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Sharing our Gen Ed Story: How Assessment Can Empower Faculty and Promote Learning…

Sharing our Gen Ed Story: How Assessment Can Empower Faculty and Promote Learning…

Kate McConnell, Ph.D.

Senior Director for Research and Assessment, AAC&U

Date: October 18, 2016

Overview

The mission statements and goals for general education represent campuses at their most aspirational. Unfortunately, aspiration can quickly give way to the lived experience of students trying to “get through” Gen Ed to focus on their majors, advisors frustrated by a veritable endless list of courses, and faculty confused about the purpose of general education and its relationship to their home disciplines. This session will address how assessment can help reframe campus conversations about general education, moving a campus from an initial focus on logistical concerns – what can students transfer in? What “counts” for Area 2? Who owns this class? – to one focused on student learning, and the net value of marrying breadth and depth within undergraduate education. The session will offer both pragmatic strategies for assessing student learning in a complex curricular system like general education, while pressing faculty and students to consider big questions about the purpose of an education and thinking within – and beyond – a discipline.