Monday, August 29, 2011


We have been inundated with a whole slew of acronyms in recent years, all of which, in some way or another, are designations for initiatives dealing with assessment of student learning.  Long gone are the days when simply a student receiving a grade of "A" or "F" in a course was indicator enough of a student's mastery of a course subject material.  Now we have to develop a whole new, subsidiary system to our grading scale to determine if a student's achievement (or lack of) in a course fits with some obscure general education goals of the college.
Did a student learn critical-thinking skills from doing the work in my course?  How are we supposed to measure that?  It might take five courses before a student masters certain skills.  How are we supposed to measure that progress.
The amount of paperwork generated by the entire assessment regime is unbelievable, and the amount of time and energy invested is also incredible.
It is also hard to figure out exactly how much of that is generated by SACS or the federal government, or how much is generated by our own college out of a perception that it is all required as a part of measuring student success.

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