Publication Date

2011

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman

Abstract

This Capstone is the design of an evaluation and assessment plan for the Presbyterian College (PC) Semester in Cuba program. The evaluation and assessment were conducted in Spring 2010 to gauge the effectiveness of the program, make improvements, produce direct evidence of student learning outcomes, and maintain accountability as one of the few study abroad programs operating in Cuba. The plan focuses primarily on assessment of student learning outcomes in accordance with standards set by the Forum on Education Abroad and the American Council on Education. The measurement of learning outcomes also adheres to the parameters of the Presbyterian College Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) necessary for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The assessment plan captures academic, intercultural, and developmental learning outcomes. The assessment tools include a program evaluation and self-evaluation completed by students on the program, a reflective essay, interviews, and an evaluation of the students completed by their professors. Theories of intercultural adaptability and student development as well as learning outcomes based on Bloom’s Taxonomy provide the theoretical background for this assessment. The assessment tools are designed to gather qualitative, rather than quantitative data. This is due to the fact that only three students participated in the Spring 2010 program.

The results of the assessment demonstrate significant learning outcomes for the three students. Students made gains in knowledge of Cuba and major global events; intercultural skills and interest in other cultures; and development of purpose. The evaluation captured evidence of several hindrances to student learning; most notably the program director’s dogmatic teaching style. The evaluation and assessment results are used to make recommendations for further development of the program.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication

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