In this new blog post, Dr. Lorenzo Esters discusses new research on college instruction and student outcomes. The research study is a collaboration between USA Funds and the American Council on Education (ACE). The objective of this partnership is to study the connection between the level of teaching quality and student experience. This is important because better student experiences are linked to higher levels of student retention and success.
The new research paper, authored by Dr. Natasha Jankowski, is titled “Unpacking Relationships: Instruction and Student Outcomes.” In the paper, Dr. Jankowski identifies five critical areas of intersection between instruction and outcomes. The first is transparency. It is important for students to understand where the course is going, the assessment criteria, and how the course fits in the overall curriculum.
The second area is pedagogical approaches. Instruction techniques like student-centered learning and personalized instruction produce a better understanding of concepts. Third is assessment. Students learn best when they are given many chances and situations in which to practice the course material. Constant feedback also contributes to better learning. The fourth important area is self-regulation. Active learning, including participation, reflection, and experience are critical to successful student outcomes. The fifth, and last, critical area of intersection between college instruction and student outcomes is alignment. Several key components of a course, including content, instructional design, teaching approach, assignments, and evaluation methods should all fit together to provide consistency.
To conclude, the study author and collaborators call for improved dissemination and training of these findings to college instructors. The hope is to support and encourage best practices in college instruction. The next steps for future research include studying the effect of better student outcomes on institutional efficiency. Finally, Dr. Lorenzo Esters concludes his blog post with a reminder of the goal of the USA Funds ACE partnership: to promote effective college instruction which will lead to an overall improved student experience.