butterflyThe Evidence of Transformation

Three faculty
experiences
of learning
outcomes
assessment


 

Vol. 12 No.1
Oct.Nov 2009

Return to Contents


Digital Scholarship Comes of Age
New questions about credibility, modes, and readership

A growing array

“People are experiencing the world through multiple media. That may mean we need to think about different forms of scholarship.”

“In terms of shaping scholarship, the technologist needs the scholar, and the scholar needs the technologist.”


The Evidence of Transformation
Three faculty
experiences of learning outcomes assessment

Knowledge and Application
Learning assessment in the Journalism Program

Learning to Follow the Butterfly
How dynamic learner outcomes helped me to be a better teacher

At the Heart of Learning
Assessing graduate student education in the biological sciences


Endnotes

When Emory underwent its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation affirmation in 2003, phrases like “learning outcomes assessment” were not a big part of the vocabulary. Since then, however, the national conversation about quality and accountability in higher education, heightened by the 2007 report of then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, has taken on greater urgency.

SACS and its regional counterparts, which serve as the gate-keepers between institutions and federal student aid, are calling for much more evidence than ever before on what students are actually learning. But how to ask this question--and exactly what question it is that needs asking--is provocative and challenging.

Emory is now gearing up for its fifth-year interim report to SACS, due in March 2010. The university must document that assessment of student learning is taking place in all its educational programs, as well as show that assessment initiatives are being established in educational programs and administrative and educational support services before its next full reaccreditation review in 2014.

Faculty are necessarily called upon to be a part of this process, and that work is well underway. The Academic Exchange invited three faculty members from disparate fields and with different student populations to reflect on their experiences assessing student learning in their programs. On these four pages are the remarks of Sheila Tefft of the Journalism Program, Gordon Newby of Middle Eastern and South Asian studies, and Keith Wilkinson of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Science on the work of thinking through those processes more systematically as the SACS interim report approaches.

Knowledge and Application
Learning assessment in the Journalism Program

Sheila Tefft, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Program Director, 2000-2009

Learning to Follow the Butterfly
How dynamic learner outcomes helped me to be a better teacher

Gordon D. Newby, Professor and Chair, Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies

At the Heart of Learning
Assessing graduate student education in the biological sciences

Keith Wilkinson, Director, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical
Sciences, and Professor of Biochemistry