–a short, bite-sized statement (or very brief paragraph) about what the curriculum is about and what students will learn.

Stay the Course: Reminders for When Assessment Gets Messy [REBLOG]

My friends for the assessment revolution! My office is gearing up to take the next step in our learning outcomes assessment efforts. I’m VERY excited! It’s going to be fun, intellectually and professionally fulfilling, and (most importantly and hopefully) provide meaningful insight into the student experience. But in addition to excitement, I am also a bit nervous, because, as you’ve likely noticed, measuring for learning is messy – which is the largest part of its difficulty, but, also, its beauty. In my research about student learning and assessment over the past few years I’ve come to…

On Grade Inflation and Accountability for Student Learning

There is a lot of fuss about grade inflation at colleges and universities, but are we correctly identifying the problem or just a symptom?  I think that the real question we should be asking ourselves as educators is: What is the best way to measure and assess student learning? So what is grade inflation, exactly?  Hu (2005) defines grade inflation as “the increase of grades over a specified period of time with higher grades being awarded for the same quality of work” (p. 15). Faculty members, who may be under pressure to… Read More

Keynoting the #SATechBOS 2013 Unconference

I’m excited to be the opening keynote at this year’s #SATechBOS Unconference.  The event utilizes as a unique format that encourages peer-to-peer learning and interaction.  It’s a pretty interesting concept and a new take on the sometimes stale traditional conference format.  Wikipedia describes it as follows: An “unconference“ is a participant-driven meeting. The term “unconference” has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization. (wikipedia.com) This is my second year… Read More