|Posted on July 15, 2018 at 7:45 AM||comments (5)|
The word “demonstrate” in learning goals raises a red flag for me. Consider these (real) learning goals:
- Demonstrate fundamental business and entrepreneurship skills
- Demonstrate critical and creative thinking.
- Demonstrate information literacy skills.
- Demonstrate teamwork and collaboration.
- Demonstrate ethical self-awareness.
- Demonstrate personal responsibility.
Clearly the people who wrote these learning go...Read Full Post »
|Posted on June 24, 2018 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
A recent paper co-sponsored by AALHE and Watermark identified some key professional development needs of assessment practitioners.
While a book is no substitute for a rich, interactive professional development experience, some of the things that assessment practitioners want to learn about are discussed in my booksRead Full Post »
|Posted on June 10, 2018 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
Architecture critic Kate Wagner recently said, “All buildings are interesting. There is not a single building that isn’t interesting in some way.” I think we can say the same thing about assessment: All assessment is interesting. There is not a single assessment that isn’t interesting in some way.
Kate points out that what makes seemin...Read Full Post »
|Posted on May 27, 2018 at 7:40 AM||comments (0)|
When I help faculty and co-curricular staff move ahead with their assessment efforts, I probably spend half our time on helping them articulate their learning goals. As the years have gone by, I’ve become ever more convinced that learning goals are the foundation of an assessment structure…and without a solid foundation, a structure can’t be well-constructed.
So what are well-stated learning goals? They have the following characteristics:
...Read Full Post »
|Posted on May 2, 2018 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
I look on learning goals as promises that we make to students, employers, and society: If a student passes a course or graduates, he or she WILL be able to do the things we promise in our learning goals.
But there are some things we hope to instill in students that we can’t guarantee. We can’t guarantee, for example, that every graduate will be a passionate lifelong learner, appreciate artistic expressions, or make ethical decisions. I think these kinds of statem...Read Full Post »
|Posted on March 28, 2018 at 6:25 AM||comments (1)|
In my February 28 blog post, I noted that many faculty express frustration with assessment along the following lines:
- What I most want students to learn is not what’s being assessed.
- I’m being told what and how to assess, without any input from me.
- I’m being told what to teach, without any input from me.
|Posted on March 13, 2018 at 9:50 AM||comments (1)|
In my February 28 blog post, I noted that many faculty have been expressing frustration that assessment is a waste of an enormous amount of time and resources that could be better spent on teaching. Here are some strategies to help make sure your assessment activities are meaningful and cost-effective, all drawn from the new third edition ofRead Full Post »
|Posted on March 4, 2018 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
The vitriol in some recent op-ed pieces and the comments that followed them might leave the impression that faculty hate assessment. Well, some faculty clearly do, but a national survey suggests that they’re in the minority.
Read Full Post »
|Posted on February 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM||comments (9)|
|Posted on February 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on February 13, 2018 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
Today marks the release of the third edition of my book Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. I approached Jossey-Bass about doing a third edition in response to requests from some faculty who used it as a textbook but were required to use more recent editions. The second edition had been very successful, so I figured I’d update the refer...Read Full Post »
|Posted on January 28, 2018 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
A couple of years ago I did a literature review on rubrics and learned that there’s no consensus on what a rubric is. Some experts define rubrics very narrowly, as only analytic rubrics—the kind formatted as a grid, listing traits down the left side and performance levels across the top, with the boxes filled in. But others define rubrics more broadly, as written guides for evaluatin...Read Full Post »
|Posted on January 9, 2018 at 7:25 AM||comments (3)|
Just before the holidays, the Council of Graduate Schools released Articulating Learning Outcomes in Higher Education. The title is a bit of misnomer; the paper focuses not on how to articulate learning outcomes but on why it’s a good idea to articulate learning outcomes and why it might be a good idea to have a learning outcome framework such as ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on December 22, 2017 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
Virtually all U.S. accreditors (and some state agencies) require the assessment of student learning, but the specifics--what, when, how--can vary significantly. How can programs with multiple accreditations (say regional and specialized) serve two or more accreditation masters without killing themselves in the process?
I recently posted my thoughts on this on the ASSESS listserv, and a colleague asked me to make my contribution into a blog post as well.
Bot...Read Full Post »
|Posted on December 8, 2017 at 7:00 AM||comments (1)|
Someone on the ASSESS listserv recently asked for recommendations for a good basic book for those getting started with assessment. Here are eight books I recommend for every assessment practitioner's bookshelf (in addition, of course to my own Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide, whose third edition is coming out on February 4, 2018.)
Read Full Post »
|Posted on November 21, 2017 at 8:25 AM||comments (1)|
From time to time people contact me for advice, not on assessment or accreditation but for tips on how to build a consulting business. In case you’re thinking the same thing, I’m sorry to tell you that I really can’t offer much advice.
My consulting work is the culmination of 40 years of work in higher education. So if you want to spend the next 40 years preparing to get into consulting work, I can tell you my story, but if you want to build a business more...Read Full Post »
|Posted on November 8, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (6)|
|Posted on October 29, 2017 at 9:50 AM||comments (2)|
Assessment results are often used to make tweaks to individual courses and sometimes individual programs. It can be harder to figure out how to use assessment results to make broad, meaningful change across a college or university. But here’s one way to do so: Use assessment results to drive faculty professional development programming.
Here’s how it might work.
An assessment committee or some other appropriate group reviews annual assessment re...Read Full Post »
|Posted on October 7, 2017 at 8:20 AM||comments (2)|
One of the many things I’ve learned by watching Ken Burns’ series on Vietnam is that Defense Secretary Robert MacNamara was a data geek. A former Ford Motor Company executive, he routinely asked for all kinds of data. Sounds great, but there were two (literally) fatal flaws with his approach to assessment.
First, MacNamara asked for data on virtually anything measurable, compelling staff to spend countless hours filling binders with all kinds of metrics—too...Read Full Post »
|Posted on August 26, 2017 at 8:20 AM||comments (9)|
Chris Coleman recently asked the Accreditation in Southern Higher Education listserv ([email protected]) about schedules for assessing program learning outcomes. Should programs assess one or two learning outcomes each year, for example? Or should they assess everything once every three or four years? Here are my thoughts from my forthcoming third edition of Assessing Student Learning: A Comm...Read Full Post »