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ERIC Number: EJ1195072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Assessment: What Is It Good For? (For Faculty, It Turns Out)
Neuschel, Kristen; Rego, Márcia
Liberal Education, v104 n3 Sum 2018
In this article, the authors report on the results of a three-year study they conducted on assessment practices in general education courses at Duke University as part of a three-institution (Duke, the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska) research project funded by the Spencer Foundation. At all three institutions, researchers asked: (1) Are data from the assessment process being communicated and acted on as they should?; and (2) Above all, what might make the data gathered in the assessment process more likely to produce meaningful change? The study addressed these questions, but the results spoke also to the concerns of many faculty about assessment's intellectual rigor and its efficacy as a tool for better teaching. How can assessment be relevant, and even contribute in some way, to faculty members' work as scholars in their disciplines? The study included a series of surveys designed to measure whether and to what extent the use of student assessment in academic decisions (the independent variable) was affected by any of four dependent variables: (1) personal characteristics, including knowledge of and disposition toward assessment; (2) organizational context, including institutional support for assessment; (3) information characteristics, including quality of data and compatibility with expectations; and (4) participation in the sense-making process. This study confirms the importance of faculty defining their own goals, designing their own assessment strategies, and discussing their goals and findings with others. The analysis suggests that, despite associated challenges, the process of creating reliable and informative rubrics--especially in a collaborative and multidisciplinary context--provides faculty with the self-assessment and metacognitive awareness crucial for student learning and for their own satisfaction as instructors.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Kansas; Nebraska