Designing Assessment into a Study Abroad Course

  • Cathy Santanello
  • Laura Wolff
Keywords: Study abroad, assessment, education abroad, student learning, assessment design


This article presents a study focused on how to assess whether students are learning as a result of a study abroad course and not just experiencing a trip to a foreign country. Appropriate assessments that are embedded into the study abroad course will complement the learning goals of the program and provide course assessment data.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Cathy Santanello

Cathy Santanello, is Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Director of Instructional Strategies, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Prior to joining the School of Pharmacy in 2005, she served as the Program Director of the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Initiative in the Office of the Provost and an Instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences there. She has maintained her interest in wildlife preservation by leading study abroad trips to Costa Rica Her research interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning include case method teaching and learning, assessing student learning outcomes, and active learning in large classes.

Laura Wolff

Laura Wolff has been an instructor in the Department of Economics and Finance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for 16 years, where she has led study abroad courses in Mexico, Costa Rica, and China. Her passion is grassroots economic development, partnering students and other volunteers with civil society and governmental organizations which has led her to develop service projects in multiple international settings. She has degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Allen, R. D. (1991). Rain Forest Epiphytes. In Critical Thinking Case Study Workbook: Inquiry into Life, (pp. 113–116). Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.

Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Boinski, S. (1992). Monkeys with Infl ated Sex Appeal. Natural History, July, 42–49.

Bloom, B. S. (1954). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Book 1.Cognitive Domain. New York, NY: Longman.

Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating Signifi cant Learning Experiences: An Integrative Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fleming N. D. & Mills C. (1992). Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Refl ection. In: D. H. Wulff, J. D. Nyquist (Eds.). To Improve the Academy (11), (pp.137–155). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

Gastreich, K. (2002). Si el Norte Fuerta el Sur: A Case of Squirrel Monkey Identities. Retrieved July 10, 2005, from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. University at Buffalo, State University of New York web site:

Harris, P. R. & Moran, R. T. (1991). Characteristics of Culture. In: Managing Cultural Differences: Global Leadership Strategies for the 21st Century (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Miner, H. (1956) Body Ritual Among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist (58): 503–507. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Last accessed 20 February, 2006.

Seege, A. (1995) Music and Dance of South and Central America. The JVC/ Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of Music and Dance in the Americas: Central and South America, Multicultural Media, Montpelier, VT (2004) Women Say No to Cafta. Intl Gender & Trade Network. Last accessed 15 June, 2005.

Walvoord, B. & Anderson, V. J. (1998) Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
How to Cite
Santanello , C., & Wolff, L. (2007). Designing Assessment into a Study Abroad Course. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 15(1), 189-196.