Seven ConnSCU Institutions Join Multi-State Collaborative to Measure Student Learning
Higher education leaders and faculty from nine states and nearly 70 colleges and universities, are working together to evaluate authentic student work.
Seven colleges and universities of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system of the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) were chosen to join the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment.
"By working together and focusing attention on the quality of student learning, campuses and states can bring about much needed change in higher education." Ted Yungclas, BOR principal academic affairs officer
Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities; and Manchester, Naugatuck Valley and Three Rivers Community Colleges were chosen for the multi-state collaborative to improve the quality of student learning by developing a different approach to measure learning among public colleges and universities.
Higher education leaders and faculty from nine states — Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah — and nearly 70 colleges and universities, are working together to evaluate authentic student work in a way that allows faculty, institutions and states to consistently assess student achievement and their own effectiveness in promoting student success.
“The work of the Multi-State Collaborative is based on the concept that by working together and focusing attention on the quality of student learning, campuses and states can bring about much needed change in higher education,” said Ted Yungclas, BOR principal academic affairs officer.
These states are designing and pilot testing an assessment program that builds on assessment linked to instruction, actual curricula and real student work. This spring, BOR faculty has also been designing assignments that can be assessed using a common assessment tool. They have been working with other colleges and universities statewide and nationally to collect student work for the assessment phase. In the Fall 2014 semester, actual student work will be collected and submitted to the Multi-State Collaborative database for assessment.
“This pilot assessment approach will provide two ways of assessing students, both in quantitative literacy and written communication,” said Yungclas. “This will provide the opportunity for the assessment of student work in a meaningful way.”
The BOR colleges and universities — by participating in this assessment initiative — will be able to measure student achievement with other colleges across the country. Existing assessment methods often rely upon grades, standardized testing and student surveys, which don’t always reflect what students know, understand, and how they apply knowledge.
The collaboration also seeks to produce data that will allow faculty to pinpoint how to improve instruction, make curricular changes, rethink course design and implement more effective classroom teaching and learning methods. Results can be compared to the results of similar institutions across the country establishing nationwide benchmarks for student learning at the community college and university levels.
The project is supported, in part, with funding from a grant to the Association of American Colleges and Universities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With a subgrant to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), faculty at colleges in the Multistate Collaborative will gather student work for assessment drawing on resources from the AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative.
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