Historical Study in the U.S.: Assessing the impact of Tuning within a professional disciplinary society
The U.S.-based American Historical Association (AHA), the largest – and most influential – professional organization for historians, was the first disciplinary society in the world to lead a Tuning project, launching its work in 2012. This essay analyzes a survey distributed to historians on campuses that have taken part in the AHA Tuning project. The purpose is to understand, after six years of work on the project, what practical difference Tuning has made for historians, students, courses, curricula, and departments. Survey data indicate that, under the disciplinary society’s guidance and encouragement, historians have created meaningful learning outcomes, implemented the objectives in courses and curricula, and begun work in the measurement of student learning. Not surprisingly, the project has faced limits and obstacles, particularly with leadership of the work, faculty buy-in, administrative support, follow-up assistance, enrollment concerns, student engagement, and outreach to stakeholders. However, after half a dozen years of activity, U.S. historians have made marked progress not only in articulating disciplinary learning outcomes (as have colleagues in other parts of the world) but also in implementing and assessing those objectives. While precise readings of “impact” remain elusive, a Tuning project under the direction of a disciplinary society has helped generate significant pedagogical, curricular, and cultural changes in the field of history..
Received: 03 April 2018
Accepted: 12 November 2018
Published online: 29 November 2018
Adelman, Cliff, Peter T. Ewell, Paul Gaston, and Carol Geary Schneider. The Degree Qualifications Profile. Indianapolis: Lumina Foundation, 2011. http://degreeprofile.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DQP-web-download-reference-points-FINAL.pdf.
Adelman, Clifford. Learning Accountability from Bologna: A Higher Education Policy Primer. Washington, D.C: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2008. http://www.ihep.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/pubs/learning_accountability_from_bologna.pdf.
_____. The Bologna Club: What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction. Washington D.C.: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2008. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED501332.pdf.
_____. The Bologna Process for U.S. Eyes: Re-Learning Higher Education in the Age of Convergence. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2009. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED504904.pdf.
“AHA History Tuning Project: 2016 History Discipline.” American Historical Association, n.d. https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/2016-history-discipline-core.
AHA Tuning Project. “AHA History Tuning Project: 2013 History Discipline Core.” American Historical Association, n.d. https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/2013-history-discipline-core.
_____. “AHA History Tuning Project: 2016 History Discipline Core.” American Historical Association, 2016. https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/2016-history-discipline-core .
_____. “American Historical Association History Tuning Project: Call for Applications.” American Historical Association, 2014. http://historians.org/Documents/Tuning/AHA%20Tuning%20application.pdf.
_____. “Tuning Participants.” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/tuning-participants.
American Historical Association, “About AHA & Membership,” n.d., https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership.
_____. “Call for Applications,” 2014. http://www.historians.org/projects/tuning/.
_____. “Career Diversity for Historians,” n.d. https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-diversity-for-historians.
_____. “Resources for Tuning the History Discipline,” n.d. https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources-for-historians/resources-for-tuning-the-history-discipline.
Association of American Colleges & Universities. “AAC&U Programs,” n.d. https://www.aacu.org/aacu-programs .
_____. An Introduction to LEAP, Liberal Education America’s Promise: Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2015. https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/LEAP/IntroToLEAP2015.pdf.
Barnard College. “Reacting to the Past,” n.d. https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources-for-historians/reacting-to-the-past.
Becher, Tony, and Paul Trowler. Academic Tribes and Territories: Intellectual Enquiry and the Culture of Disciplines, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Open University Press, 2001.
Beneitone, Pablo, and Maria Yarosh. “Tuning Impact in Latin America: Is There Implementation Beyond Design?” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 3, no. 1 (December 23, 2015): 187–216. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-3(1)-2015pp187-216.
Birtwistle, Tim, Courtney Brown, and Robert Wagenaar. “A Long Way to Go …: A Study on the Implementation of the Learning-Outcomes Based Approach in the EU.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 3, no. 2 (May 2016): 429–63. https://doi.org/doi:10.18543/tjhe-3(2)-2016pp429-463.
Brookins, Julia. “AHA Tuning Project Holds Events around the Country.” Perspectives on History 53, no. 9 (December 2015). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/december-2015/aha-tuning-project-holds-events-around-the-country.
_____. “Enrollment Declines Continue: AHA Survey Again Shows Fewer Undergraduates in History Courses.” Perspectives on History 56, no. 2 (February 2018).
_____. “History Faculty Begin Nationwide Tuning Project.” AHA Today (blog), February 13, 2012. http://blog.historians.org/2012/02/history-faculty-begin-nationwide-tuning-project/.
Calder, Lendol. “Uncoverage: Toward a Signature Pedagogy for the History Survey.” The Journal of American History 92, no. 4 (2006): 1358–70. href="https://doi.org/10.2307/4485896.
Carey, Elaine, Tracey Anne Cooper, Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, Philip Misevich, and Alejandro Quintana. “Tuning the Core: History, Assessment, and the St. John’s University Core Curriculum | AHA.” Perspectives on History 51, no. 4 (April 2013). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2013/tuning-and-recharging/tuning-the-core.
Dillman, Don A., Jolene D. Smyth, and Leah Melani Christian. Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. 4th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2014.
Donà dalle Rose, Luigi F. “Impact of Erasmus Mobility for Study on the Development of Tuning Europe Generic Competences, As Assessed by Outgoing and Incoming Students in a Large University: A Revealing Analysis.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 3, no. 1 (2015): 57–98. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-3(1)-2015pp57-98.
Doyle, Christopher. “On Historians, Tuning, and Markets.” Perspectives on History 50, no. 6 (September 2012). http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-on-historians-tuning-and-markets.
Galgano, Michael J., and Patrick Manning. “Liberal Learning and the History Major (2007).” American Historical Association, 2007. https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/governance/reports-of-committees-and-divisions/liberal-learning-and-the-history-major-(2007).
“Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College.” https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/publications/GreaterExpectations.pdf.
Grossman, James. “A Time for Renewal: The AHA and the Path Forward.” Perspectives on History 55, no. 6 (September 2017). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2017/a-time-for-renewal-the-aha-and-the-path-forward.
_____. “History, Historians, and ‘the Current Moment.’” Perspectives on History 55, no. 8 (November 2017). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/november-2017/history-historians-and-the-current-moment.
_____. “Response to On Historians, Tuning, and Markets.” Perspectives on History 50, no. 6 (September 2012). http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-response-to-on-historians-tuning-and-markets.
_____.“To Be a Historian Is to Be a Teacher.” Perspectives on History 53, no. 8 (n.d.). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/november-2015/to-be-a-historian-is-to-be-a-teacher.
_____.“Tuning in to the History Major.” Perspectives on History 50, no. 6 (April 2012). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2012/tuning-in-to-the-history-major.
Grossman, James, and Julia Brookins. “Assessment Is What We Make of It.” Journal of American History 102, no. 4 (March 2016): 1132–37. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jav824.
Grossman, James, and Emily Swafford. “Graduate Education Reconsidered.” Perspectives on History 54, no. 4 (April 2016). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2016/graduate-education-reconsidered.
Hauss, Miriam E. “White Paper Presented on the Role of the History Major in Liberal Education.” Perspectives on History 46, no. 9 (December 2008). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/december-2008/white-paper-presented-on-the-role-of-the-history-major-in-liberal-education.
“Hewlett Foundation.” Hewlett Foundation. https://www.hewlett.org/.
Hewson, Claire, Carl M. Vogel, and Dianna Laurent. Internet Research Methods. Second edition. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2016.
Hyde, Anne. “Five Reasons History Professors Suck at Assessment.” Journal of American History 102, no. 4 (March 2016): 1104–7. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jav791.
Ilieva, Janet, Steve Baron, and Nigel M. Healey. “Online Surveys in Marketing Research: Pros and Cons.” International Journal of Market Research 44, no. 3 (Q 2002): 361–76.
Indiana University. “History Learning Project,” n.d. http://www.iub.edu/~hlp/.
Isaacs, Ann Katherine Isaacs. “Tuning and History: A Personal Overview.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 16, no. 4 (October 2017): 403-409, https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022216686506.
Isaacs, Ann Katherine, Guðmundur Hálfdánarson, and Carla Salvaterra, eds. TUNING Guidelines and Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in History, Edition 2018. Groningen, Netherlands: University of Groningen, 2018. https://www.calohee.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1.3-Guidelines-and-Reference-Points-for-the-Design-and-Delivery-of-Degree-Programmes-in-History-FINAL-v2.pdf .
Jankowski, Natasha, and David W. Marshall. Degrees That Matter: Moving Higher Education to a Learning Systems Paradigm. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2017.
Jones, Jacqueline. “The Malleable PhD Mini-Conference.” Perspectives on History 51, no. 2 (February 2013).
Jones, Norm. “LEAPing in Utah: Lessons Learned along the Way.” Peer Review 13, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 16–18.
Kuh, George D., and Pat Hutchings. “Assessment and Initiative Fatigue: Keeping the Focus on Learning.” In Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, n.d.
Lefever, Samúel, Michael Dal, and Ásrún Matthíasdóttir. “Online Data Collection in Academic Research: Advantages and Limitations.” British Journal of Educational Technology 38, no. 4 (July 2007): 574–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00638.x.
Lehfeldt, Elizabeth. “Tuning and Recharging: Tales from Twelve Months In.” Perspectives on History 51, no. 4 (April 2013).
Lehfeldt, Elizabeth A. “Addressing the Issue of Declining Enrollments.” Perspectives on History 54, no. 7 (October 2016). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/october-2016/addressing-the-issue-of-declining-enrollments.
“Lumina Foundation.” https://www.luminafoundation.org/.
Lumina Foundation. “Tuning USA: Lumina Foundation Launches Faculty-Led Process That Will Involve Students and Employers in Linking College Degrees to Workplace Relevance and Students’ Mastery of Agreed-Upon Learning Objectives,” April 8, 2009. https://www.luminafoundation.org/news-and-views/tuning-usa-lumina-foundation-launches-faculty-led-process-that-will-involve-students-and-employers-in-linking-college-degrees-to-workplace-relevance-and-students-mastery-of-agreed-upon-learning-objectives.
Marshall, David W., Natasha A. Jankowski, and Terry Vaughan. Tuning Impact Study: Developing Faculty Consensus to Strengthen Student Learning. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, 2017.
McInerney, Daniel J. “A Network of Curricular Connections: Lessons from Cultivating History in the State of Utah.” Journal of American History 104, no. 4 (March 1, 2018): 956–71. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jax432.
_____. “Eight Years On: Early – and Continuing – Lessons from the Tuning Project.” NILOA Guest Viewpoints, March 18, 2017. https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/915/489501.
_____. “Tuning and Degree Profiles: U.S. Projects in Departments, Universities, States, Regions, and Disciplinary Societies, 2009-Present.” NIER (National Institute for Educational Policy Research [Japan]) Research Bulletin, no. No. 144 (March 31, 2015): 27–50. https://www.nier.go.jp/kankou_kiyou/144-103.pdf
_____. “Tuning History in Utah: Winning Friends and Influencing Policy Makers.” Perspectives on History 52, no. 4 (April 2014): 14–15. https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2014/tuning-history-in-utah.
_____. “Tuning the Discipline of History in the United States: Harmony (and Dissonance) in Teaching and Learning.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 16, no. 4 (October 2017). https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022216686523.
Nash, Gary B., Charlotte A. Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn. History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.
National Center for Education Statistics. “Educational Institutions.” https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=84.
National Council for the Social Studies. College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. Silver Spring, MD: National Council for the Social Studies, n.d. https://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/2017/Jun/c3-framework-for-social-studies-rev0617.pdf.
Pace, David. “The History Classroom in an Era of Crisis: A Change of Course Is Needed.” Perspectives on History 55, no. 5 (May 2017). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/may-2017/the-history-classroom-in-an-era-of-crisis-a-change-of-course-is-needed.
Pomeranz, Kenneth. “Why History? A Note on the AHA Tuning Project.” AHA Today (blog), April 30, 2013. http://blog.historians.org/2013/04/why-history-a-note-on-the-aha-tuning-project/.
Quam-Wickham, Nancy. “Reimagining the Introductory U.S. History Course.” The History Teacher 49, no. 4 (August 2016): 519–47.
Ruiz, Vicki L. “A Quest for Balance.” Perspectives on History 53, no. 1 (January 2015). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2015/a-quest-for-balance.
Safman, Phyllis, William Evenson, and Norman Jones. “Lumina Foundation Grantee Final Narrative Report.” Utah Tuning: Defining Learning Outcomes for Post-SecondaryDegrees, 2014. http://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/report.7.15.14.pdf.
Serbati, Anna. “Implementation of Competence-Based Learning Approach: Stories of Practices and the Tuning Contribution to Academic Innovation.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 3, no. 1 (December 23, 2015): 19–56.
Shurts, Sarah. “History in Harmony: The AHA ‘Tuning’ Project in the Community College and the Closing of the Transfer Gap.” The History Teacher 49, no. 4 (August 2016): 503–17.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. “Quality Enhancement Plans,” n.d. http://www.sacscoc.org/QEPSummaries.asp.
Spiegel, Gabriel M. “A Triple ‘A’ Threat: Accountability, Assessment, Accreditation.” Perspectives on History 46, no. 3 (March 2008). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2008/a-triple-a-threat-accountability-assessment-accreditation.
Stein, Robert, and Leah Reinert. “Transparent Pathways, Clear Outcomes: Using Disciplinary Tuning to Improve Teaching, Learning, and Student Success.” Minneapolis, MN: Midwestern Higher Education Compact, 2014. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/55c7/912b88114a179ac80a422df0dbbe0f5d4ebc.pdf.
The Higher Learning Commission. “AQIP Pathway Overview,” n.d. https://www.hlcommission.org/Accreditation/aqip-overview.html.
Townsend, Robert. “Data Show a Decline in History Majors.” Perspectives on History 51, no. 4 (n.d.). https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2013/data-show-a-decline-in-history-majors.
Weldmeskel, Fisseha Mikre, and Dreyer Johann Michael. “The Impact of Formative Assessment on Self-Regulating Learning in University Classrooms.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 4, no. 1 (2016): 99–118.
Authors are required to sign and submit a copyright transfer agreement after acceptance but before publication of their manuscript. To that effect, they receive, from the Managing Editor of Tuning Journal for Higher Education, a standard copyright assignment form designed along the following lines:
The author who signs the copyright transfer agreement must be the sole creator of the work or legally acting on behalf of and with the full agreement of all the contributing authors.
2. Copyright and Code of conduct:
a) Authors warrant that their work is original; has not been previously copyrighted or published in any form; is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; its submission and publication do not violate TJHE Ethical Guidelines for Publication and any codes (of conduct), privacy and confidentiality agreements, laws or any rights of any third party; and no publication payment by the Publisher (University of Deusto) is required.
b) Authors are solely liable for the consequences that may arise from third parties’ complaints about the submitted manuscript and its publication in Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE).
c) Authors grant to the Publisher the worldwide, sub-licensable, and royalty-free right to exploit the work in all forms and media of expression, now known or developed in the future, for educational and scholarly purposes.
d) Authors retain the right to archive, present, display, distribute, develop, and republish their work (publisher's version) to progress their scientific career provided the original publication source (Tuning Journal) is acknowledged properly and in a way that does not suggest the Publisher endorses them or their use of the wortk.
e) Authors warrant that no permissions or licences of any kind will be granted that might infringe the rights granted to the Publisher.
Tuning Journal for Higher Education is an Open Access publication. Its content is free for full and immediate access, reading, search, download, distribution and reuse in any medium or format only for non-commercial purposes and in compliance with any applicable copyright legislation, without prior permission from the Publisher or the author(s). In any case, proper acknowledgement of the original publication source must be made and any changes to the original work must be indicated clearly and in a manner that does not suggest the author’s and or Publisher’s endorsement whatsoever. Any other use of its content in any medium or format, now known or developed in the future, requires prior written permission of the copyright holder.