Student Learning Outcomes: Changes in the Playing Field

By Melissa Whiting and Kimberly Downing-Robinson.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As teachers in a department that offers a B.A. in English, specializing in literature, we must increasingly reexamine how we hold our program accountable to national accreditation as well as the program specific outcomes our graduates should credibly have when they leave with their degree. Faculty clamor to teach upper-division courses have to be as scrutinized as any other program on our campus. Thus, we have worked with current research that supports progressive and successful educational theories that allow our students to succeed, whether it be moving on to graduate school or entering into the job market. Nothing about this endeavor has been easy, but our growing work with authentic assessment has produced some pertinent revelations. These revelations have been incorporated into our program, resulting in a degree that offers students far more than a focused background in English literature.

Keywords: Curriculum, Assessment, Pedagogy, Mission, English Literature, Undergraduate Research, Educational Theory

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp.75-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 226.993KB).

Dr. Melissa Whiting

Department Head, Department of English, Rhetoric, and Writing, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Fort Smith, AR, USA

I began the English Teacher Licensure program at this university in 2004 and became department head in 2008. My publications and presentations currently focus on authentic assessment and the demanding need for accountability at every programmatic level.

Dr. Kimberly Downing-Robinson

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rhetoric, and Writing, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Fort Smith, AR, USA

I am a generalist with divided duties in both Rhetoric and Literature. I recently became the co-chair of our campus assessment system. My research interests focus on the 18th Century British prose and the history of the English language.