The Role of Instructional Support Materials in Higher Education Learning Assurance Programs

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This proposal is based on the collaborative research activities of an undergraduate student and two professors engaged in an analysis of instructional materials utilized in school of business curricula. During the past decade measures of student success in higher education has shifted dramatically from input to outcomes-based assessment processes. Driven by stakeholders such as employers and graduate schools; governmental regulatory agencies; and professional as well as regional accrediting bodies, educational institutions have invested time and resources in the development of formal learning assurance programs within their curricular programs. This particular research focuses on the role and contribution of commercially developed textbooks on the effectiveness of learning assurance programs within the curricular subject matter of marketing. The investigators have analyzed the development of learning outcomes by textbook authors in terms of their level of refinement and specificity. The research was conducted through the creation of a sample based on five representative courses within the curricular subject area and four widely adopted corresponding textbooks for each. The analysis of this feature in the twenty textbooks was conducted through a categorization of the stated outcomes for every chapter content area in the context of the specific learning levels within the hierarchy of Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy. Additional support for this categorization was drawn from Fink’s research on the topic of significant learning as well as McBeath’s research in the development and application of learning outcomes based terminology. A comprehensive data base was developed from this research to reveal the extent to which textbook based learning outcomes address curricular learning levels modeled from Bloom’s seminal work. The research concludes with recommendations for enhancement and improvement of this textbook feature as well as an identification of future research activities.


Keywords: Curriculum, Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment, Learning Assurance, Textbooks
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Role of Instructional Support Materials in Higher Education Learning Assurance Programs, The


Prof. Joseph L. Rosetti

Professor of Marketing and Management, School of Business, Siena College
Loudonville, New York, USA

Professor Rosetti's research focus is the development of pedagogical tools in subject matter designed to address the challenges of enhancing learning through an integration of learning taxonomy theory in curricular hierarchy design. He has served as the co-chair of the outcomes assessment initiative within the school of business at his college and has represented the school at the professional accreditation body assessment program. Additionally, he has published on higher education issues and has presented two national workshops on the subject of maximizing outcomes data to contribute to continuous learning improvement.

Dr. Leonard Stokes

Accounting Professor, School of Business, Siena College
Loudonville, New York, USA

Dr. Stokes has served as the director of the MBA program at his institution, and has been an active participant in curricular design. He has published in the area of learning outcomes and has spearheaded initiatives within his department and the school of business to advance the effectiveness of classroom pedagogy.

Anna Gifford

Student, Siena College
Loudonville, New York, USA

Anna Gifford is an undergraduate student who has conducted collaborative research on the subject of learning assurance with two professor mentors. She is also in the process of developing a research proposal to investigate the retail consignment industry from a macro and micro perspective, and will be a candidate for a summer 2008 research scholarship/fellowship at her college relative to this project.

Ref: L08P0621