Faculty are raising concerns about a UNC-system proposal to increase use of standardized testing — which they say could harm university accreditation and quality.
The system is considering a more routine use of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a measure of critical thinking, problem solving and written communication skills.
In the assessment, students are asked to solve practical problems. A student might be asked to assess a citywide drug issue by analyzing documents and developing a solution to the problem, said Chris Jackson, director of business development at the Council for Aid to Education, which administers the assessment.
COLLEGIATE LEARNING TEST
The Collegiate Learning Assessment uses a variety of measures. Students must complete:
- Performance tasks, such as evaluating whether a company should purchase a plane model involved in a recent accident
- Argumentative writing prompts, for which students must provide relevant reasons and evidence to support their views on topics
The system’s five-year strategic plan, which the Board of Governors will vote on Friday, aims to develop a more concrete method for measuring student progress and the effectiveness of instruction, said Paul Fulton, a board member.
But faculty are concerned that use of the standardized test could jeopardize universities’ accreditation and undermine faculty members’ autonomy with regard to instruction.