Assessment of Learning

Even if you’re new to higher education, chances are you’ve heard about this thing called “Assessment.” If you were to attend any one of the many annual professional conferences in higher education, line the attendees up, and ask whether they believe in assessment—in particular, assessment of learning—responses would be pretty varied, but often skewed toward the negative. Some of this is due to over-saturation of the idea or impatience and frustration with a lengthy process that requires time, focus, and, occasionally, a little problem-solving to produce data with the decision-utility to inform improvements in learning experiences and demonstrate accountability. Sometimes, we have a distaste for assessment because it might tell us uncomfortable truths about our pedagogy and practice. And all of this comes when we often have not been provided the tools, resources, and training to “do assessment,” and do it well.

We are in your corner. We help build and bolster policies, processes, and practices that enable practitioners, educators, and leaders to capitalize on assessment’s promise as a resource that empowers us to deliver higher learning. Too often, assessment is used to measure broad outcomes that tell us very little about what students actually learn. Our focus is to develop capacity among educators and practitioners to conduct and utilize sound assessment in courses, programs, co-curricular activities and services, and general education. Specific areas of capacity building can include, but not be limited to:

•Developing, clarifying, or aligning goals for student learning up, down, and across the institution;

•Identifying measurable outcomes in the programs, services, resources, and activities that achieve learning goals;

•Supporting the development of sound, high quality instruments and methods to measure student learning that produce evidence with sufficient decision utility to guide and document improvement; and

•Creating or strengthening policies, processes, and practices that guide and inform change for learning.