NCHC 2013, Developing in Honors: Assessing Study Abroad Student Outcomes

New Orleans, Sheraton, Napoleon C3

Laurie Smith-Law, Iowa State University; Christopher Frost, St. Joseph’s College New York; Kim Klein, Shippensburg University; William Wians, MerrimackCollege; Alvin Wang, University of Central Florida

Notes & comments

  • operative key word: intentionality in design, implementation & assessment of the program
  • global awareness/learning/knowledge/perspective/citizenship as sensitization to significant global issues
  • The purpose of assessment is to improve programs, teaching & learning to achieve ‘deep global learning’
  • Transform the experience of programs from ‘vacation/tourism’ t0 encounters that lead to ‘deep global learning’
  • Different types of assessment methods: Direct/indirect, qualitative/quantitative, pre-/post-testing
  • Reflective assessments
  • Global Citizenship Scale
  • Provide opportunities for students to apply their disciplinary knowledge and skills to significant global issues (see global studies, global competence)
  • Develop intercultural competencies
  • Begin the assessment with the study abroad application: Include pre-tests to provide a baseline in terms of previous experiences abroad and global knowledge
  • Deliberately reverse engineer programs: Start with the most important outcomes you want to achieve – putting the horse before the cart: study abroad is a means to globalize students
  • How deep and lasting are the impacts of study abroad? How to systematically integrate study abroad and global learning into the academic and personal development of students
  • Very comprehensive research: Glossari (Georgia learning outcomes of students studying abroad research initiative)
  • Some research shows that short-term programs can achieve the same level of benefits if they are carefully designed as long-term programs (see debate on ’boutique programs’) – most research shows that the longer the program, the larger the benefits
  • Other research shows that if not well designed, the benefits of long programs can be very limited
  • Create intentional living and learning communities that include international students
  • Offer portfolios as part of students’ assessment
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