Using Quality Benchmarks for Assessing and Developing Undergraduate Programs
December 2010, Jossey-Bass
Praise for Using Quality Benchmarks for Assessing and Developing Undergraduate Programs
"This welcome volume provides discipline-friendly, carefully crafted frameworks for focusing faculty and staff on the dimensions that matter to student learning and institutional effectiveness." George D. Kuh, Chancellor's Professor and director, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
"A welcome contrast to narrow, mechanical views of assessment, this volume provides a comprehensive model for academic program improvement. Readers will find a powerful framework, flexible tools, and a human touch that brings the whole process to life." Pat Hutchings, former vice president, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
"Comprehensive in its scope, detailed in its research and analysis, practical in its examples and recommendations, this book provides a refreshingly developmental approach to program assessment and improvement." Timothy Riordan, associate provost, Alverno College
About the Authors xvii
1 The Need for Quality Benchmarks in Undergraduate Programs 1
PART ONE: BENCHMARKING FOR EIGHT KEY PROGRAM DOMAINS 23
2 The View from the Top: Checking the Climate and the Leadership of a Program 25
3 First Things First: Attending to Assessment Issues, Accountability, and Accreditation 46
with George B. Ellenberg, Claudia J. Stanny, Eman El-Sheikh
4 The New Architecture of Learning Design: Focusing on Student Learning Outcomes 71
5 Evaluating Curricula 92
6 Student Development: Solving the Great Puzzle 120
7 Constructively Evaluating Faculty Characteristics 148
8 Back to Basics: Program Resources 183
9 The Art, Science, and Craft of Administrative Support 208
PART TWO: BENCHMARKING IN PRACTICE 231
10 Benchmarking Quality in Challenging Contexts: The Arts, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Programs 233
Jane S. Halonen with Gregory W. Lanier
11 Special Issues in Benchmarking in the Natural Sciences 257
12 Conducting a Self-Study 272
13 Serving Our Students and Our Institutions 296
Appendix A Using Benchmarking to Serve as an External Reviewer 307
Appendix B Sources of Data 318
Appendix C Assessment Materials for the Arts 322
Appendix D Disciplinary Accrediting Organizations for Bachelor’s Degree Programs Currently Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation 331
Dana S. Dunn is a professor of psychology and director of the Learning in Common Curriculum at Moravian College. The author or editor of numerous books, he serves on the editorial boards of several journals.
Maureen A. McCarthy is a professor of psychology at Kennesaw State University. She previously served as the associate executive director for the Office of Precollege and Undergraduate Programs at the American Psychological Association.
Suzanne C. Baker is a professor of psychology at James Madison University, where she also serves as assistant department head in psychology. She has authored several book chapters and articles on teaching.
Jane S. Halonen is professor of psychology and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of West Florida. She is the author of Your Guide to College Success.
“A welcome contrast to narrow, mechanical views of assessment, this volume provides a comprehensive model for academic program improvement. Readers will find a powerful framework, flexible tools, and a human touch that brings the whole process to life.” —Pat Hutchings, former vice president, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
“Comprehensive in its scope, detailed in its research and analysis, practical in its examples and recommendations, this book provides a refreshingly developmental approach to program assessment and improvement.” —Timothy Riordan, associate provost, Alverno College
“This is a holistic reference that can guide academic leaders in program improvement in an organic fashion…. It provides a sound template with specific exemplars for examining undergraduate programs along many dimensions. It will prompt readers to gauge their programs based on the benchmarks and to consider other sources of evidence and activities to document and refine outcomes. This is a resource readers will refer to for a range of purposes, including institutional and program accreditation, internal studies, and other assessment endeavors.” —Marv Noltze, information manager at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a partner institution in the AAC&U Quality Collaboratives initiative, in eAIR Resource Reviews
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