What ‘knowledge, skills, and abilities’ do students acquire by studying anthropology, and how might we know for sure?

About a decade ago, the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance tasked my colleagues and me to write “Program Learning Outcomes” (PLOs) for our undergraduate modules in Anthropology. These were meant to be statements that would communicate “what successful students will have achieved as well as knowledge, skills, and abilities they should have acquired by the end of [our programs]”. Mandated by a government program that was intended to offer some guarantee of a return on public investment in higher education, the exercise of producing PLOs felt at first like just another hoop to jump through. Still, we agreed that [...]