Posted by: clholoman | September 20, 2010

Testing, testing

(This will be kind of old news to some of you–sorry about that.)

A couple of articles in today’s Chronicle about the CLA–Collegiate Learning Assessment. We at Hilbert just finished our 2nd of 3 years in a consortium to use this test and share results (as the article points out, to this point, schools don’t have to publish their results.) We were very pleased with the results, in a cautious sort of way. We scored in the 96th percentile for “value added” which, to me, showed that at least for this sample, we were doing what we say-take students where they are coming in and provide the support they need to be successful college graduates.  I also agree with the point in the article (and in the associated one about Fayetteville St.)–I’ve said pretty much from the beginning that the longest-lasting benefit of administering the CLA is the tools they then provide to adapt the performance tasks for use in other disciplines. I think that can be a powerful teaching tool and I’m glad 5 of our faculty are going to a conference to be  trained in that next summer.

Anyway, I mostly added this to acquaint folks with the CLA if they weren’t familiar. I think the article is a pretty nice summary of the plusses and minuses. And one of the comments is nice, too, about the way the “inventors” have repositioned the test over time. It certainly was headed towards looking like a high-stakes test under the Bush administration.


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