The University of Washington's Study of Undergraduate Learning (UW SOUL) tracked 304 entering freshmen and transfer students as they moved through their college experience from fall 1999 to spring 2003. Unparalleled in its scope, this longitudinal study focused on six areas of learning: writing, critical thinking/problem solving, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, understanding and appreciating diversity, and personal growth. This book provides faculty, staff, and administrators at two- and four-year institutions with a model of assessment that both captures the complexity of the undergraduateexperience and offers practical information about how to improve teaching and learning. Data from surveys, open-ended email questions, interviews, focus groups, and portfoliosmake it possible for the authors to create case studies of individual learning paths over time, as well as to report the group's aggregate experience.
Honoring the authenticity of student voices, this book illuminates the central rolesplayed by the academic disciplines and by faculty in undergraduate learning, offering powerful evidence for the argument that assessment of student learning is most complete and most useful when conducted at the department level.