NESTED LEARNING GOALS AS A TOOL FOR GEOLOGY PROGRAM ASSESSMENT
Reevaluating course learning goals specifically in the context of programmatic learning goals, and programmatic learning goals specifically in the context of collegewide learning goals, can result in the creation of nested, or hierarchical, learning goals that ameliorate the problem of assessment overload. Simply stated, if course learning goals are established as aspects of programmatic learning goals, and programmatic learning goals are established as aspects of collegewide learning goals, then assessing the course learning goals simultaneously assesses the larger goals in that hierarchy.
This presentation will use the Westminster College Geology Program as an extended case study in how to create nested learning goals while still maintaining a program’s unique identity and characteristics. It will also provide examples of how nested learning goals can be used to streamline the process of program evaluation. Finally, it will present data demonstrating the efficacy of nested learning goals for assessing both courses and programs.