ERIC Number: ED434607
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
State Higher Education Assessment Policy: Research Findings from Second and Third Years.
Nettles, Michael T.; Cole, John J. K.
This review of state higher education assessment policies sought to test assumptions and conclusions reached during an initial phase of the study, to explore the dynamics of the process by which assessment becomes a state-level issue or concern, and to better understand the multifaceted relationship between state assessment policy and the improvement of teaching and learning. A questionnaire mailed to all 50 state academic officers in December 1997, with follow-ups throughout 1998, resulted in 38 responses. The 21-item questionnaire covered: policy context, objectives, process, outcomes, evaluation, and future directions. The study found that while all states sought to satisfy a variety of objectives through their assessment policies, it also found significant divergence between stated policy objectives and reported outcomes. Campus executive officers were the most consistently significant players in the assessment policy process. In examining the relationship between policy and improvement in teaching and learning, most academic officers saw improved teaching and learning and assessment policy as highly interdependent, although there was some perception that resistance at the institutional and/or faculty level hindered the effectiveness of state policies. Future case studies will be based on the findings and responses from the questionnaire. Appended is the State Higher Education Assessment Questionnaire. (CH)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Educational Assessment, Evaluation Problems, Higher Education, Learning, Objectives, Outcomes of Education, Performance Based Assessment, Performance Factors, Policy Analysis, Policy Formation, Questionnaires, State Departments of Education, State Norms, Teacher Evaluation
National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, Stanford University, School of Education, 520 Galvez Mall, 508 CERAS, Stanford, CA 94305-3084.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, Stanford, CA.