View Full Version : Party On!

Nicholas Carey
01-19-2011, 05:39 PM
What Do They Teach Them In the Schools These Days? Apparently, not very much.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/01/18/study_finds_large_numbers_of_college_students_don_ t_learn_much

A new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?isbn=9780226028552), has been published published by the University of Chicago Press. In a nutshell:

The book cites data from student surveys and transcript analysis to show that many college students have minimal classwork expectations -- and then it tracks the academic gains (or stagnation) of 2,300 students of traditional college age enrolled at a range of four-year colleges and universities. The students took the Collegiate Learning Assessment (which is designed to measure gains in critical thinking, analytic reasoning and other "higher level" skills taught at college) at various points before and during their college educations, and the results are not encouraging:

45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during the first two years of college.
36 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over four years of college.
Those students who do show improvements tend to show only modest improvements. Students improved on average only 0.18 standard deviations over the first two years of college and 0.47 over four years. What this means is that a student who entered college in the 50th percentile of students in his or her cohort would move up to the 68th percentile four years later -- but that's the 68th percentile of a new group of freshmen who haven't experienced any college learning.

"How much are students actually learning in contemporary higher education? The answer for many undergraduates, we have concluded, is not much," write the authors, Richard Arum, professor of sociology and education at New York University, and Josipa Roksa, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
The research findings at the core of the book are also being released today by their sponsor, the Social Science Research Council. (Esther Cho of the council is a co-author on that paper.)

The main culprit for lack of academic progress of students, according to the authors, is a lack of rigor. They review data from student surveys to show, for example, that 32 percent of students each semester do not take any courses with more than 40 pages of reading assigned a week, and that half don't take a single course in which they must write more than 20 pages over the course of a semester

Party On, Dude!

The project's web site is here: http://highered.ssrc.org/

and the referenced paper(s) can be found here:

Improving Undergraduate Learning: Findings and Policy Recommendations from the SSRC-CLA Longitudinal Project (http://highered.ssrc.org/files/SSRC_Report.pdf)
Learning to Reason and Communicate in College: Initial Report of Findings from the CLA Longitudinal Study (http://highered.ssrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Arum-and-Roksa-2008-Learning-in-Higher-Ed.pdf)

And here are linke

John of Phoenix
01-19-2011, 06:00 PM
University of Georgia
Ohio University
Penn State
West Virginia University
University of Mississippi
University of Texas at Austin
University of Florida
University of California – Santa Barbara
University of Iowa
DePauw University
Florida State University
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Alabama
Sewanee - The University of the South
Indiana University - Bloomington
University of Colorado - Boulder
University of Missouri
University of Illinois
University of Maryland
Michigan State University

Read more at Suite101: Top American Party Schools 2010-2011: Princeton Review Rankings (http://www.suite101.com/content/top-american-party-schools-2010-2011-princeton-review-rankings-a265882#ixzz1BWZ1gxVT) http://www.suite101.com/content/top-american-party-schools-2010-2011-princeton-review-rankings-a265882#ixzz1BWZ1gxVT

Nicholas Carey
01-19-2011, 06:09 PM
According to the paper, the underlying survey pretty much covered the gamut.

In total, more than 3,000 students at 29 four-year institutions participated in the project. Most of the reported regression analyses are based on the first two years of data, including 2,322 students attending 24 institutions. The sample includes a range of institutions from all four regions of the country, of varying sizes, selectivity, and missions, from liberal arts colleges and large research institutions to a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Keith Wilson
01-19-2011, 10:40 PM
The students took the Collegiate Learning Assessment (which is designed to measure gains in critical thinking, analytic reasoning and other "higher level" skills So if they learn, say. chemistry, mathematics, or history, it won't show up on the test. Sensational headline, little substance.