Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review #7: Demonstrating Student Success

The Student Learning Imperative (ACPA, 1994) states:
Knowledge and understanding are critical to student success and institutional improvement.
Whereas Alexander Astin (1991) says that:
Assessment practices should further the basic aims and purposes of our higher education institutions. 
These two statements are in many ways the basis for Demonstrating Student Success: A Practical Guide to Outcomes-Based Assessment of Learning and Development in Student Affairs, written by Marilee J. Bresciani, Megan Moore Gardner, and Jessica Hickmott in 2009.

This book serves as a 'how-to' guide on designing, implementing and reporting on assessment of student services and programs in higher education.

In the first section, the authors provide a historical overview of assessment theories in higher education, followed by an explanation of and rationale for outcome-based assessment.

The body of the work includes a listing of the main components of an outcome-based assessment plan, as well as an explanation of various assessment methods, analysis and reporting of results; and implementation of recommendations based on those results.

Finally, the book concludes by exploring some of the challenges in assessment, collaboration, and funding requirements.

As I came into my current position in late October, many of the current processes were already in place before I arrived.  One thing I am looking forward to doing this summer in preparation for a new influx of students is examining some of our existing programs and creating an outcome-based learning model moving forward. I plan to use this book as a starting point, and am sure that I will take advantage of the various resources listed within it to help guide my work.

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