The Chronicle has a worthwhile read on assessment today. The article, “Learning Assessment at Community Colleges Is Growing but Fragile, Report Says,” states that only 35% of community college teachers report using assessments to improve teaching. One of the barriers is lack of time. In our operating plan this year, we have planned for release time for faculty members to engage in and evaluate active learning strategies. We have also planned for increased time with adjuncts to help them evaluate their effectiveness.

Later in the article, the ten learning outcomes from Miami-Dade College are referenced. I list them here because I like their concise, clear explanation of what is expected of students.
  1. Communicate effectively using listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.
  2. Use quantitative analytical skills to evaluate and process numerical data.
  3. Solve problems using critical and creative thinking and scientific reasoning.
  4. Formulate strategies to locate, evaluate, and apply information.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse cultures, including global and historical perspectives.
  6. Create strategies that can be used to fulfill personal, civic, and social responsibilities.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical thinking and its application to issues in society.
  8. Use computer and emerging technologies effectively.
  9. Demonstrate an appreciation for aesthetics and creative activities.
  10. Describe how natural systems function and recognize the impact of humans on the environment.
 Elsewhere on their site you can find each outcome defined in terms of proficiency.

I look forward to learning about what we are doing at Harold Washington College to measure student success from our Assessment Committee this fall and figuring out what resources we need to support those efforts.

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