February 23, 2009

Assessing Assessment

Inside Higher Ed’s article “Assessing Assessment” launches its discussion by stating that assessment and accountability movements are “alive and well,” and that colleges who think they can ignore them are “misguided.”

In an effort to provide an overview or guide of assessment practices, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes and the Alliance for New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability are being developed, the former being led by Stanley Ikenberry and George Kuh.

The president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Judith Eaton, is noted as supporting the work of these institutes, claiming that (from IHE) “better knowledge of assessment would improve the relationship between accreditors and institutions, and that a sustained commitment by higher education to accountability would preserve the principles of self-regulation for higher education.” Eaton hopes that the new effort will “strengthen the academic leadership of our colleges and universities.”

Some detractors of the higher education assessment movement have called it an oversimplified and potentially harmful mission due to concerns over using a single test to demonstrate student learning outcomes. According to one faculty member, what’s lacking is “any evidence of validity” for these single measures. Members of the NILO and ANLSLA, however, state that the intent is not to establish a single standardized test for colleges, but to offer a more comprehensive method for accountability, which Ikenberry states will most likely incorporate multiple measures.

To read the full Assessing Assessment article click here: Inside Higher Ed

Where do you stand on these assessment and accountability movements?

No comments: