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This report explores the issues and concerns related to the development of a process to assess college student learning. Its primary focus is the attainment of National Education Goal 5.5 by the year 2000 which reads, "The proportion of college graduates who demonstrate an advanced ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems will increase substantially." The primary source of information for this report came from a set of 15 papers commissioned as background for a study design workshop held in November 1991, 45 reviews of the papers, and the proceedings of the study design workshop, "National Assessment of College Student Learning: Issues and Concerns." Chapter 1 addresses what it means to undertake a national assessment of college student learning and raises issues inherent in such a national assessment. Chapter 2 considers what specific skills should be assessed (critical thinking skills, assessment in the workplace, assessment in the colleges--basic skills and general intellectual skills, literacy and writing assessments, and necessary research). Chapter 3 raises six standards and other measurement issues: (1) relationship of standards to the task of defining a national assessment of college student learning; (2) historical context for standards; (3) relationship of standards of National Assessment of College Student Learning to the overall charge of Goal 5; (4) the testing of subject-specific content domains; (5) reasonableness of a single set of standards; (6) and the debate over portfolio assessment and its relationship to standards and values issues. (Contains over 450 footnotes.) (GLR)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, College Outcomes Assessment, College Students, Competency Based Education, Educational Assessment, Educational Objectives, Educational Planning, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Program Development, Skill Development, Standards, Student Evaluation

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Autor: Greenwood, Addison


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