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Assessment and Accountability

Improve Your Teaching and Your Students’ Learning

You can only tell whether your teaching is improving if you can be sure of what your students are learning.

Establishing a Culture of Assessment

Fifteen elements of assessment success—how many does your campus have?

Numbers Are Not Everything

Stop making so many personnel decisions based on quantitative, rather than qualitative, data.

Faculty Forum: Against Assessment

Not long ago, I was in one of those now ubiquitous committee meetings on institutional assessment. As I listened to the speaker earnestly describe objectives and outcomes and a vast three-dimensional matrix filled with yet-to-be-obtained data, I cringed and sank lower in my seat. I hoped that my wincing would be mistaken for what it was fast becoming: a throbbing headache.

The Ultimate Utility of Nonutility

Forget trying to measure learning. The greatest value of the liberal arts can be that students start to understand the complexity, confusion, and contradiction at the heart of human experience.

Making Faculty Count in Higher Education Assessment

Making accreditation and assessment meaningful while fighting a growing marketplace ideology and increasing federal mandates isn’t easy. But it’s possible.

Beyond Crude Measurement and Consumerism

We ought to be up to the task of figuring out what it is that our students know by the end of four years at college that they did not know at the beginning.

A Student’s Assessment

An Academe student intern reacts to Stanley Katz’s essay.

Measuring What Matters

Higher Learning, Greater Good: The Private and Social Benefits of Higher Education. Walter W. McMahon. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

From the Editor: Assessment, Accountability, and Albatrosses

By the time you read this, in the Indian summer of our discontent, BP probably will have finished its static kill and relief wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eager students will certainly be headed back into classrooms at the University of California, Berkeley, now home to what is believed to be the largest public-private research consortium in the country. Only a tiny handful of those students may have access to the proprietary, private biofuel research labs of BP, leveraged by public money and located on a public university’s campus.


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