Office of Faculty Development

Assessment and Evaluation

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Astin, Alexander W.

Assessment for Excellence: The Philosophy and Practice of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. The American Council on Education Series on Higher Education.
Phoenix: Oryx, 1993. (335 pp.)
CSUH Library—LB2366.2 .A89 1991, CSUH—FCET Library

Convinced that much of the assessment used in colleges and universities is of little benefit, Astin records here a way for change, offering a correction to the conventional wisdom about assessment. Various parts of the volume will appeal to slightly different audiences: faculty, administrators, researchers, policy analysts, and government officials. Chapters cover philosophy and logic, a conceptual model, outcomes, student inputs, environment, data analysis, results usage, data base construction, direct feedback to the learner, equity, public policy, and the future of assessment.

Diamond, Robert M.

Designing and Assessing Courses and Curricula: A Practical Guide, second edition. Higher and Adult Education Series,
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998. (322 pp.)

This newly revised edition contains sections dealing with diversity, multiculturalism, critical thinking, and technological innovations, and it features the central role of assessment in the design process. The case studies have been expanded to include examples from a broader range of institutions. Experience has simplified the model, making it easier to use and reducing the time needed for implementation. Checklists, tables, worksheets, and figures assist readers in the learning process. While based in theory, the book is first and foremost a practical guide for faculty and administrators, showing how to design or redesign courses and curricula, the structures in which learning takes place.

Ratcliff, James L., and Associates.

Realizing the Potential: Improving Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
University Park, Penn.: The National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, 1995. (44 pp.)

This report—prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning—asserts that "colleges and universities can do a great deal more to improve and enhance their impact on students” (p. v). In a brief format it examines some of the problems, promising programs, and points of practice for promoting progress.

Wheeler, Gary S., ed.

Teaching and Learning in College: A Resource for Educators. 4th ed.
Elyria, Ohio: Info-Tec, 2002. (211 pp.)

This collection of articles updates the earlier edition and continues the ongoing discussion about teaching and learning. Six leading educators deal with these subjects: the role of community in learning, diversity and new roles for faculty developers, computing the value of teaching dialogues, teaching and learning in different academic settings, teaching and learning as a transactional process, and using assessment effectively.


Katz, Joseph, and Mildred Henry.

Turning Professors into Teachers: A New Approach to Faculty Development and Student Learning. The American Council on Education Series on Higher Education.
Phoenix: Oryx, 1993. (173 pp.)
CSUH Library—LB2331 .K32 1988 CSUH—FCET Library

Two research projects involving fifteen institutions and conducted between 1978 and 1987 provided the raw data with which Katz and Henry have created a new model of faculty development that is designed to increase student learning. This volume presents the model (and the need for it), the methods by which they arrived at it (and samples of the data), and a challenge for professors to consider being the kinds of teachers (and not mere researcher-scholars) that students need. The model of faculty development and student learning espoused here is “inquiry-oriented” whereby faculty members adopt a learning attitude toward their own courses. They regular investigate the learning that is taking place in their classrooms by such means as a colleague regularly visiting the faculty member’s class and regularly interviewing several students about the class. Other learning inquiries can be made via tests and papers submitted by the students. Such means help the faculty member learn in an ongoing and more immediate way about the student learning that is happening in a particular course, allows the faculty member to make corrections to the teaching/learning process, and makes the whole enterprise more effective for both teacher and student.


Ewell, Peter, and Dennis Jones.

A Preliminary Study of the Feasibility and Utility for National Policy of Instructional “Good Practice” Indicators in Undergraduate Education.
Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Statistics, 1994. (55 pp.)
CSUH Library—ED 1.302:IN 8/4 CSUH—FCET Library

This is the fourth in a series of publications related to the investigation of a national assessment project regarding college student learning. Ewell and Jones review the feasibility of using good teaching practices as effective and efficient means for assessing student learning. They conclude that indicators based upon student behaviors and active learning data drawn gathered via questionnaires would be most beneficial.

Greenwood, Addison.

National Assessment of College Student Learning: Getting Started: A Summary of the Beginning Activities.
Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Statistics, 1993. (182 pp.)

Drawing from the proceedings of a 1991 workshop and its related papers, this report was constructed to provide background information for a 1992 workshop that continued the discussion on the topic of assessing college student learning. The first publication in the series was entitled National Assessment of College Student Learning: Issues and Concerns (see CSUH Library—ED 1.302:C 68/4). Topics undertaken in this second volume include questions of which skills should be assessed and what standards and measures should be used.

Greenwood, Addison, ed.

The National Assessment of College Student Learning: Identification of the Skills to Be Taught, Learned, and Assessed: A Report on the Proceedings of the Second Study Design Workshop,
November 1992. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Statistics, 1994. (313 pp.)

The third in a series of publications related to this national assessment project, this report pulls together the papers presented in the 1992 workshop meetings. In part 1, papers cover critical thinking, speaking and listening, and reading and writing. Notes on the working groups meetings are contained in part 2.

Jones, Elizabeth A., et al.

National Assessment of College Student Learning: Identifying College Graduates’ Essential Skills in Writing, Speech and Listening, and Critical Thinking: Final Project Report.
Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Statistics, 1995. (181 pp.)
CSUH Library—ED 1.302:C 68/7 CSUH—FCET Library

Part of a series of publications related to the investigation of a national assessment project, this report presents a study that set out to determine if a consensus could be reached regarding the skill levels college students should attain in writing, speech and listening, and critical thinking. Over 600 participants—faculty, employers, and policymakers—were involved. Arguing that generic skills (e.g., critical thinking and communication) are more important over time to successful job performance, the authors provide a range of communication and thinking skills for faculty, employers, and policymakers to examine for their respective uses.

Nichols, James O.

The Departmental Guide and Record Book for Student Outcomes Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. 2d ed.
New York: Agathon, 1995. (80 pp.)

This paperback for academic departments fits with Nichols’ reference work for administrators, A Practitioner’s Handbook for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Outcomes Assessment Implementation, and his collection of examples in Assessment Case Studies: Common Issues in Implementation with Various Campus Approaches to Resolution (all published by Agathon). Despite its brevity, the book works from theory quickly to implementation for effective education. An appendix includes examples of forms designed for photocopying.

Ory, John C., and Katherine E. Ryan.

Tips for Improving Testing and Grading. Survival Skills for Scholars, 4. Newbury Park,
Calif.: SAGE, 1993. (141 pp.)

Gleaned from thirty years of experience and hundreds of faculty workshops at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign testing office, this collection of tips is meant to serve as a resource for developing, using, and grading exams. Tips cover test plans, objective test items (multiple-choice, true-false, matching, and others), completion test items, essay test items, problem-solving test items, test scoring, reviewing tests, and grading issues. An appendix provides practical approaches to dealing with cheating on exams.

Walvoord, Barbara E., and Virginia Johnson Anderson.

Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998. (250 pp.)

Something every faculty member wants is presented in this book: strategies for grading that are more fair, more time-efficient, and more learning-oriented. Nevertheless, the authors “urge faculty to abandon false hopes that grading can be easy, uncomplicated, uncontested, or one-dimensional” (p. xvii). Rather than work against it, faculty must work with and manage this complexity in order to have learner-centered grading. To do this, Walvoord and Anderson view grading from the perspective of classroom research—a teacher’s systematic investigation of the relationship between teaching and learning in his or her classroom and the use of that information to improve the process. Thus, grading that is integrated into the entire teaching and learning plan for a course can serve rather than hinder a teacher’s efforts. Furthermore, despite common feelings about assessment, the authors argue for a judicious use in assessment of information on student learning gathered from well-employed grading systems. They claim that even accrediting agencies would be pleased with such grade-informed assessment. Consequently, after the first chapter details the compatibility of grading for learning and for assessment, the volume is divided into two parts. Chapters 2-9 deal with grading in the classroom and discuss course planning, student learning, motivation, grading criteria, grading standards, grade calculating, communicating grades, and time-efficient grading. Chapters 10-12 deal with how grading can serve broader assessment purposes and discuss faculty tenure/promotion review and departmental and institutional assessment.

general | faculty | students

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