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Student-Focused Learning and Assessment

Involving Students in the Learning Process in Higher Education

Edited By Natasha A. Jankowski, Gianina R. Baker, Erick Montenegro and Karie Brown-Tess

This contributed volume explores institutional and programmatic policies and practices which actively engage students as partners in improving student learning. This entails an examination of the degree to which students are partners in the assessment and learning processes and the characteristics of these partnerships. This volume showcases student partnerships, as well as presents a history of institutional culture affecting student learning, the role of students in teaching and learning, and brings student voices and perspectives to bare through research from a variety of institutional types. Case studies, current programs and activities, and a model for culturally-responsive assessment are highlighted to better understand student-focused learning and assessment. Implications for faculty, staff, and administrators are questioned. Overall, this volume links research to practice, and offers faculty, practitioners, and administrators different forms and methods of including students, while keeping issues of equity in mind.

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2. Student-Faculty Partnership: A New Paradigm for Assessing and Improving Student Learning

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NICHOLAS A. CURTIS, ROBIN D. ANDERSON, & SALLY BROWN

This chapter explores the rationale for student-faculty partnerships in program-level student learning outcomes assessment. We begin first by defining and explaining program-level student learning outcomes. Secondly, we discuss efforts to engage in program-level student learning outcomes assessment and then outline the most common practices and highlight the inherent dominance of faculty and staff perspectives. Next, we define student-faculty partnership in higher education and provide classroom-level examples and outline examples of student-faculty partnership initiatives that transcend single classrooms before going on to hypothesize how student-faculty partnerships might manifest in student learning outcomes assessment. Finally, we call for those interested in exploring student-faculty partnerships to do so in a rigorous and scientific manner using evidence-based approaches drawing on the literature in the field. Before we continue, as the lead authors are based in the United States, we acknowledge that our use of terms conforms to those used in our nation, but for readers beyond, to avoid confusion, please consult Table 2.1 for a “translation” of terms known to the authors to have multiple meanings across national systems.

We begin by asking, what does earning a higher education degree represent? What skills or knowledge does the student on completion possess that they did not previously? Are there key/core skills or knowledge that students develop within a degree program on top of the anticipated subject knowledge, thereby adding value? By defining program-level student learning outcomes, we begin to address...

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