Learning Assessment

The following colleges are doing interesting work in assessment, and much of it can be seen on their Web pages:

Alverno College's Ability-based Curriculum:  Alverno, a Catholic college for women in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has realized the potential of assessment more fully than any other institution.  Its eight abilities and their authentic assessment form the core of the educational program.

Madison Area Technical College's  Assessment Program.  Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin, has been developing its assessment program since 1995.  

King's College's Comprehensive Assessment Program:  King's, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has developed a core curriculum guided by its course-based Comprehensive Assessment Program.

California State University, Monterey Bay:  CSUMB, a public university, has organized its curriculum around its University Learning Requirements through a comprehensive program for assessing learning outcomes.

Hocking College Assessment Center.  Hocking College is a two-year college in Nelsonville, Ohio.  Its assessment program and success skills have gained it national recognition.

A new private company is offering assessment software:

The eLumen Collaborative is offering a Web-based system for assessment of learning outcomes and developing a data base for feedback on learning outcomes.  It is a flexible, affordable system that could greatly improve the ability of institutions to both gather and use assessment data to improve educational outcomes.  David Shupe developed the basic template for the system when in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), and it is similar to what you see in the Inver Hills Liberal Studies/Professional Skills program.

Three nationwide efforts to assess college performance are producing some interesting results:

Measuring Up: The State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education.  Sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, this "report card" gives interesting comparative information on how the states are performing.  The comparisons on Learning are especially instructive.  There are also some interesting background articles.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).  After three years, this survey of four-year colleges has produced valuable findings about what is happening to students at colleges.  Its reports are on the Web.

The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE).  This is the community college version of the NSSE, newer but just as promising.

Documents and Reports

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has produced an Evidence Guide.  This guide, written by Peter Ewell and available on the WASC Web site as a pdf document, is concise, clear, and full of examples of how to separate good evidence from mere data.   Well worth reading.

Setting a Baseline: More links to sources for defining and setting a baseline to compare future performance.

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