Universities Today

New York Times Opinion piece: Who will hold colleges accountable?

As McGill considers developing massively online open courses (MOOCs), perhaps we should begin to reflect on how students are graded now and how this will change. With large classes we already have, there are concerns about how well we evaluate student learning and how those outcomes prepare them for their futures. Attached here is an interesting piece which covers the history of the credit hour and how our current methods of assessment are already failing students. Given the diminishing commitment of governments to higher education, perhaps it is not time to expand in this direction. Perhaps it is time to think about how to survive with our missions of teaching, research and service intact.

Click here to read the original NYT opinion piece

Website | + posts

I m a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University.

1 comment on “New York Times Opinion piece: Who will hold colleges accountable?

  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting article! Its criticism of the Carnegie credit hour as being an old-fashioned and unreliable measure of student learning reminded me of this one (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/05/carnegie-foundation-considers-redesign-credit-hour) about the Carnegie Foundation’s plan announced in December to revisit the very concept of the “credit hour”, more than a century after it was first established. Their intention is to research and analyse how the credit unit might be re-focused so that it could be awarded on a competency basis, rather than based on the time a student spends in class.

    Perhaps such an eventual re-framing of what is being assessed (changing from time to student demonstration of competencies/outcomes) will help move things in a useful direction.

Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: