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ERIC Number: EJ838032
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
The New Guys in Assessment Town
Hutchings, Pat
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v41 n3 p26-33 May-Jun 2009
Motivated in large part by accreditation pressures, campuses are turning to new providers for assistance with a wide range of assessment-related tasks and processes. Some offer help in formulating student learning outcomes--and in bringing (as one says) "the science of learning" to "the art of teaching." Several are in the rubric-development business; a few actually score student work and generate outcomes data. Others sell and support software for managing, maintaining, and reporting assessment data. Some provide electronic platforms for portfolio assessment. Quite a number offer several of these "solutions" (to use a word that appears prominently in their marketing materials). According to long-time assessment watcher Peter Ewell, they are also "all over the map with respect to technical quality." In this article, the author does not provide a consumer' guide, but surveys the general lay of the land, looks at a few examples based on interviews with both users and providers, and reflects on where this new development is coming from and where it might take campuses. Can these for-profit providers assessment easier? Is easier better? How do campuses ensure that the "solutions" they offer don't short-circuit important campus deliberations? Will they facilitate more productive uses of data? Make information from the classroom more (or less) visible and important in the assessment process? Help higher education present itself to outside audiences more effectively? A list of a sampling of organizations that provide (among other offerings) higher education assessment tools and services is also presented. (Contains 6 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A