Ensure Students Are Learning
- Quality assessment of program learning outcomes that lead to credentials, further education, and/or gainful employment
Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner's Handbook (posted 4/5/2018)
This resource is for faculty, staff, academic leaders, and educational developers engaged in program and course design/review. It also helps them with the assessment of program-level learning outcomes, which can assist in making improvements to curricula, teaching, and assessment plans. (Lori Goff, Michael K. Potter, Eleanor Pierre, et al.)
Unpacking Relationships: Instruction and Student Outcomes (posted 4/5/2018)
This paper examines the scholarship of evidence-based practice in areas related to instruction and student outcomes, including clear expectations, pedagogical approaches, assessment of student learning, self-regulation on the part of students, and alignment of learning experiences. (American Council on Education)
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Bakersfield College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
So to ensure that students are learning in the guided pathways framework, we do need to make a movement towards more program learning outcomes assessment. So at Bakersfield College, as at many colleges, we really began learning outcomes assessment with a focus on course student learning outcomes assessment. And program learning outcomes assessment was perhaps mapped or a secondary thought. We also, we framed a learning outcomes assessment with institutional learning outcomes assessment, which is an assessment of program completers. Are they achieving these overarching goals that we would want our graduates to have in terms of being informed, well-rounded citizens? And so guided pathways really requires a shift of focus onto the program learning outcomes. And that’s important because we want to be able to really as part of a bigger strategic focus on the program bring the program to the center of the student experience, let the students know that they’re actually in a program of study, they’re not just taking courses, but these courses amount to something greater. And so the program learning outcomes assessment needs to reflect that as well so that it reflects the fact that the learning that’s occurring in the program is really greater than the sum of the individual parts.
John Nixon, President (retired), Mt. San Antonio College, Pathways Coach (posted 4/5/2018)
With guided pathways, the assessment of learning becomes an exercise of beginning with the end in mind, which is a phrase that is sort of a refrain for this project. And when you begin with the end in mind — and by that I mean a specific terminal degree at two years, or job or career preparation in two years, and/or transfer you determine the sequence of courses that begin at the front door for a student coming into a community college and lead to that certificate, that degree, the transfer. And you must look then at how — what learning is required to successfully move to the next course and the next course and the next course.
Now, that is not something new. Any nursing program at a community college has done that for years, as an example. In the liberal arts, that’s fairly new. I’m an English teacher. And honestly, in my career as a faculty, we didn’t think of the sequencing of courses beyond the sequence of composition. We never thought about the role of literature courses in any terms — in terms of sequencing and building on learning. So that, that’s how it’s changing. The faculty in whatever discipline have to look out at the career, at the expectations of the major at the receiving institution or university for transfer, and back up. What are the essential learnings that you have to build from here out to there?