ERIC Number: ED340763
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
What Type of National Assessment Fits American Higher Education?
Ratcliff, James L.
For a national program assessing college graduates to succeed, it must be institutionalized at the majority of colleges and universities in the nation. The information generated must play a clear and key role in formulating state and institutional higher education policy, college matriculation standards, and degree-granting decisions. Such an assessment must be particularly credible, reliable, and useful to college faculty, who play a fundamental role in communicating the importance of the assessment program to students. Such confidence can only be developed through the active participation of institutions and faculty. A national effort should build on the credibility and accomplishments of existing state programs, rather than being duplicative and ancillary. A two-pronged approach to development of a national assessment program seems warranted. For the short term, protocols to monitor selected course syllabi and examinations can be developed. A long-range goal would be adoption of a national assessment program. Using the methodology and model from the Differential Coursework Patterns project, the National Center for Education Statistics could begin to determine which measures of critical thinking, communication, and problem solving best differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate learning environments for students of different ability levels. A 21-item list of references is included. Reviews by N. Beck, J. Herman, and T. Marchese and B. Wright of this position paper are provided. (SLD)
Descriptors: Cognitive Measurement, College Faculty, College Graduates, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking, Educational Assessment, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, National Programs, Problem Solving, State Programs, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A