In 2011-12, UW Bothell freshmen and seniors participated in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) on a pilot basis. This national learning assessment is designed to measure the development of skills in critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication during the college years. Outcomes of the assessment are used to inform continuous improvement of teaching and learning.
About the CLA – Student Benefits:
The CLA measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills. Your confidential personalized score report will include your strengths and weaknesses on these skills and compare your performance to other students at your school and nationwide. Your participation will also give you additional information to use during interviews, as most organizations look for candidates that are strong in the areas being assessed. Participation will also help the University of Washington Bothell gauge its performance in helping you develop these skills and, in the future, focus resources on what works. Individual results will remain anonymous and will not become part of your academic record.
Scores are aggregated to the institutional level to provide a signal to the institution about how our students as a whole, are performing.
Benefits to the Institution:
Results from the CLA provide a means for measuring the institution's contribution to the development of key higher order competencies, including the effects of changes to curriculum and pedagogy. The CLA presents realistic problems that require students to analyze complex materials and determine the relevance to the task and credibility. Students' written responses to the tasks are evaluated to assess their abilities to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems and communicate clearly and cogently.
Scores are aggregated to the institutional level to provide a signal to the institution about how their students as a whole are performing.
This signaling quality of the CLA allows institutions to benchmark where they stand and how much progress their students have made relative to the progress of students at other colleges. Yet, the CLA is not about ranking institutions. Rather, it is about highlighting differences between them that can lead to improvements in teaching and learning.