Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweeping Away "Academically Adrift"

In a recent Chronicle commentary, Alexander Austin explains some of the logical errors and statistical assumptions made by the authors of "Academically Adrift" that impact the far-reaching conclusions of the book.

It seems that the reliability (of student-level scores) of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, the test used to make the claim that 45% of students "failed to show significant (learning) gains" in their first two years of college, is unknown and likely in question. A lack of reliability could inflate the proportion of students who show "no significant gain" in learning.

What are your thoughts? If you would construct a test to determine if students were learning what you hoped they were learning in their first two years of college, what would be on the test?

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