Wake Forest University

Conference – Public Lecture (day 3)

Rethinking Admissions

Continuing the Conversation

Archive for the ‘Conference – Public Lecture (day 3)’ Category

Tufts and the Kaleidoscope Project

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Using a variety of assessment tools along with standardized test scores offers admissions officers at Tufts a broader method for evaluating applicants. The Tufts Kaleidoscope Project, as it is called, inserted analytical, creative, practical and wisdom-based essays as part of the Tufts-specific admissions application. The questions and activities designed to measure practical, creative and wisdom-based intelligence along with analytical test measurements better predicted student success. Applicants do not have to complete the additional admissions questions, and this in itself, according to Sternberg, is a measure of an applicant’s motivation to attend the university–something that can’t be assessed from an SAT score. Samples of essay prompts can be found in Sternberg’s PowerPoint presentation.

The new assessment questions at Tufts broaden the range of sills tested for educational purposes; increase predictive validity, decrease ethnic-group differences and increase customer satisfaction.

Students liked the additional questions because it gave them a chance to share something about themselves that they would not have otherwise had a chance to share. The additional questions and activities bridged racial and ethnic groups with no significant difference in the results between these groups. Standardized test scores, additional assessment tools, plus high school GPA and personal interviews provide a more complete picture of what an applicant will likely bring to campus and have proven to be good predictors of success.

Additionally, African-American and Hispanic-American applications and acceptances were up. The number of overall applications rose and the applicant pool improved.

Additional assessment options

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Sternberg’s PowerPoint presentation includes sample questions for how to determine intelligences other than analytical intelligence. Short story tasks, where an applicant chooses two titles out of twelve to write about; oral stories, where an applicant sees a collage of images and then tells a story about them; and cartoons, where an illustration is provided and the applicant writes a caption, were offered as activities to supplement analytical measurements provided by SAT/ACT scores.

Defining intelligence

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

“Intelligence is not an IQ test measurement but rather a person’s ability to set goals in life and determine how to achieve them. A scientist has different methods for achieving a goal than a poet. Intelligent people recognize and capitalize on their strengths and compensate for weaknesses.” said Robert Sternberg, dean at Tufts University. He added that standardized tests focus on measuring analytical abilities only and supplemental methods are needed to assess creative, practical and wisdom-based abilities.

The Conversation Continues with Tufts’ Robert Sternberg

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Robert J. Sternberg

Rethinking Admissions conference may have officially ended on Thursday, April 16th, but the conversation about college admissions is far from over. Tomorrow, April 21, Wake Forest will host Robert J. Sternberg, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. Dr. Sternberg is a professor of psychology and adjunct professor of education and is considered the “godfather of testing,” with more than 30 years in the field.

The central focus of his research is intelligence, creativity, wisdom, and leadership. He’ll be talking about how Tufts came up with an admissions process that takes into consideration not only academic credentials, but creativity and problem-solving skills as well. The lecture is free and open to the public at 11 a.m. in Pugh Auditorium at Benson University Center. If you can’t make it, be sure to check out this blog for updates.