Previous Essays

Teaching to Lead
Teaching practices that help students develop leadership

Knowing About vs. Knowing How
The challenges of translating what we know about good practices into making our classes, majors, and programs more effective

Clear and Organized Teaching
Why a basic and under-appreciated teaching skill is critical for student learning

Improving Educational Quality
Lessons learned from liberal arts colleges about the conditions that facilitate the use of evidence to improve student learning


Number of participating students / New findings

Thanks to all your hard work, a very large group of students entered the Wabash National Study this fall. According to our current figures, 9,857 students completed all of the fall 2008 assessments. This more than doubles the number of students who are involved in the Wabash National Study—over 17,000 students have participated in the study to date. 

We are also able to use survey data from most of the students who sat down for fall assessment sessions. About 100 students started the assessments, but failed to complete them, and another 100 or so students turned in assessments in which they clearly just checked off items without actually answering the questions. These students are not counted in the 9,857 students we mentioned at the beginning of this note. Of the students who entered the study this fall and completed all of their assessments, 5,091 are from smaller colleges and 4,186 are from larger institutions. In addition, 580 students from the Community College of Rhode Island have enrolled.

In the next couple of weeks, we will begin to roll out some research papers and presentations on data from the first round of the study. One interesting finding is that after taking into account entering background characteristics, students at community colleges report experiencing good practices at similar levels to students at liberal arts colleges. This finding may not be surprising given the respective missions of these two kinds of institutions, but it is surprising given the differences in resources typically available for faculty at these institutions. We’ll post more on this and other findings soon. So far, we are on pace to deliver information on some of the incoming data in late February. We will keep up our efforts to get this information to you as quickly as possible.

--CB and KW