Direct Evidence of Student Learning in Major Courses

Direct Evidence of Student Learning in Major Courses

Supporting Lecture:

Review the following lecture:

  • Assessing Learning in the Major

Before beginning work on this discussion forum, please review the link Doing Discussion Questions Right, the expanded grading rubric for the forum, and any specific instructions for this topic.

Direct assessment of learning in major courses is a critical activity that not only affirms program efficacy but also ensures that program graduates are well prepared for employment. Commonly, this type of direct evidence may be collected by assessing capstone experiences, creating program-level portfolios of student work, and administering standardized tests.

From the bullet point list below, select one topic for which you will lead the discussion in the forum this week. Early in the week, reserve your selected topic by posting your response (reservation post) to the Discussion Area, identifying your topic in the subject line. Be specific about your topic so that someone else could select the same bullet point but focus their post differently. By the due date assigned, research your topic and start a scholarly conversation as you respond with your initial or primary post to your own reservation post in the Discussion Area. Make sure your response does not duplicate your colleagues’ responses.

  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of assessing final products from capstone experiences as a means to gather direct evidence of student learning.
  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of program portfolios created from course-embedded assessments as a means to gather direct evidence of student learning.
  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of administering standardized tests as a means to gather direct evidence of student learning.

Additionally, provide a brief paragraph describing a personal or professional experience where you participated in a direct assessment process—objective tests, capstone papers, or portfolios—and explain how that experience impacted your understanding of the material this week.

As the beginning of a scholarly conversation, your initial post should be:

  • Succinct—no more than 500 words.
  • Provocative—use concepts and combinations of concepts from the readings to propose relationships, causes, and/or consequences that inspire others to engage (inquire, learn). In other words, take a scholarly stand.
  • Supported—scholarly conversations are more than opinions. Ideas, statements, and conclusions are supported by clear research and citations from course materials as well as other credible, peer-reviewed resources.