Lawrence University Conference Examines Assessment Methods in Tutorial Education

APPLETON, WIS. — Four Lawrence University faculty members will be among the presenters discussing findings from a year-long assessment of learning outcomes associated with tutorial education August 28-29 at a conference hosted by Lawrence.

Faculty representatives from Williams College and College of Wooster will join the Lawrence participants in making presentations in the “Researching Assessment Methods in Tutorial Education” conference in the Warch Campus Center beginning at 9 a.m. Friday (8/28). All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend.

The conference, part of an ongoing two-year project scheduled for completion in fall 2010 and funded by a $95,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation in New York City, will examine the results of a shared assessment model (SAM) that was developed in a workshop last fall and discuss its usefulness as an assessment tool.

During the past winter and spring terms, eight instructors from across the disciplines at Lawrence, Williams and College of Wooster, used the SAM to score students on a 5-point scale for 20 different traits within three broad learning outcomes: independent thinking, intellectual maturity and creativity.

Charles Blaich, director of Wabash College’s Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, will deliver the conference’s keynote address at 9:15 Friday morning.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Lawrence faculty members Rob Neilson, associate professor of art, Ron Peck, assistant professor of biology, Jerald Podair, professor of history and Robert S. French Professor of American Studies and Claudena Skran, associate professor of government and Edwin and Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science, will make presentations based on their participation in the project.

Rob Beck, visiting professor of education, and William Skinner, director of research administration, co-principal investigators of the study, also will represent Lawrence as presenters during the conference.

This weekend’s conference is an outgrowth of the “Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution” conference Lawrence hosted in the spring of 2007.