Excellence in Every Class: LEAP and the Instructional “Black Box”

The definition of a well-educated college graduate? Someone who thinks critically and creatively. Who inquires, analyzes, and integrates learning. Who communicates persuasively. Someone who is literate, with information and quantitatively, and can work in teams to solve problems of local and global impact. Among other essential competencies, these are the attributes articulated by Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) through the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) in their national movement to promote excellence nationwide. LEAP’s VALUE rubrics take the effort one step further—by providing valid and reliable ways to assess students’ progress toward these outcomes.

A fundamental question remains: With agreed-upon goals and authentic measures, what can we do, as educators, to help more students achieve the meaningful outcomes necessary for rewarding careers and purposeful lives?

Dr. Penny MacCormack, chief academic officer at ACUE, and Dr. Shannon Washburn, assistant dean of academic programs at Kansas State University, will lead a discussion of this question at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting this month. They will focus on how great teaching is central to the answer—specifically, the degree to which faculty employ the evidence-based teaching practices shown to promote student engagement, higher quality work, and deeper levels of learning. The presenters will also discuss how quality instruction is critical to an institution’s strategic efforts and to achieving LEAP’s goal to allow all students to realize economic and democratic vitality.

We hope to see you in Washington, DC for a meaningful discussion that gets inside the instructional “black box.”

Visit AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting website to view the full schedule of events.

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