Organizations, Articles and Books of Note
(We welcome your suggestions for additions to this page.)
Using Assessment to Support Teaching
Time to Lead: The Need for Excellence in Public Higher Education, September 2012
Federal Government and Higher Education
Higher Education Opportunity Act
Education Organization Sites
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Foundations and Funding for Higher Education Initiatives
Ewell summarizes the multiple and varied responses to the "Completion Agenda" that he labels the "Quality Agenda." These include efforts by the Lumina Foundation, AAC&U, state governments and international developments. The paper concludes with implications for higher education.
NACIQI was charged by the Secretary of Education to review the current system of recognition, accreditation and student aid eligibility. Its report recommended that accreditation be retained as a eligibility requirement for Title IV funding, that there needs to be a clarification of roles and expectations among the federal government, state government and accreditors, that accreditors should consider whether they should align with institutional purpose rather than geography, that more efficient, useful and timely systems of data collection are needed, and that accreditation reports about institutions should be made public.
This report details the findings of a survey given to program heads and compares their responses to those of Chief Academic Officers on a previous survey about assessment practices at their insitutions. This very readable document presents evidence that what really drives assessment at the program level is a desire to improve.
Among the findings were that employers want their employees to use a broader set of skills and have higher levels of learning and knowledge than in the past to meet the increasingly complex demands of the workplace. They also believe that colleges should place a greater emphasis on a variety of learning outcomes developed through a liberal education.
Books of Note
Zemsky, Robert (2013). Checklist for Change: Making American Higher Education a Sustainable Enterprise. Rutgers University Press.
Zemsky has written extensively about higher education reform. Read a review of his newest book at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/06/robert-zemskys-checklist-change-tries-get-whats-holding-back-higher-ed
Arum, Richard and Josipa Roksa (2011). Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. University of Chicago Press.
Drawing largely on results of the Collegiate Learning Assessment of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, the authors found that "forty-five percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills - including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing - during their first two years of college....Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students, faculty, administrators, policy makers, and parents - all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture."
Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson (2010). Effective Grading. Jossey-Bass.
This book is a treasure trove of strategies for instructors. It describes numerous ways to make grading more efficient and how to link teaching, learning, grading and assessment so that there is no duplication of effort.
It addresses student motivation and ways to communicate with students about their grades. It also includes numerous examples of checklists, grading scales, and rubrics
Peggi Maki (2010). Assessing for Learning. Stylus Publishing.
Maki has written a lengthy and comprehensive book on assessment for both administrators and faculty. Its strength are the numerous strategies and case studies that are provided to illustrate innovative processes. Maki not only makes a case for pursuing assessment as research into student learning, she provides the tools for doing so. Worksheets, guides and multiple additional resources for further reference make this book essential for an assessment library.
Hacker, Andrew and Claudia Dreifus (2010). Higher Education? How Colleges are wasting our Monday and Failing our Kids - and What We Can Do about it. Time Books.
The authors argue that American higher education is failing to provide students with the education they need and deserve. Private colleges are most often their targets for criticisms of faculty salary, tenure, tuition and bloated administrations. This book is one of the many that have been published in the last two decades that severally criticize higher education and call for radical reform.
Walwoord, B. E. F.(2010). Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education. John Wiley &Sons, Inc.
Walvoord's book takes what can be a time-consuming and complex process and guides faculty through a common sense approach.
Bowen, William G. Matthew M. Chingos and Michael S. McPherson (2009). Crossing the Finish Line. Princeton University Press.
The authors provide a detailed analysis of graduation rates at 21 flagship public universities and four state systems. They examine the factors that contribute to the dismal fact that only about 60% of students that enter 4-year colleges actually graduate.