Assessment: The basics

The New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, a higher-ed advocacy organization, just published a document on assessment, Committing to Quality: Guidelines for Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education. It outlines a basic approach to the assessment process, framing it in terms of higher ed’s accountability to students and the general public.

The document doesn’t break any new ground in assessment, but it does articulate fairly clearly how and why academic institutions should conduct assessment. A lot of you probably have assessment on the mind this semester; this document offers one means of framing your thinking.

Do you think about assessment in terms of a four-step process like this? What does the document help to clarify for you as an instructor or department / program head? What questions does it leave unanswered?

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2 responses to “Assessment: The basics

  1. Jeremy Simington

    This is a great document and I’ll be bookmarking it. I agree that it doesn’t break any new ground but it’s a tight summary of how assessment should work. It’s kind of elegant in that it shows that this is not a complex process–only 4 steps!

    • I really wish I could “like” your comment, Jeremy! So I’ll just tell you that I like it. Indeed, assessment can be thought of in simpler or more complex terms. If “simpler” ends up meaning, “more likely to be done, and thus more likely to be helpful,” then that’s a good thing.