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Fall 2014-2015

  • Doing Assessment as if Deep Learning Matters Most: Assessing and Promoting High-Impact Practices

    During his opening plenary, Dr. Thomas Angelo offered insights from a career in higher education assessment, “I was there at the beginning of assessment. It began in about 1984 in the sense that we know it now.” Angelo suggested that “the point of assessment is supposed to be, first, to improve the quality and, second, the efficiency of higher education.” He went on to say that “after about ten years” of assessment “we were able to count on two hands the number of institutions that had made significant progress in assessment,” but he and the audience could not point to any evidence that assessment has improved the quality of higher education over the last 30 years.

  • Assessment, Freedom and a Life Worth Living

    “Assessment in higher education tries to answer two distinct but related questions. First, on a national level, we ask, ‘What metrics can be used to rank or evaluate colleges and universities, relative to one another?’ And then, within each college and university, we ask, ‘How can classes and programs be evaluated to determine whether projected outcomes are attained?’ These two questions are colliding forcefully, today. Much of the pressure to generate new assessment models within an institution—let’s call that ‘internal assessment’—comes from the demand for assessment at the national—let’s call that ‘external assessment’—to prove that the products and services rendered by colleges and universities justify the cost. It took me a lot to be able to say those words: ‘products and services.’”