How Program Heads View Assessment

June 15, 2011

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment is today releasing a survey of department heads on their views of assessment, which are consistent with the views of chief academic officers that much assessment is taking place, but which differ in some ways. Among the findings:

  • For department heads, the primary "driver" for assessment is not outside approval (such as accreditation) but faculty desires to improve their programs.
  • The vast majority of programs have learning outcome goals.
  • Many assessment efforts are based not on standardized tests, but on "capstone" experiences and final projects.
  • Assessment efforts would be helped by more support for faculty members.
  • Unlike chief academic officers, who see a need for more faculty involvement in assessment, program heads see the faculty as already involved.

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