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Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education, 2nd Edition

Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education, 2nd Edition

Trudy W. Banta, Catherine A. Palomba, Jillian Kinzie (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-90332-2 October 2014 Jossey-Bass 368 Pages


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A comprehensive expansion to the essential higher education assessment text

This second edition of Assessment Essentials updates the bestselling first edition, the go-to resource on outcomes assessment in higher education. In this thoroughly revised edition, you will find, in a familiar framework, nearly all new material, examples from more than 100 campuses, and indispensable descriptions of direct and indirect assessment methods that have helped to educate faculty, staff, and students about assessment.

Outcomes assessment is of increasing importance in higher education, especially as new technologies and policy proposals spotlight performance-based success measures. Leading authorities Trudy Banta and Catherine Palomba draw on research, standards, and best practices to address the timeless and timeliest issues in higher education accountability. New topics include:

  • Using electronic portfolios in assessment
  • Rubrics and course-embedded assessment
  • Assessment in student affairs
  • Assessing institutional effectiveness

As always, the step-by-step approach of Assessment Essentials will guide you through the process of developing an assessment program, from the research and planning phase to implementation and beyond, with more than 100 examples along the way. Assessment data are increasingly being used to guide everything from funding to hiring to curriculum decisions, and all faculty and staff will need to know how to use them effectively. Perfect for anyone new to the assessment process, as well as for the growing number of assessment professionals, this expanded edition of Assessment Essentials will be an essential resource on every college campus.

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List of Exhibits and Figures xiii

Foreword xv
Jillian Kinzie

Preface xix

About the Authors xxiii

1. Defining Assessment 1

Some Definitions 1

Pioneering in Assessment 3

Quality Assurance: An International Perspective 7

Assessment Purposes 9

Values and Guiding Principles 11

2. The Essentials of Assessment 15

Planning Effective Assessment 16

Engaging Stakeholders • Establishing Purpose • Designing a Thoughtful Approach to Assessment Planning • Creating a Written Plan • Timing Assessment

Implementing Effective Assessment 22

Providing Leadership • Selecting or Designing Data Collection Approaches • Providing Resources • Educating Faculty and Staff • Assessing Resources and Processes as Well as Outcomes • Sharing Findings

Improving and Sustaining Assessment 31

Obtaining Credible Evidence • Ensuring the Use of Assessment Findings • Reexamining the Assessment Process

Additional Thoughts 36

3. Engaging Faculty and Students in Assessment 39

Involving Faculty in Assessment 41

Faculty Responsibility • Assessment Resources for Faculty • Faculty Rewards • Maximizing the Role of Faculty and Faculty Acceptance • Some Stumbling Blocks in Understanding Assessment • The Nature of Resistance

Involving Students in Assessment 54

Student Responsibility • Resources for Students • Student Rewards • Maximizing Student Acceptance of Assessment

Acting with Integrity 63

4. Setting Expectations and Preparing to Select Measures 65

Intentions for Learning: Goals, Objectives, Outcomes 65

Defining Terms • Learning Taxonomies

Developing Statements of Expectations 69

Statement Content • Curriculum Maps • Using Matrices and Other Tools

Selecting Methods and Approaches 73

Inventories of Existing Activities • Developing Criteria for Choosing Methods • An Overview of Methods • Use of Existing Information • Locally Developed versus Commercial Measures • Comparing Potential Methods to Criteria

Designing Instruments 85

Recognizing the Uniqueness of Designing Instruments for Assessment • Enlisting Help from Campus Experts • Enhancing Instrument Reliability and Validity

Determining Approaches for Implementation 87

Research Strategies • Identifying Eligible Participants • Sampling and Sample Size

Putting Everything Together 91

5. Using Direct Measures 93

Using Classroom Assignments for Outcomes Assessment 93 Performance Assessment 95

Types of Performance Assessment • Using Performance Measures for Outcomes Assessment • Designing Effective Assignments

Rubrics 100

VALUE Rubrics • Some Rubric Issues

Aggregating Assessment Results in and across Courses 104

Using Objective Tests for Outcomes Assessment 105

Advantages and Disadvantages of Objective Tests • Developing Good Tests and Writing Good Items • Implications for Students

Electronic Portfolios 110

Using E-Portfolios for Outcomes Assessment • Choices for E-Portfolios • Student Reflection • Scoring • Resources and Training • Feedback • Impact on Students • Using Results • Developing E-Portfolios • Appeal of Portfolios and Some Cautions

6. Using Indirect Assessment Methods 121

Using Surveys in Assessment 121

Topics for Assessment Surveys • Selecting and Using Various Target Groups • Response Types and Scales • Writing Survey Questions • Questionnaire Administration • National Surveys for Assessment

Using Focus Groups in Assessment 132

Topics, Target Groups, and Participants • The Moderator’s Role • Developing Questions and Summarizing Results • Other Considerations

Additional Indirect Methods 136

Interviews • Written Materials • Documents and Records

Qualitative versus Quantitative Approaches 141

Classroom Assessment Techniques 142

7. Assessing Learning in the Major 145

Capstone Experiences and Courses 146

Capstone Experiences • Capstone Courses

Portfolios 150

Experiential Education 152

Internships • Service-Learning • Applied Projects

Group Work and Team-Building Skills 160

Employer Involvement 162

Employers as Assessors • Employers as Advisors • Employer Surveys

Intentional Learning 165

8. Assessing Learning in General Education 167

The Nature of General Education 167

Assessment Choices and Issues 170

Agreeing on Program Purposes and Learning Objectives • Selecting an Assessment Approach for General Education • Generating, Reporting, and Using Results

Using Commercial Instruments and the Voluntary System of Accountability 175

Assessing Specific Aspects of General Education 178

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving • Writing • Information Literacy • Oral Communication • Ethical Reasoning • Values and Attitudes

The Degree Qualifications Profile 189

Assessing General Education Outcomes within the Major 190

9. Assessing Student Learning and Program Effectiveness in Student Affairs 193

Foundations for Assessment in Student Affairs 193

Mission, Goals, and Objectives 197

Goals and Objectives • Mapping Outcomes

Leadership and Preparation for Assessment in Student Affairs 199

Committees, Offices, and Assessment Teams • Resources and Training

Assessment Frameworks, Models, and Diagrams 204

Assessment Plans and Methods 205

Planning Templates and Guides • Methods

Reporting and Sharing Results 208

Reporting Templates • Evaluating Reports • Communicating Results

Ethical Behavior 210

Improving Assessment 212

Rewards for Assessment 212

10. Analyzing, Reporting, and Using Assessment Results 215

Helping Faculty and Staff Use Their Assessment Results 215

Encouraging Reflection and Collaboration • Providing Mentors • Sharing Materials • Communicating about How Assessment Results Have Been Used • Linking Assessment Results to Important Processes

Assessment Reporting by Departments and Programs 221

Outcomes • Methods • Findings • Action Plans • Follow-Up • Closing the Loop • Reflections on the Process

Summarizing Reports 225

Managing Data 226

Assessing Unit Reports 226

Making the Process Transparent 228

Institutional Assessment Reporting 229

Theme Reports • Extracts for Colleges and Departments • Oral Reports • Comprehensive Reports • Institutional Data and Dashboards

Analyzing Assessment Information 234

Descriptive and Comparative Information • Impact of Various Response Scales on Analysis • Qualitative Analysis • Multivariate Analysis • Data Mining and Learning Analytics

Displaying Results 239

Other Considerations 240

11. Assessing Institutional Effectiveness 241

Linking Assessment and Institutional Planning: An Example 242

Organizing to Assess Institutional Effectiveness 245

Assessment Leaders • Assessment Committees • Leadership in Units • Central Offices

Planning and Institutional Improvement at IUPUI 248

Testing Center • Office of Institutional Effectiveness • Office of Institutional Research • Office of Program Review • Office of the Economic Model

Administering an Assessment Plan 252

Planning Levels • Using Assessment Information • Assessing and Facilitating Assessment

Considering Costs 258

Linking Assessment to Other Valued Processes 259

12. Summing Up 263

A Time of Transition 263

Current Practice 265
Purposes • Assessment Approaches • Stakeholder Involvement • Technology

Continuing Challenges 268

Assessment’s Effect on Individual Students • Alternative Ways to Credential Students • Sharing Assessment Information and Results • Assessment Costs and Benefits • Finding a Home for Assessment • Creating a Culture of Assessment

References 279

Name Index 311

Subject Index 317