Value Added: Demonstrating Student Skill Development at Your Institution

Natalie Simper, Jill Scott, Brian Frank

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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This poster summarizes findings from the Queen’s University longitudinal learning outcomes assessment study. The research was supported by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario with the goal of investigating the effectiveness and utility of assessment practices for evaluating transferable skills. Over the last decade there has been an increasing demand for institutions to provide evidence for the quality of student learning (Spellings, 2006; (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent, & Scales, 2008; Herbert, 2015). To gather reliable, valid evidence that is generalizable within and across the institution remains an ongoing challenge for the higher education sector. Globally, employers state that many new graduates lack the critical thinking, writing and problem-solving skills needed in today’s workplaces (Bartlet, Uvalic, Durazzi, Monastiriotis, & Sene, 2016; Casner-Lotto & Barrington, 2006; “Career Readiness Competencies: Employer Survey Results,” 2014). In developing these skills, experts in the field recommend assessment approaches that yield actionable evidence to ensure students actively participate in the process (Roksa, Arum, & Cook, 2016). Presented here are insights from administration of the Collegiate learning Assessment (CLA+), the Critical thinking Assessment Test (CAT), and the Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) rubrics. These tools were selected based on the skills they assess and were applied in various contexts across a range of undergraduate learning areas. The results of the study quantified longitudinal achievement of student learning outcomes, on the three instruments, with incremental growth in skills demonstrated across the studied undergraduate programs. There were however logistical implications, sampling challenges and motivational concerns with each. The poster highlights actionable evidence through targeted assessment using standardized measures, to open the door for scholarly approaches to the improvement of student learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event14th Annual Conference of the International Society of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) : REACHING NEW HEIGHTS - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 8 Oct 201714 Oct 2017
Conference number: 14th


Conference14th Annual Conference of the International Society of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)
Abbreviated titleISSOTL17
Internet address


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