NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED530830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Why Now? Assessing Assessment. Commentary
Stage, Frances; Vaisman, Jody Clark
Association for the Study of Higher Education
Jaschik's January 2009 article, "Assessing Assessment," describes initiatives designed to extend and broaden nascent assessment of college students learning. In the post-Spellings era of No Child Left Behind, many responded to the continuing discussion, "Why now?" He reports on two organizations, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment that is working to produce a national picture of the state of efforts to measure student learning and the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability working for institutional and individual endorsements of the principles for assessment and accountability. It has been a year since establishment of these initiatives, and the web page of the first, the National Institute, is a gem for institutions and practitioners--with documents of presentations, occasional papers, and links to assessment resources. These initiatives are welcome because unfortunately much assessment of college students' learning has been measured at rudimentary levels by college officials as well as researchers. Did the students feel good? Did it seem like they learned something? Worse, much research that relates college student experiences to learning is based on these low levels measures. Individuals know from research based on self-efficacy that feeling good while learning and feeling confident about ability to learn can enhance learning (Bandura 1999). However, they also know that just because students feel as if they are learning it does not mean they are. This commentary opines that as soon as institutions begin to take assessment seriously, it is likely that faculty will as well. Finally, individuals need to view learning at the college level as a national agenda item as has been the case in other countries. Instead of a reactionary approach to governmental initiatives, they need proactive leadership in higher education that values regular assessment which, in turn, will make both learning and good teaching more recognized and appreciated. A list of references and suggested readings is provided. [This document presents a commentary on: "Why Now? Assessing Assessment" by Scott Jaschik published in "Inside Higher Ed" January 23, 2009. "Why Now? Assessing Assessment," its commentary, a list of suggested readings, and discussion questions are included.]
Association for the Study of Higher Education. Box 453068 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154. Tel: 702-895-2737; Fax: 702-895-4269; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for the Study of Higher Education
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001