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A fuller description of noncognitive skills may be found in the work on emotional intelligences and in Howard Gardner’s Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligences.  

4. Student engagement with learning

In addition to the three dimensions of student learning, it is also appropriate to look at the extent to which students are actively engaged in their own learning.  The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) provides a set of benchmarks that help describe student engagement in the following areas:

Active and collaborative learning

Student effort

Academic challenge

Student-faculty interaction

Support for learners

Developing a Culture of Evidence

Learning-centered improvement is supported by an active assessment program that provides the evidence to support improvement in courses, programs and across the institutional.  Assessment provides the foundation by which we can say if our students are learning what we intended them to learn and if they are ready to use what they have learned.  Assessment provides the evidence to say if our selected improvement programs and strategies are providing the expected results.  Assessment provides the evidence to support quality decision making and assist with allocation of resources.  

Developing a culture of evidence is not easy.  It means making changes in what we think, do and value.  There are some simple ways to assist with developing a culture of evidence.  One way is to separate what we know and what we do not know (or what is unclear) from our assumptions.  We can also continually test our assumptions to see if additional data/evidence is available to up us determine is the assumption is correction.  Peter Senge in his 5th Discipline Fieldbook givens a series of patterns that can help focus on evidence and make our thinking clear and improve understanding among and between different individuals and groups.  

Make you thinking process visible

What to do

What to say

State your assumptions, and described the data that led to them

“Here’s what I think, and here’s how I got there.”

“I believe this because …”

Explain your assumptions

“I assumed that…”

Make your reasoning explicit

“I came to this conclusion because …”

Publicly test your conclusions and assumptions

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