Articles and Literature

Assessment Commons

Assessment Commons is a website that currently provides a comprehensive list of about 1,600 links, including over 500 college and university assessment sites. It provide information on assessment resources and links for numerous educational institutions and organizations. The links on this website are annotated with brief descriptions, so that users could conduct keyword searches to locate assessment information about a particular topic, institution, or organization.

To learn more about the resources provided by Assessment Commons, please go to their webpage.

Stuck in the Assessment Swamp?

Kevin Gannon, 2017

In his article Stuck in the Assessment Swamp?, Gannon discusses the rhetoric that commonly accompanies the assessment process within higher education (feeling compelled to assess as busy work that doesn’t matter). Additionally, he discusses the absolute need for assessment in a moment in time where common discourse outside higher education frequently questions the worth of the higher education degree and experience. This short read suggests ways to motivate ourselves to assess what really matters and fight the common discourse with evidence of student learning from the classroom. If you are feeling like you might be stuck in the assessment swamp, definitely give this article a read.

Avoiding the Potholes of Program Review

, 2017

In this article, originally published in February 2017, Halonen and Dunn lay out several common “potholes” that programs and university administration fall into when conducting academic program reviews. Between the two of them, Halonen and Dunn have conducted “more than 70 program reviews” and have seen which potholes are common occurrence. The two go on to provide ways to avoid these issues, or minimize them so that they do not derail the entire program review process.

Assessing Co-curricular Impacts on the Development of Business Student Professionalism: Supporting Rites of Passage

William Wresch & Jessica Pondell, 2015

A brief and rather provocative study that focuses on the idea of sought-after student outcomes that are tricky to design curricular pieces around, and in this how co-curricular opportunities can excel where their classroom alternatives falter. Here specifically, it is the question of ‘professionalism’ for business students. Contrary to earlier studies where co-curricular programming was not seen to have particular bearing on academic outcomes, the authors here find positive correlation between co-curricular involvement and developing something like professionalism.

Enhancing student performance and employability through the use of authentic assessment techniques in extra and co-curricular activities (ECCAs)

Dan Berger & Charles Wild, 2017

This article focuses, in part, on the concept of “critical reasoning skills” and the typical difficulties associated with trying to cultivate it in students. It goes on to propose the particular strength of authentic assessment and how applying it to co-curricular programming can provide strong environments for cultivating such tenuous or slippery concepts as critical thinking. The authors assert that the hypothetical task-based nature of authentic assessment, its two-way communication of student and assessor, combined with co-curricular activities grounded in but distinct from classroom outcomes, are powerful educational tools for hard to teach qualities.

A Brief History of General Education

Terry O'Banion, 2016

As documented by Terry O’Banion, the current state and concerns of higher education core curriculum has a storied, ideological history. Arising from a new vision of the older aristocratic traditions of education, and a changing population at higher-ed institutions following the first World War, the 20th century saw a rapid and continual transformation of what is called the “general education” of a university, with many conflicting ideas coming into play. O’Banion’s parsing of this history is a brief but fascinating glimpse into the roots of modern general education, offering important context to ideas most often taken for granted at an institutional level.

Two Underused Best Practices for Improvement Focused Assessments

Dr. Phyllis Blumberg, 2018

Although some think that the purpose of assessment is documenting what is occurring in order to meet accreditation standards (accountability), the assessment process can also be used to continuously improve. This article describes two best practices (planning the intended use of data and identification of bottlenecks) as methods to spur continuous improvement during the assessment process.