Improving Teaching and Learning to Strengthen the College Experience
This event featured Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson, the guest editors of the Fall 2019 issue of Daedalus on “Improving Teaching: Strengthening the College Learning Experience” who note in their introduction to the issue that “An odd feature of the public policy discussion of higher education is the near absence of attention to the quality of teaching.” This event and the 13 essays in this Daedalus issue focus on “what goes on inside the ‘black box’ of teaching and learning that college students actually experience.”
Attending to the quality of the educational experience was identified as a top national priority by the American Academy’s Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, which recognized that “What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education, of enrolling as many students as possible, is now a challenge of quality.”
Addressing the challenge of quality requires a deep understanding of how students learn, how to improve teaching at the college level, and how to ensure that students are truly getting educated. Baum and McPherson explored this range of issues, with special attention to their essay in the volume “The Human Factor: The Promise & Limits of Online Education” which grapples with the challenges posed to students and instructors by online learning and what hybrid learning models might offer as we seek to narrow gaps in educational opportunities and outcomes.