National experts explore measuring student gains in critical thinking and communicationFeb 16, 2011
Miami University hosts the first national symposium on assessment in the
humanities, Feb. 23-24, exploring the theoretical and practical
questions of measuring student gains in areas such as critical thinking
and communication — hallmarks of a high quality humanities education.
Joining Miami faculty, national scholars will discuss the latest techniques in using assessment methods to evaluate learning outcomes that will help humanities programs achieve their educational goals and strengthen the disciplines through better public understanding of the value of a humanities education.
“The call for accountability in higher education places more emphasis on our need to demonstrate that the humanities provide critical skills our students must master to be successful. Those skills include the ability to think and to write; and now, in our digital society, effectively communicate,” said Cecilia Shore, director of Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment (CELTUA), and co-chair of the conference.
“At the core of this symposium is the ongoing debate about how we can use qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess the skills that are valued in the humanities,” she said.
Coordinated with the release of the Teagle Foundation’s Literary Study, Measurement, and The Sublime: Disciplinary Assessment, a new collection of essays, “Assessment in the Humanities: a National Symposium” features several scholars who have contributed to the publication, as well as Miami faculty who will serve as panelists during discussion events. Those faculty are: Allan Winkler, Distinguished Professor of History; Laura Mandell, professor of English; Carolyn Haynes, director of the university honors program; Robert DiDonato, interim chair of the department of Spanish and Portuguese and director of Miami’s global initiative; and John Jeep, professor of German.
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, workshops on assessment led by Peggy Maki, a leading authority and consultant on assessment and a former senior scholar and director of assessment at the American Association for Higher Education, will address the morning workshop faculty in all disciplines. Her afternoon workshop will be designed specifically for humanities faculty.
On Thursday, Feb. 24, nine featured speakers will make presentations with each session including follow up discussions.
All events will occur in the Heritage Room at Miami's Shriver Center at the corner of Patterson Avenue (Route 27) and Spring Street.
Participation is free for Miami faculty and $40 per day for faculty from other institutions.
Registration (www.units.muohio.edu/celt/events/aihc_reg.php) includes breaks and lunch. The deadline for registration is Friday, Feb. 18. The complete conference schedule is online.
Sponsors of the symposium are: Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment, College of Arts and Science, Roger & Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence, The Digital Humanities Center, The Humanities Center and the Teagle Foundation. Sponsors also include the following department and programs at Miami: anthropology, architecture, art, Black World Studies, English, the John W. Altman Humanities Fund, Latin American, Latino/a and Caribbean Studies, music, philosophy, and political science.