2021 General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment
Embracing the Best Emerging Practices for Quality and Equity
While higher education was already experiencing significant change and turbulence before 2020, few of us would have imagined the upheaval colleges and universities experienced from spring break through today. As a result, this year we have witnessed a huge immersion into instructional and curricular experimentation and discovery. These innovations have often been coupled with goals of protecting public health and responding purposefully to racial justice movements to dismantle systemic racism.
AAC&U’s Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment arrives at a pivotal moment in this experimentation. After moving beyond the emergency remote teaching of spring 2020 and a summer of largely remote instruction, colleges and universities are exercising instructional agility in a range of new models and approaches. As we look to the future, this moment provides an excellent opportunity to reflect upon our practices, to determine which were effective and which require revision, and to ask ourselves if these practices serve quality learning and further our equity goals or if they serve to erode those aspirations. Conference sessions will highlight new approaches to general education, pedagogy, and assessment that
- promote the integration of knowledge and the development of higher-order learning, skills, and abilities rather than requiring a set of unconnected introductory courses;
- connect with the learning goals of the major, the work of student affairs, the goal of preparing students for lifelong learning, and the missions of our institutions;
- serve as the foundation for equity in preparing current and future civic leaders who engage across differences and apply knowledge and skills to complex and important challenges;
- act as potentially powerful tools for retention, completion, and proficiency; and
- provide valuable and enduring professional development for the current and future workforce.
AAC&U’s 2021 Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment invites colleagues from all areas of the higher education landscape to join us in sharing efforts to create intentional and integrated general education programs that grapple with contemporary challenges, assess our current practices, and generate high-quality educational experiences for all students.