Educational Assessment: Designing a System for More Meaningful Results

Assessing institutional effectiveness is a noble pursuit, but measuring student learning is not always easy. As with so many things we try to quantify, there’s much more to learning than a number in a datasheet.

When it comes to assessment. Sometimes there are more questions than answers, even after you get the results.

How do you define success?
How do you know what your students are learning?
Are you happy with your assessment results?
Will you use the results to bring changes to learning goals, curriculum, teaching methods, and perhaps the assessments themselves?

Educational Assessment: Designing a System for More Meaningful Results

Making Sense of Higher Education Assessment

Assessing student learning outcomes can help institutions understand what students are learning, and where there might be gaps. However, as Trudy Banta notes in her article An Accountability Program Primer for Administrators, “just as simply weighing a pig will not make it fatter, spending millions simply to test college students is not likely to help them learn more.” (p. 6)

This special report Educational Assessment: Designing a System for More Meaningful Results features articles from Academic Leader, and looks at the assessment issue from a variety of different angles to help you a strong assessment program.

  • Counting Something Leads to Change in an Office or in a Classroom
  • An Accountability Program Primer for Administrators
  • An Effective Approach to Generating Questions for Guiding Program Assessment and Reform
  • The Dash to Dashboards
  • Collaborating on Rubric Development: A Work in Progress
  • Surviving Your Regional Accreditation: A Tongue-in-Cheek Reflection
  • The Faculty and Program-Wide Learning Outcome Assessment
  • Assessing the Degree of Learner-Centeredness in a Department or Unit
  • Keys to Effective Program-Level Assessment

Whether you’re looking to completely change your approach to assessment, or simply improve the efficacy of your current assessment processes, we hope this report will help guide your discussions and eventual decisions.

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