Inside Higher Ed
September 25th, 2015
The debate over how much actual learning is taking place on college
campuses is a historically heated one, as is the related discussion
about how to measure that learning.
At the risk of oversimplifying, opinions on the latter range between
two extremes. On one end are those (typically policy makers, researchers
and trustees) who believe faculty grading of academic work at
individual campuses says little to nothing about whether students there
are really learning. On the other are those (mostly on college
faculties) who believe that attempts to standardize assessment of
student learning (through a national exam, say) are seriously flawed
because they are too distant from what happens in the classroom and
define learning too narrowly, among other problems.
Finding common ground between those polar viewpoints (though there are many perspectives in between) has been difficult.