What if?

What if a single campus was devoted, for even a short time, to a laser-like focus on learning outcomes? What if everyone—faculty, staff, and students—thought deeply about how to maximize the learning outcomes for students, both in and out of class.

It’s obvious that many people already think deeply about these issues on every campus, both in academic and student affairs. Indeed, students often talk about the learning experience. But what I’m struck by is how very seldom, in an institution devoted to learning, we talk about it collectively, learn from one another, and undertake collaborative initiatives. I think we need to make learning outcomes the subject of public conversations, not just private thoughts.  We need to make learning outcomes visible instead of invisible.

We’ve dreamed of building a national collaborative, with people working together from institutions all over the United States. While a grand vision, it may also be a bit daunting. So one place to start is to get an entire campus to work together on a shared problem of increasing learning outcomes for all students.  Imagine the power of even a single campus to create innovative and sustainable approaches and models by working together. That concept of collaborative work and networked knowledge is at the very heart of our work in the Red Balloon Project.


About George L Mehaffy

Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
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