Effective assessment of higher education institutional effectiveness is still in a stage of relative infancy, and to date has developed as a reactive response to external pressures. Assessment planning and institutional improvement have taken shape as a result of accrediting body influences on member institutions. However, even various accrediting bodies have yet to settle on common criteria and standards other than very general guidelines typically focused on evidence, validity, sustainability, and an improvement process. As a minimum any assessment plans must be able to demonstrate these key elements. Additional external influences have brought in the notion of educational value. What constitutes proof of value is still in a realm of subjectivity without solid definition. We can, however, still develop assessment plans that incorporate valuable tools to assess and improve mission effectiveness.
Useful assessment does indeed require a significant amount of thought in planning development, and a balanced approach tends to give more meaningful information. As presently crafted, the proposed assessment plan lacks some balance. It is largely a more traditional approach and could be improved with addition of more recent assessment developments. In overall balance, the one area completely missing at the institutional level is operational effectiveness. This effectiveness can have a significant impact on the ability of the institution to achieve its mission.
While not specifically addressed in a footnote, contextually, it is logical that “SSI” refers to a standardized Social Skills Inventory assessment. This being the case, institutional assessment is overwhelmingly biased with quanti...
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... start, it needs more developmental work in several key areas. Most assessment balance areas could be enhanced. What does need more substance is depth and breadth of an assessment culture along with a clear process of course, program, and institutional improvement. More involvement of external stakeholders would lend credibility to both outcomes development and achievement of outcomes. The plan also needs to incorporate administrative effectiveness in responsibly delivering higher education. The climate today demands proof of mission achievement, effectiveness, and improvement.
Mandernach, B. J. (2003). Formative assessment in the classroom. Retrieved from Park University Faculty Development Quick Tips (http://www.park.edu/cetl/quicktips/).
Middaugh, M. F. (2010). Planning and assessment in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
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