Drew Ferguson, interim director of assessment at Brenau University, was recently quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article titled “What Delayed Course Evaluations Might — and Might Not — Reveal.”
In the article, Ferguson noted that later evaluations, versus those offered at the end of a course, might allow colleges to assess student outcomes that can be difficult to measure from a single course. Skills like written or oral communication can be relatively straightforward to evaluate after a course, but attitudinal ones, like global awareness, may take longer to observe, he said. Yet he also noted evaluating attitudes like civic engagement later might not exactly solve the problem either.
“Say a student gets fired up for a given cause during class and starts volunteering that very semester, but a few semesters go by and that zeal has waned,” he said. “In that case, what are we to say of the real, long-term shift in attitude?”
Ferguson was quoted alongside professors and administrators from several prestigious institutions, and we commend him for lending his expertise in the area.