ICU and Sophia University jointly held the international symposium on learning assessment in higher education.

Update: January 30, 2020

The international symposium entitled "Learning Assessment in Higher Education: Educational Practices on Critical Thinking and Creativity in the United States and Japan" was held on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Yotsuya Campus of Sophia University in Tokyo. In May 2018, ICU and Sophia University concluded a Comprehensive Agreement on the Collaboration and Cooperation between the two universities and became the only universities in Japan that have participated in the OECD's project on Fostering and Assessing Students' Creative and Critical Thinking Skills in Higher Education with higher education institutions in 12 countries since 2019. With financial assistance from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan under the Top Global University Project, the symposium aimed at reflecting upon the initial outcomes of the pilot projects conducted at two universities and discussing how learning outcomes of higher education can be visualized and improved.

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Dr. Mikiko Nishimura, Dr. Tatsuo Nunoshiba, Dr. Ryosuke Fujinuma (From Left)

Chaired by Dr. Miki Sugimura (Vice-President for Global Academic Affairs of Sophia University), the symposium began with the opening remarks by Dr. Yoshiaki Terumichi (President of Sophia University) followed by a presentation on the OECD Project by Dr. Mikiko Nishimura (Professor of Sociology of Education at ICU). Dr. Mark Nicholas (Executive Director, Institutional Assessment, Framingham State University) who have participated in various task forces on learning outcome implementation and assessment at American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in the United States gave a keynote lecture. Dr. Nicholas highlighted the trend of the United States in moving away from the standardized examinations to classroom-embedded assessment as well as the importance of aligning the curriculum design and assessment with the institutional mission and learning outcomes. After the keynote lecture, Dr. Taro Komatsu (Professor and Director of Center for Global Education, Sophia University) and Dr. Mikiko Sugiura (Associate Professor, Center for Global Education, Sophia University) presented the case of Sophia University and Dr. Tatsuo Nunoshiba (Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at ICU) and Dr. Ryosuke Fujinuma (Associate Professor of Environment Studies at ICU) presented the case of ICU by focusing on the outcomes of the pilot projects in fostering critical thinking and creativity in Environmental Studies and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

About 200 participants came to attend the symposium from various parts of Japan and included higher education specialists, faculty, practitioner, enterprise representatives, and students. The panel and open discussion dealt with various perspectives on pedagogies that foster critical thinking and creativity, how to nurture the culture of learning outcome assessment, and alignment of course design and assessment.

After open and active discussion, President Junko Hibiya of ICU made a closing remark and concluded the symposium.

Photograph: Sophia University

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