Assessing student's maturity and reasoning on responsible for own learning

  • Kristian Stålne

    In a current project ”Responsible for learning” that covers several Swedish universities we investigate student’s reasoning on responsible for their own learning. This is examined during the first year and is planned to be repeated in the last year in order to see if any development in complexity of reasoning and in stage of maturity takes place.

    The ability for complex reasoning is evaluated with an open ended question where the student is asked to reason around the responsibility for the learning process. The stage of hierarchical complexity of the student’s reasoning is evaluated according the Model of Hierarchical Complexity. Stage of maturity is assessed by a newly developed test of ego development according to Jane Loevinger’s ego development theory. Both theories are stage theories from different traditions within the field of Adult development.

    In higher education, such as a civil engineering program, we have a goal to produce technical problem-solvers and complex thinkers. Also, it is probable that the students mature as human beings and can reflect on their task, role in society and themselves. The goal of the project is to assess these two aspects.