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Assessing An Economics Programme: Hansen Proficiencies, ePortfolio, and Undergraduate Research


  • Steven C. Myers

    () (The University of Akron)

  • Michael A. Nelson

    () (The University of Akron)

  • Richard W. Stratton

    () (The University of Akron)


Numerous sources calling for more accountability in higher education are putting increased pressure on many economics departments to develop assessment plans. This paper discusses a set of principles for programmatic assessment gleaned from the assessment literature, while highlighting one US economic department's journey to develop an assessment of student learning outcomes based on Hansen's proficiencies. We explain the curriculum reforms that culminate with independent undergraduate research as suggested by the highest level of Hansen's proficiencies. We describe ePortfolios which showcase student abilities and integrate evidence of student learning across the curriculum. For departments without direct guidance from accreditation boards or other agencies, we put forth a process of forming programmatic assessment in economics.

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  • Steven C. Myers & Michael A. Nelson & Richard W. Stratton, 2009. "Assessing An Economics Programme: Hansen Proficiencies, ePortfolio, and Undergraduate Research," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(1), pages 87-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:8:y:2009:i:1:p:87-105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Siegfried, John J & Meszaros, Bonnie T, 1997. "National Voluntary Content Standards for Pre-College Economics Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 247-253, May.
    2. Hirschel Kasper, 2005. "Peer to Peer: Right and Wrong Lessons for Department Reviews," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 185-197, April.
    3. Hansen, W Lee, 1986. "What Knowledge Is Most Worth Knowing-For Economics Majors?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 149-152, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Maier & Joann Bangs & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2010. "Context-rich Problems in Economics," Chapters,in: Teaching Innovations in Economics, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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