Three promising alternatives for assessing college students' knowledge and skills

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Author: Banta, Trudy W.; Griffin, Merilee; Flateby, Teresa L.; Kahn, Susan

Abstract:

Educators and policy makers in postsecondary education are interested in assessment processes that improve student learning, and at the same time provide institutional data that may be used to demonstrate accountability. This paper discusses three promising alternatives that afford the kinds of authentic, information-rich, meaningful assessments that are essential for improving student learning, and at the same time provide data for public reporting. First, ePortfolios offer an in-depth, long-term view of student achievement on a range of skills and abilities as opposed to a quick snapshot based on a single sample of learning outcomes. Second, a system of rubrics used to evaluate student writing and depth of learning has been combined with faculty learning and team assessments, and is now being used at multiple institutions. Third, online assessment communities link local faculty members in collaborative work to develop shared norms and teaching capacity, and then link local communities with each other in a growing system of assessment. These authentic and valid assessment approaches must be developed and promoted as viable alternatives to scores on single-sitting, snapshot measures of learning that do not capture the difficult and demanding intellectual skills that are the true aim of a college education.

Published abstract.

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Educators and policy makers in postsecondary education are interested in assessment processes that improve student learning, and at the same time provide institutional data that may be used to demonstrate accountability. This paper discusses three promising alternatives that afford the kinds of authentic, information-rich, meaningful assessments that are essential for improving student learning, and at the same time provide data for public reporting. First, ePortfolios offer an in-depth, long-term view of student achievement on a range of skills and abilities as opposed to a quick ...  [+] Show more

Subjects: Governance; Higher education; Assessment; Outcomes; Technology

Keywords: Accountability; Achievement; Attainment; Online system

Geographic subjects: United States; North America

Published: Champaign, Illinois: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, University of Illinois, 2009

Physical description: 29 p.

Access item:
http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/AlternativesforAssessment.pdf

Series:
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment occasional paper; no. 2

Notes:
On cover: Foreword by Jillian Kinzie

Resource type: Occasional paper

Call Number:
TD/TNC 112.507



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