Studies take aim at "Academically Adrift" findings

May 23, 2013

The 2011 book Academically Adrift found that many students showed no meaningful gains on key measures of learning during their PSE years. 2 recent reports from the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) purport to challenge the book's conclusions. The studies show that students taking the Collegiate Learning Assessment made an average gain of 0.73 of a standard deviation in their critical thinking scores, significantly more than that found by the book's authors. But there were differences between CAE's studies and those of the book's authors that CAE says may explain the differences they measured in growth. One of Academically Adrift's authors agrees that much of the discrepancy could be attributable to differing methodologies. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed