Assessment of student learning is being emphasized today across all higher education institutions, as indicated by the many initiatives supported by organizations such as the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the Teagle Foundation. Use of effective assessment strategies in student learning can enable faculty to reflect comprehensively and critically on the progress of their students, thereby improving their overall teaching effectiveness and the learning of their students. Within each department, faculty who are proficient in assessing the learning of their students can substantively respond to fundamental questions such as “What evidence do you have that students actually achieve your stated learning outcomes?” Moreover, it is faculty members who should have the fundamental role in developing and sustaining systematic assessment of their students’ learning.
This workshop will be a collaborative event for ACM faculty members with a goal of demonstrating the effectiveness of a departmental, or discipline-specific, approach to the development of effective practices in assessment of student learning. To do this, we will focus on six departments that enroll large numbers of students on ACM campuses to serve as models for other departments: Art, Biology, English, History, Politics, and Psychology. Workshop activities will include:
- General discussion of rationales and effective general practices in assessment of student learning and critical thinking, particularly in the context of small, liberal arts colleges;
- Group discussions of issues and practical solutions regarding assessment of student learning within that specific discipline;
- Within each department group, collaborative development and presentation of effective and practical assessment plans for that discipline; and
- Development of plans for continued consultation and collaboration beyond the workshop
ACM campuses are invited to nominate two to three faculty members to participate in this workshop. The FaCE project will provide limited funding support for travel expenses and lodging. Individual campuses are urged to provide additional support and/or funds for additional attendees. Ideally, each campus delegation of participants will consist of teaching faculty, each from different departments among the six identified above, with experience addressing issues of assessment of student learning within their discipline. Interested faculty should contact their campus FaCE Liaison or academic Dean no later than Friday, September 5, 2008.