Assessing the impact of the Inquiry ARC is a collaborative effort in which faculty and administrators review a variety of kinds of data on student learning and faculty pedagogy. Our paradigm includes institutional data and course-based assessments which provide indirect or direct measures on these program elements.
A Focus on Student Learning
How does participation in Inquiry ARC courses affect students' critical thinking? The Assessment Team uses both indirect and direct measures to explore this question.
Indirect measures require students to self-report their experiences with and attitudes about critical thinking. At the institutional level we use data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), specifically the deep learning scale scores, and the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI). Comparisons of students who have completed Inquiry ARC courses to other students will be made at periodic intervals. At the course level we use data from key items on the UNC Asheville Student Rating of Instruction (SRI), comparing responses of students completing Inquiry ARC courses to those of other students each semester.
Direct measures require students to engage in critical thinking processes and provide measures of their current level of skill. At the institutional level we use data from the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA/CLA+). Comparisons of students who have completed Inquiry ARC courses to other students again will be made at periodic intervals. At the course level we use instructor-designed pre-/post-course-based assignments and evaluate student responses using the AACU Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric each semester.
A Focus on Pedagogy
How do educators incorporate the Inquiry ARC pedagogy into their classes? Each semester the Inquiry ARC faculty submit a packet of materials along with a Faculty Materials Checklist which delineates how the methods and objectives of the Inquiry ARC are embedded in each course. Information from review of these materials is used to enhance the professional development program for new Inquiry ARC instructors.