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AALHE’s ‘Emerging Dialogues in Assessment’ provides a channel of communication on topics in assessment.

Why Are We Assessing?

March 24, 2018

We work at all kinds of institutions, large and small, public and private, research universities and two-year colleges. Our common bond is a conviction that, as good as American higher education is, today’s students—and society—need not just a good but the best possible education. We see assessment as a vital tool to making that happen.

Assessment in Externally Accredited Programs

March 13, 2018
Jessica Blumerick

In most cases at University of Michigan, Dearborn, to avoid additional work for faculty, the Assessment Subcommittee has agreed to accept assessment reports in alternative formats [required by external accreditation bodies] as long as the same components are present in the report and the overall guidelines are in line with the university’s assessment plan.

The Principles of our Practice

March 2, 2018
Natasha Jankowski

Assessment as a field of practice has well established principles of what "good" assessment entails that have stood the test of time.

Assessment of Interprofessional Education: Towards a Critical Mass

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Michelle Rogers, Ph.D.
David Turbow, Ph.D.

Interprofessional education (IPE) is an institutional learning objective common to many schools of health professions. . . . According to Blue et al. (2015), although multiple stakeholders have a vested interest in assessing IPE, the assessment of these competencies needs further development.

A Response to: Assessment of Interprofessional Education: Towards a Critical Mass

Jeff Barbee D.M.A., M.A.

Multiple-Choice Assessment in Higher Education: Are We Moving Backward?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Mary Tkatchov

Writing a quality multiple-choice assessment is an art form that takes considerable time and skill. Those who have not attempted to write one might not appreciate the difficulty of authoring three answer choices for each question that are 100% incorrect but still seem plausible.

Multiple-Choice Assessment in Higher Education: Are We Moving Backward? A Response

Jon Scoresby Ph.D.

Transformative Learning Needed for Higher Education Assessment

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
David Dirlam

Learning can either be incremental or transformative. The former has been studied for a century and a half. It occurs gradually through practice and for the most part obeys “laws of learning” established in tens of thousands of articles.

Students that Change the World! Innovative Course-building for Transformative Learning
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Caralyn Zehnder, Julia Metzker, and Cynthia Alby

At many of our institutions, mission statements put forth a vision for educating students which aspire to grow students into liberally educated individuals with the knowledge, skills, and desire to make positive change in their communities. These are laudable goals, but what do they really mean?
Transformative Assessment: A Proposed Process
Friday, June 9, 2017
Becky Dueben

If assessment is to be transformative, it will place faculty members at the center of the assessment process. Transformative assessment would be assessment that faculty members design, choosing what works best for the organization’s context, which includes the discipline type.
Meaning and usage of “assessment” (Part III): Science, design, and interpretation of learning and teaching
November 29, 2016
David K. Dirlam

...distinguishing evaluation from assessment is useful but the term assessment can also be useful because it admits all three methodologies of science, design, and interpretation better than inquiry or evidence.
Meaning and usage of “assessment” (Part II): Are you assessing or evaluating?
November 28, 2016
Erin A. Crisp

In many circles, assessment and evaluation are used interchangeably. Yet in our field, I am wondering if it would be helpful to our practice to more carefully differentiate between the two.
Meaning and usage of “assessment” (Part I): Is it time for a new name for assessment?
November 28, 2016
Matthew B. Fuller

As assessment leaders, reflections about how we view assessment can guide how we speak about assessment and how we work to rectify disparities between one size fits all, accountability-driven assessment and locally-meaningful, student centered assessment.
Announcing the 2016 Conference Proceedings
July 27, 2016

The 2016 Conference Proceedings is a rich resource for conference attendees and members unable to attend. This year, the Proceedings feature 16 papers that address current issues in higher education assessment, methods, and strategies for success.
Going Global: Creating the Sociological Literacy Framework from International Assessment Practitioners
July 14, 2016
Susan J. Ferguson

All of us in higher education have something to gain by learning from each other across national boundaries and ultimately, doing so will help serve our students better.
Grades, SLOs, or a Commitment to Learning
May 5, 2016
David K. Dirlam

Aggregating our stories in time and space helps us to give context to learning, while context without uniqueness should bore accreditors as much as it would any good text analyst.
Maps and the Search for the Buried Treasure of Assessment
April 18, 2016
Marie Miknavich

Planning and organizing the process of learning and assessment is immensely important, but the real treasure is in the classroom.
Dead Bunnies are Not the Problem
April 17, 2016
Catherine M. Wehlburg

A faculty member reported that he said “…you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t. You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.” The real problem is not “dead bunnies.” The most pertinent and truly pressing issue is the system...
Showing What Students Have Learned to Do
February 22, 2016
David K. Dirlam

As soon as students graduate or otherwise get out of higher education, authentic projects are everywhere. If we bring such projects back in, the key assessment question will become “how should we show what students have learned to do?”
Should Students Be Able to Show What They Know?
January 28, 2016
Jean Downs

Although we understand that showing and knowing are two fundamentally different things, assessing learning is difficult business.
On Facilitating the USE of Institutional Research Data
January 21, 2016
Jo-Ellen Asbury

...for those of us in the Institutional Research and Assessment world, it is indeed our job to take people where they may not want to go – or perhaps don’t know that they need to go.
Whether National Exam Scores are Student or Program Learning Outcomes
January 12, 2016
David K. Dirlam

Leaving no learner behind does not happen with aggregated scores. Ultimately, education occurs between learners and teachers. Society benefits when knowledge develops, but such development always begins at the personal level.
Assessment Needs Work: What can we do? (Part II)
January 12, 2016
Jean Downs

Continue the invigorating conversation across campuses, listservs, and social media on how to improve our understanding of learning outcomes assessment (and its language), reward faculty and institutions for improving teaching and learning with assessment, improve the preparation of future faculty, accept responsibility for accountability and assessment of learning, and more!
Assessment Works! But It Needs More Work…
January 12, 2016
Jean Downs

“We should no longer accept on faith or intuition that what/how we teach students has positive or consequential effects on our students – or their learning.”
Announcing the 2015 Conference Proceedings
August 3, 2015

This year, the Proceedings feature 13 papers that address current issues in higher education assessment, methods, and strategies for success
The Single Most Appropriate Response
January 12, 2016
Jean Downs

If you are an assessment administrator, do you need to refine your message about the purpose of assessment? If you are faculty, will you talk to your assessment administrator or institutional administrators about the messages you are receiving about the purpose of assessment?
Impact Measures using LONs and PIPs
May 11, 2014
David K. Dirlam

By aggregating across a variety of courses taught in a variety of disciplines we will have the opportunity to learn what practices have what kind of impact, at what steps in programs during a student’s undergraduate experience.
The Academic Praxome
May 11, 2014
David K. Dirlam

After numerous workdays pouring over a list of over 60 “signature assignments” collected from our faculty by our Center for Innovative Teaching and Engage Learning (INTEL), I have arrived at a solution—the “Academic Praxome.”
The Course Design Survey
May 11, 2014
David K. Dirlam

The Couse Design Survey leaves faculty free to design courses as they see fit and to change course designs from one term to the next.

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