Monday, May 2, 2011

"I Won’t Mess with Your Course if You Don’t Mess with Mine"

Faculty Focus
By: Maryellen Weimer

AEFIS Response:
Students do not generally select to attend a university to take one specific course. Students, instead, enter a university to obtain a degree. As described in “I Won’t Mess with Your Course if You Don’t Mess with Mine,” faculty often do not recognize the obligations and opportunities to understand their courses in the context of a curriculum. And Gerald Graff provides a reasonable strategy for minimizing such “courseocentricisim,” outcomes based assessment.

By developing course outcomes or objectives, institutions can structure a baseline for the instruction of each of their offered courses. This baseline opens the dialogue among all stakeholders, students, faculty, and administrators, to develop meaningful curricula and plans of study. Additionally, outcomes based assessment provides a platform for:
  • Context of student learning in pre-requisite and curricular courses.
  • Networking with multi-disciplinary instructors to facilitate research activities.
  • Options for students to develop career specific degree programs.
  • Academic freedom, by structuring goals for courses, but not specifying means for instruction.
Outcomes based assessment is a holistic approach to the educational process. It addresses the root of education: effective teaching and learning, by providing a metric to measure students' understanding and application skills.

Our web-based assessment management solution, AEFIS, organizes outcomes as they relate to course sections, courses, programs, departments, units and institutions to automate processes for measuring and reporting on student outcomes performance.
Becky Joyce, AEFIS Team

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