Friday, April 27, 2007

Standardized testing of college students won't work, says new book by UW researchers

A University of Washington news site has the article Standardized testing of college students won't work, says new book by UW researchers. It is about the book Inside the Undergraduate Experience by Catharine Hoffman Beyer, Gerald M. Gillmore and Andrew T. Fisher.

I have not read the book but I think I will be looking at it soon. This will be on my acquisition list for my higher education book ordering for Central Michigan University this summer.

Here is what makes this interesting to me. The article notes, "Results of the study show that writing, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning are not generic skills and that even among freshmen, such skills are mediated by the disciplines. Thus Nolan's report on monkeys in Indonesia will be different in many ways from a chemistry lab report or an English essay. What counts as good thinking, writing, quantitative reasoning, and information literacy practice in college is closely aligned with the professional practices in those fields. "

I note how closely this parallels Stanley Wilder's call to tie information literacy instruction directly to the disciplines. He wrote in a 2005 article in the Chronicle, “Librarians should use their expertise to deepen students' understanding of the disciplines they study. More specifically, librarians should use their intimate knowledge of the collections they manage and the writing process as practiced in the disciplines to teach apprentice readers and writers.”

This books should be interesting and may be highly relevant to information literacy instruction in higher education. I think it is worth a read. I probably will not get to this book for a few months but I probably will post a review on it in the future here.

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