Assessment and Accountability

Faculty Forum: Assessment Metaphors We Live By

The range of assessment metaphors circulating in higher education reflects the diversity of understandings of assessment. Assessment is a tool for measurement, a process for improvement, and a medium of communication. Its practice at once requires and produces a “culture” of assessment, evidence, accountability, or learning, and students correspondingly figure as participants, objects of study, consumers, or agents of their own learning.

AAUP General Secretary Testifies Before Committee

On February 3, AAUP General Secretary Gary Rhoades testified before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. The committee advises the Secretary of Education on matters of accreditation. 

Academics Adrift?

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

A Price above Rubrics

British universities never challenged the Orwellian terminology of managerialism. The outcome is the disintegration of a higher education system that was once a jewel.

Intellectual Life and the University of Commerce

A revaluation of teaching could help British universities cope with the government’s destructive reforms.

State of the Profession: Much Ado about MOOCs

In case you haven’t noticed, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are all the rage these days, at least in the press. “Campus Tsunami,” “Instruction for Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls,” and “College May Never Be the Same” are but a few of the sensational headlines cropping up in the popular and educational press. Is all the hype justified?

The Art of Becoming Yourself

Over the past two decades we have placed the outcomes of higher education under scrutiny. Accrediting agencies make the assessment of learning a key to appraising institutions. We scholars make our voices heard on the matter, and politicians have grown curious about undergraduates. In the first decade of the new millennium, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education spent three years collecting data on the best way to measure the effect of a college education.

Evaluating the Humanities

How can one measure the value of teaching the humanities? The problem of assessment and accountability is prominent today, of course, in secondary and higher education. It is perhaps even more acute for those who teach the humanities in nontraditional settings, such as medical and other professional schools. The public assumes that we can assess the difference between good, indifferent, and bad physicians— otherwise, why would students and faculty members spend so much time obsessing over licensing exams?

Statement on the President’s Proposal for Performance Based Funding

After this statement was issued, Rudy Fichtenbaum was invited to write an op/ed for Times Higher Education. Read the statement, the op-ed and sign a petition asking that President Obama consult classroom-experienced teaching faculty about his proposals, and amend them accordingly


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