Why Teaching Is Not Priority No. 1

0209-5703-fac-Hacker

Corey Wascinski for The Chronicle

Even though students compliment him on his teaching, says Andrew Hacker, an emeritus professor of political science at CUNY's Queens College, he doesn’t know for sure whether he is getting through to them.

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Corey Wascinski for The Chronicle

Even though students compliment him on his teaching, says Andrew Hacker, an emeritus professor of political science at CUNY's Queens College, he doesn’t know for sure whether he is getting through to them.

With lavish recreation centers and sophisticated research laboratories, life on college campuses is drastically different from what it was 100 years ago. But one thing has stayed virtually the same: classroom teaching. Professors still design lessons, pick out the readings, and decide how to test—in many cases, in the same way they always have.

In the last few years, however, a cottage industry has sprouted up in academe to measure whether students are actually learning and to