ERIC Number: ED451739
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Departmental Assessment: How Some Campuses Are Effectively Evaluating the Collective Work of Faculty.
Wergin, Jon F.; Swingen, Judi N.
This study assessed the ways in which academic departments in U.S. colleges and universities are evaluated through a survey of about 130 institutions across the Carnegie university categories. This survey and literature review were supplemented by site visits to eight universities. The authors were surprised to find a great amount of departmental evaluation going on at the universities. The collective work of faculty is evaluated in as many as five different ways and some campuses use all five of these approaches. The problem is that these methods are disconnected from one another. The methods are: (1) program review; (2) outcomes assessment; (3) specialized accreditation; (4) financial accounting initiatives; and (5) internal quality assurance. The research suggests that effective departmental assessment depends on: (1) the degree to which the organizational and cultural setting promotes an atmosphere conducive to evaluation; (2) the credibility and fairness of the evaluation policies and practices; and (3) the validity and reliability of the evaluation standards, criteria, and measures. The study concludes unit assessment that takes place in a climate supportive of quality improvement, enhances organizational motivation by treating the department as a collective, gives maximum flexibility to identify and answer their own evaluation questions, and takes seriously issues of data quality and credibility that will be both effective and growth-producing. (Contains 2 tables and 28 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Accreditation (Institutions), College Faculty, Departments, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Outcomes of Education, Surveys, Teacher Evaluation
American Association for Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 360, Washington, DC 20036-1110. Tel: 202-293-6440; Fax: 202-293-0073. Web site: http://www.aahe.org/catalog.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Companion volume to "The Collaborative Department: How Five Campuses Are Inching toward Cultures of Collective Responsibility" by Jon F. Wergin.