(this blog post is for personal review for my upcoming comprehensive exam)
Principle 1: The assessment of student learning begins with educational values
- Assessment is a vehicle for educational improvement.
- Assessment enacts a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students
- Educational values should not only drive what we choose to assess but also how to do so
- Assessment is a process of improving what we really care about
Principle 2: Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time.
- Assessment not only show what students know but what they can do with what they know
- Assessment not only involves knowledge and abilities but values, attitudes, and habits of mind that affect both academic success and performance beyond the classroom
- Assessment should reflect these understandings by employing a diverse array of methods. including those that call for actual performance
Principle 3: Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated purposes.
- Assessment is a goal-oriented process.
- Assessment entails comparing educational performance and educational purposes and expectations
- Assessment as a process pushes to clarify program purposes and prompts attention to where and how program goals will be taught and learned
- Clear, shared, implementable goals are the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful
Principle 4: Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes
- Information about outcomes is highly important but to improve outcomes we need to know about student experiences
- Assessment can help understand which students learn and best under what conditions
- Assessment is a process whose power is cumulative
- Improvement is fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time.
- The point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement
- Assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights
- Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility
- Assessment is not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity
- It's aim is wider, better-informed attention to student learning
- Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement but information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care about.
- It means thinking in advance how the information will be used and by whom
- The point of assessment is not to gather data and return results; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data and that informs and helps guide continuous improvement
- Assessment along changes little but it's greatest contribution comes on campuses where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and worked at
- Information about learning outcomes is seen as an integral part of decision making, and avidly sought
- As educators, we have a responsibility to the public that support or depend on us to provide information about the ways in which our students meet goals and expectations.
- But that responsibility goes beyond reporting of such information; our deeper obligation is to improve