Call for Better Assessment at Community Colleges

May 13, 2009

Community colleges need better measures of student learning, measures that yield more information than tests, according to a study issued Tuesday by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The report is based on three years of research, supported by Carnegie and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, on the teaching of basic math and English skills at 11 California community colleges. The research explored a wide variety of assessment techniques. Techniques studied included traditional tests and also "think aloud protocols" (audio and video records of students talking about their thought process while trying to read texts or solve problems), focus groups and surveys.

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