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Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education

ISBN: 978-1-882982-67-7
208 pages
December 2003, Jossey-Bass
Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education (1882982673) cover image


Higher education professionals have moved from teaching- to learning-centered models for designing and assessing courses and curricula. Faculty work collaboratively to identify learning objectives and assessment strategies, set standards, design effective curricula and courses, assess the impact of their efforts on student learning, reflect on results, and implement appropriate changes to increase student learning. Assessment is an integral component of this learner-centered approach, and it involves the use of empirical data to refine programs and improve student learning.

Based on the author's extensive experience conducting assessment training workshops, this book is an expansion of a workshop/consultation guide that has been used to provide assessment training to thousands of busy professionals. Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education provides a comprehensive introduction to planning and implementing the assessment of college and university academic programs.

Written for college and university administrators, assessment officers, department chairs, and faculty who are involved in developing and implementing assessment programs, this book is a realistic, pragmatic guide for developing and implementing meaningful, manageable, and sustainable assessment programs that focus faculty attention on student learning.

This book will:
* Guide readers through all steps in the assessment process
* Provide a balanced review of the full array of assessment strategies
* Explain how assessment is a crucial component of the teaching and learning process
* Provide examples of successful studies that can be easily adapted
* Summarize key assessment terms in an end-of-book glossary
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Table of Contents


About the Author.


1 Assessing Educational Outcomes.

2 Defining Learning Objectives.

3 Alignment.

4 Assessment Planning and Implementation.

5 Direct Assessment Techniques.

6 Indirect Assessment Techniques.

7 Making Sense of Assessment Data.

8 Putting It All Together.




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Author Information

MARY J. ALLEN is director of the California state University Institute for Teaching and Learning and former director of the Faculty Teaching & Learning Center and Assessment Center at California State University, Bakersfield. She earned a master’s degree in statistics and a Ph.D. in psychology from the university of California, Berkeley, and she taught these subjects for over two decades before branching into faculty development and assessment. She serves as a thinking partner on educational effectiveness for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC); is Executive Editor of Exchanges, the California State University online journal on teaching and learning; and regularly presents workshops on assessment, including the AAHE/WASC collaborative workshop, Building Learner-Centered Institutions: Developing Institutional Strategies for Assessing & Improving Student Learning.
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"In cogent and accessible language, [Allen] has described what assessment is (and isn't), how to do it well, and how to use the results to improve. The book is a solid primer on program assessment, and much needed."
Ralph A. Wolff, Executive Director, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
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