ERIC Number: ED340753
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Sep-30
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Plan for Using National Assessment To Ensure Continuous Improvement of Higher Education. Draft.
Banta, Trudy W.
An outline is provided for a national educational assessment and improvement plan as suggested by the National Education Goals of 1990. The following implicit assumptions underlie National Education Objective 5.5: (1) abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems can be defined and the definitions can be agreed upon as desired instructional objectives; (2) defined abilities can be taught in ways that engage students and promote learning; (3) reliable and valid measures of these abilities can be identified and created; (4) measures of student attainment can be administered to college graduates in settings that encourage their best efforts; and (5) results of such assessment will be used to improve instruction. Under prevailing conditions in American higher education, little support for these assumptions exists. Current measurement theory is inadequate to provide direction for teaching and learning, and the act of assessing student abilities will not, in and of itself, improve those abilities. If decision makers believe that the national interest will be best served by a comprehensive postsecondary assessment program, the principles of continuous improvement applied in industry should be used to link faculty goal-setting, staff development, assessment of instructional resources and student outcomes, and uses of assessment results for educational improvement. A 55-item list of references is included. Reviews by N. Frederiksen and by B. Wright and T. Marchese of this position paper are provided. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Graduates, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Objectives, Evaluation Utilization, Higher Education, Measurement Techniques, National Programs, Outcomes of Education, Problem Solving, Student Evaluation, Testing Programs, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A