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Article Version


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This article examines a multiyear project funded by the Teagle Foundation to assess student learning in humanitarian studies. It explores outcomes derived from developing a collaborative learning approach to humanitarian action that emphasizes both cross-campus and cross-institutional peer-to-peer learning and exchange. Faculty, staff, and students from Fairfield, Fordham, and Georgetown Universities worked together as members of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) to design an innovative and comprehensive assessment process for curricular programs in humanitarian studies, as well as courses with significant humanitarian content. In particular, we focus on the value of establishing cognitive and affective learning objectives; developing tools and methods to assess learning (for example, rubrics and vignettes); demonstrating use of these tools through piloting and data analysis; and closing the assessment “loop.” As the first of its kind assessment strategy for humanitarian studies at the undergraduate level, we argue that these efforts make important inroads in establishing a common baseline for measuring learning in the burgeoning field of humanitarian studies. They also contribute to preparing individuals for futures in the humanitarian profession and to becoming “men and women for and with others.”.


Copyright 2014 Wiley Publishing for International Association

The author's post-print has been archived here with permission from the copyright holder.

The authors are grateful to the Teagle Foundation for its generous funding of this project and to our colleagues at Fairfield, Fordham, and Georgetown Universities for their ongoing support of and participation in this research.

Publication Title

International Studies Perspectives

Published Citation

Burrell Storms, Stephanie L., Melissa T. Labonte, Ana Marie N. Siscar, and Susan F. Martin. "Collaborative Learning and Innovative Assessment in Humanitarian Studies." International Studies Perspectives (2014). DOI: 10.1111/insp.12081