Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)
As part of a national study, sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), SJSU is participating in a longitudinal study of student learning. Using measures developed by CAE, the study will assess the "value-added" effects of college and university attendance on three fundamental outcomes of liberal education: critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and written communication.
The CLA combines two types of testing instruments:
- Performance Tasks: Students must complete a "real-life" activity (such as preparing a memo or policy recommendation) by using a series of documents that must be reviewed and evaluated. Completion of these instruments does not require the recall of particular facts or formulas; instead, the measures assess the demonstrated ability to interpret, analyze and synthesize information.
- Writing Prompts: Evaluate students' ability to articulate complex ideas, examine claims and evidence, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, sustain a coherent discussion, and use standard written English.
Benefits of Participation:
- By participating in this unique research project, our campus will receive detailed information about the intellectual growth of our students, and will be a part of the larger national study to understand the institutional, curricular and pedagogical components that promote powerful learning. Our campus will also become part of a consortium of institutions committed to explore best practices that support liberal learning.
- The innovative CLA performance measures require three-hours of testing time; all measures are administered on-line on campus computer facilities. SJSU will have 300 first-year students participate in this study. The academic progress of these students will be tracked during their attendance at SJSU to participate in these repeated assessments. The project will build a link between educational research and practice by creating a Collegiate Learning Assessment Database that can be used to conduct research about student learning and best practices, and that will inform curricular and programmatic design and planning.