Thursday, March 15, 2012

College students don't learn anything

Eight years ago, leaders of the University of Texas set out to measure something few in higher education had thought to question — how much their students learn before graduation…An unsettling answer emerged: arguably, not very much…That conclusion is based on results from a 90-minute essay test given to freshmen and seniors that aims to gauge gains in critical thinking and communication skills…In a landmark study published last year, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa used the test to measure collegiate learning in the nation. Using data drawn from a sampling of public and private colleges, they shook the academic world with a finding that 36 percent of students made no significant learning gains from freshman to senior year.
—Daniel de Vise.  March 14, 2012.  “Trying to assess learning gives colleges their own test anxiety.”  The Washington Post.  Online in Education section.

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