ERIC Number: ED395724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Departmental Assessment at the Small College.
A good college assessment program should include departmental level assessment to evaluate what students learn in their major field. Small colleges have unique opportunities and constraints in developing departmental assessment programs. Because of their size, small departments can use labor-intensive methods and have more opportunities for faculty to work together. On the other hand, statistical analysis is problematic and identifying an assessment advocate in each department is difficult. Northwestern College in Iowa, with 1,100 students and 62 full-time faculty members, implemented an assessment program that included departmental assessment. Departments were to identify educational goals, ways to measure learning, and a process for analyzing information and making changes. The lessons learned from this experience are that: (1) an assessment program should include faculty development since many faculty members do not understand assessment; (2) faculty may resist assessment, but there are ways to address this; (3) a one-size-fits-all assessment program is neither possible nor desirable, because departments must have flexibility; (4) an assessment advocate should be identified for each department or cluster of related departments; (5) departments should avoid minimalist programs that aren't useful and ambitious programs that can't be implemented; and (6) each department should produce a product that links assessment evidence to desired improvements in curriculum and educational practices. (TD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Northwestern College IA
Note: In: A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement 1995; see ED 382 117.