Assessment on college campuses has a sordid history, and it is fairly simple to find someone with a traumatic tale to tell. It is wise to respect that that reputation is deserved.”
“How do you modify the inner workings and culture of a massive institution with minimal resources and even less authority (other than GE course approvals), and thousands and thousands of talented people busy doing other things?”
“The road to departmental assessment can seem both dramatic and apocalyptic, especially if one’s departmental ‘centre cannot hold,’ and purpose falls apart. The Department of English and Linguistics is presently on this journey, slouching towards its own revelations of mission and fulfillment of purpose.”
As these excerpts show, this is no conventional book about assessment. It presents the unvarnished first-person accounts of fourteen faculty and administrators about how they grappled, and engaged, with assessment and how – despite misgivings and an often-contentious process – they were able to gain the collaboration of their peers as the benefits for student learning became evident.
This is a book for skeptical faculty, for those who have been tasked to spearhead their institution’s call to create a culture of assessment; and, on campuses where assessment has been widely accepted and implemented, for those who now need to ensure this commitment will endure.