CLIENTS IN THE CLASSROOM: ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING AND COMMUNITY IMPACT IN COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS

M. Hunt, C. Corbin, K. Huth

Ball State University (UNITED STATES)
Collaborative learning often finds its way into a traditional collegiate classroom in the guise of group projects and problem-based learning is not new to design education, but until recently methods of assessment have remained focused on content-focused objectives reflecting individual achievement. A collaborative learning situation challenges assessment to be more expansive, embracing student-driven group achievements. The shortcomings of conventional assessment tools are highlighted when the learning format is wholly collaborative, as in the situation of the Immersive Learning Program at Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana, USA). Development of assessment measures must address evaluation of Immersive Learning objectives as based on community partner interactions, student- centered and student-driven components, and interdisciplinary and cooperative learning. These categories of learning modes, along with evaluative measures determined by students and assessment of community impact create a unique assessment protocol. This presentation provides an overview of these protocols as applied in an immersive learning course, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project: Learning about Landscape + Meaning. The high profile, interdisciplinary nature of this project attracted a tremendous group of students from across campus, which contributed significantly to the development of assessment measures.