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ERIC Number: ED546824
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
What Are Institutions Spending on Assessment? Is It Worth the Cost? Occasional Paper #18
Cooper, Tammi; Terrell, Trent
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
Assessment activities have proliferated over the last decade at institutions of higher education. While assessment is useful for institutional improvement, this proliferation has in part been due to greater pressures from regional accreditors on institutions to meet assessment requirements. These higher expectations have led to new expenditures on college campuses. This paper discusses a research project aimed at determining how much institutions are spending annually on assessment and whether the perceived benefit is worth the cost. An online survey was administered to assessment professionals across the country to determine institutions' spending in seven expenditure categories related to assessment. In addition to presenting overall expenditures by category, the authors broadly describe the differences in spending between institutions with different enrollments, two-year and four-year institutions, and public and private institutions. Differences in spending appeared to be related to institution size rather than type or control. Smaller institutions reported spending more on assessment per student than larger universities. While the majority of survey participants responded that the cost of assessment was worth the benefit, within the sample, the correlation between overall assessment spending and perceived benefit was not found to be statistically significant. Perceived value appears to be derived more from using the data for improvements than from spending. The following are appended: (1) Methodology and Limitations; (2) Assessment Expenditures Survey; and (3) Comparison of Average Spending Across Enrollment by Expenditure Category.
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 340 Education Building MC 708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-244-2155; Fax: 217-244-5632; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment