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Document Number: 7028

A Culture of Evidence: Postsecondary Assessment and Learning Outcomes - This paper argues that postsecondary education today is not driven by hard evidence of its effectiveness, limiting our current state of knowledge about the effectiveness of a college education. This in turn hampers informed decisionmaking by institutions, students and their families and the future employers of college graduates. What is needed is a systemic, data-driven, comprehensive approach to understanding the quality of two-year and four-year postsecondary education, with direct, valid and reliable measures of student learning. The authors propose a comprehensive national system for determining the nature and extent of college learning, focusing on four dimensions of student learning: (1) workplace readiness and general skills; (2) domain-specific knowledge and skills; (3) soft skills, such as teamwork, communication and creativity and (4) student engagement with learning. (Carol A. Dwyer, Catherine M. Millett and David G. Payne, ETS, June 2006) ...

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Postsecondary Accountability

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