ERIC Number: EJ1070717
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
What Counts as Assessment in the 21st Century?
Thought & Action, p29-37 Fall 2007
In this article, the author discusses the new role assessment is playing in the higher education (HE) arena. Highlighted are the feelings of higher education faculty who observe the lack of preparation of students entering HE, and the fact that in introductory courses they are often teaching the skills--writing, critical thinking, basic mathematics--that they expected students to have acquired prior to coming to college. This lack of preparation erodes the depth and quality of the education that students should be receiving in basic college courses, so students and professors both feel mired in catch-up. Due to this and other problems, too often administrative-driven assessment is imposed "on all" to produce measurable outcomes. However, teaching to the standardized test causes problems in the classroom and in the learning environment because standardization has the negative consequence of shaping students into passive learners. Students do not feel absorbed in a learning process. Rather, they are compelled to engage in rote memorization that gives them no sense of attachment to or reward for the material they are being taught. Consequently, students are directed to giving a "right" answer rather than thinking for themselves and becoming creative learners. This focus on faculty and the need for assessment ignores the issue of students' responsibility for their own education. Drilling students to perform to standardized outcomes is anything but playful. Real education will involve an investment in the youth of our nation and the future they inhabit.
Descriptors: Educational Practices, Higher Education, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Evaluation Problems, Evaluation Needs, Educational Policy, Outcome Measures, Models, College Preparation, College Readiness, Student Responsibility, Active Learning, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Teacher Effectiveness, Educational Quality
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site: http://www.nea.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A