Assessing General Education at Boston University’s College of General Studies

At the College of General Studies (CGS), Boston University (BU), we are in the second year of a two-year assessment project, funded by the Davis Educational Foundation. The project involves a team of 11 faculty members assessing two years of general education work posted by 100+ students on their ePortfolios. (Students post work from each of the general education courses they take in their two years in our college.) In assessing this work, faculty use a rubric based on AAC & U models to gauge students’ levels of competency in areas such as critical thinking and perspective taking, writing skills, and awareness of historical and rhetorical contexts. We are pleased to have encouraging quantitative and qualitative data from our first summer of assessing 106 ePortfolios, but we continue to face challenges in terms of faculty and student buy-in. Some students are not posting work from each of their classes, and some faculty are not encouraging them to do so. We also face challenges in translating assessment data into curricular and pedagogical change. We plan to assess another 100+ ePortfolios this summer.

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