Assessing students' understanding of human behavior: A multidisciplinary outcomes-based approach for the design and assessment of an academic program goal

  • Keith B
  • LeBoeuf J
  • Meese M
 et al. 
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Abstract

In this paper, we present a strategy for the curricular design and assessment of one multidisciplinary program goal (understanding human behavior). We show how assessing a desired outcome requires attention to four specific areas: organizational context, the articulation of a learning model, program design and implementation, and outcomes assessment. Our findings, based on multiple indicators gathered over time and including both summative and formative measures, suggest that our graduates are generally achieving the outcomes established for them. We discuss how our results are used to inform decision-makers, and how inconsistencies discovered between the program's desired outcomes and students' actual achievements are managed within the framework of the program. Finally, we highlight several lessons learned as a result of this intensive process, linking its benefits to programs within sociology and other disciplines.

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Authors

  • B Keith

  • J LeBoeuf

  • M J Meese

  • J C Malinowski

  • M Gallagher

  • S Efflandt

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