Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The future of higher ed assessment

The authors of this piece would have us believe that this (more here) is the future of higher ed assessment. I can’t quote the latter longish document without permission, so you’ll have to read it for yourself, bearing in mind that the approach it describes and defends was favorably noted by the Spellings Commission.

My first impression is that widespread use of this instrument would share some of the problems I identified here. I would hope that well-educated students are capable of deploying the skills this test is designed to assess, but the availability of such an "objective" measure might tend to lead colleges and universities to make explicitly cultivating these skills (not to mention the "skill" of demonstrating them in a testing environment) the principal goal of their enteprise. Those behind the test might well be more modest in their aims, but the effect, I fear, would be to lead colleges and universities to be even more explicit in emphasizing the cultivation of generic, ultimately job-related intellectual skills at the expense of liberal learning.

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