This article reports on the results of an assessment of an introductory rural sociology course offered at two land-grant universities, which are very different in size. These institutions are North Carolina A&T State University and The Ohio State University. The authors use similar assessment tools, including an embedded pre and post test of knowledge gained, students’ written comments to open-ended questions administered at the end of term about the quality of the class and the instructors, and the traditional, standardized Student Evaluation of Instruction, an instrument used across many universities. In addition, at OSU, a small group diagnostic of students enrolled in introductory rural sociology was independently conducted by personnel from the university’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching. The results indicate that knowledge is gained, although post test results for some multiple choice questions were disappointing. Students’ written comments indicate that there was much about a sociological perspective applied to rural societies, communities, and peoples that they find interesting and about which they learned something. As well, students were uniformly positive about the way the courses were taught and graded. However, they were critical of the textbooks adopted by the instructors for both versions of the course, which they found inadequate because they were not rural-oriented in their content. The primary recommendation is for a follow-up assessment of various rural sociology courses and specific practices used by rural sociology instructors that include as many universities as possible, despite challenges this presents to development of a standardized methodology.
Donnermeyer, Joseph, and Benjamin Gray. 2009. "Assessing Introductory Rural Sociology." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 24(3): Article 4. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol24/iss3/4