Assessment in Higher Education

Explore links to ASHA and outside sources designed to assist administration and faculty in establishing and assessing program goals, institutional goals, and student learning outcomes to improve the quality of education. This resource was designed with both individuals new to assessment in higher education and those with years of experience in mind.

General Principles About Assessment


Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems
This resource created by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing discusses the seven ideal principles of assessment as they have been defined by this organization in an effort to improve assessment and education.

Assessment Glossaries

Glossary of Assessment Terms
A list of commonly used assessment terms compiled on the American Public University System's website.

Wikipedia's site defines assessment and the various types of assessment: formative, summative, objective, subjective, criterion-referenced, and norm-referenced assessment; and descriptive characteristics of good assessments (i.e., validity, reliability, practicality, fairness, and authenticity).

Establishing and Assessing Program Goals

Assessment and Planning

Academic Assessment in Communication Sciences and Disorders
This website was developed by the Joint Committee on Academic Assessment in Communication Sciences and Disorders (JCAA) as an aid to sharing academic assessment information with the aim of enhancing meaningful assessment.

Association of American Colleges & Universities
AAC&U has responded to the increased attention to assessment in higher education by sponsoring meetings, publications, and links to online resources to assist campuses to set clear goals, plan instruction and curricula to achieve the goals, assess student accomplishment, and revise and improve the whole learning/teaching cycle.

Assessment Workbook
This assessment workbook developed by Ball State University's Office of Academic Assessment & Institutional Research presents the process for designing and implementing an assessment plan at the departmental level.

The Center for Academic Integrity
The Center for Academic Integrity offers an Academic Integrity Assessment Guide for a fee, as well as free access to a Model Code of Academic Integrity and related resources.

Council for Higher Education Accreditation
CHEA is a non-profit organization offering print and Web resources as well as workshops throughout the year on critical topics in higher education. CHEA also conducts a recognition program of accrediting agencies using standards focused on quality of education and meeting student outcomes.

The Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The organization is dedicated to advancing the quality of education, in part through the review and accreditation of colleges and universities in 19 states. Resources on best practices, including assessment are provided on their site.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
This organization is dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer-evaluation and accreditation. The site assembles important assessment information and links for best practices for assessment, guidelines for institutional improvement, and many others.

Planning & Assessment: Assessing Programs
Resources provided by North Carolina State University answer a wide range of questions about assessment. This site includes Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment, which features annotated links to a wide range of print and Web resources on assessment.

Student Assessment: College and University Assessment Web Pages
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities' (NAICU) compiled on its website a collection of webpages devoted to assessment activities and plans at private colleges and universities.

Teagle Initiatives in Value Added Assessment
The Teagle Foundation's signature "Outcomes and Assessment" initiative grows from a conviction that nothing has as much potential to affect students' educational experience as a sustained and systematic assessment of what and how they learn. The Foundation provides leadership to strengthen liberal education and sponsors scholarships, grants, links to print resources, and opportunites to participate in a national dialogue on assessment.

Assessment of Research Programs

Association of American Universities
AAU initiated in 2001 a five-year pilot project, Assessing Quality of University Education and Research (AQUER), to develop improved measures of the quality of university education and research. The AAU membership criteria are also used by research universities as part of their self-assessments.

The Center for Measuring University Performance
The Center is a research enterprise that developed a variety of methods for measuring and improving university performance. The Center's annual report, The Top American Research Universities, offers analysis and data useful for understanding American research university performance and provides a comprehensive set of data on over 600 institutions.

University of South Florida: Planning, Performance & Accountability Model
This model is an example of how one university has established a comprehensive system for review at the local, state and national levels.

Standards and Resources of Institutional Accrediting Agencies

Institutional accrediting agencies provide resources and tools related to assessment and improvement of educational quality. Below are links to the six regional accrediting agencies that conduct accreditation reviews of the majority of U.S. institutions of higher education. Reviews of an institution by any of these agencies are based on criteria that include requirements for institutional planning, faculty, students, research, curriculum, etc. and are provided here as a resource. In addition, many of these agencies also sponsor regional conferences on assessment and other relevant issues in higher education.

Student Learning Outcomes

Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Plans for Assessing Student Achievement (April 2002)
Review guidelines to assist graduate programs in developing plans for evaluating student progress toward meeting the new Standards and Implementation for the Certificates of Clinical Competence (SLP in 2005 and Audiology in 2007).

Guidelines for Developing Formative Assessment Plans for Implementation of New Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (October 2001)
Review guidelines to assist graduate programs in developing formative assessment plans related to the new Standards and Implementation for the Certificates of Clinical Competence (SLP in 2005 and Audiology in 2007).

Required Assessments for ASHA Certification
New certification standards, written in response to changes in the scopes of practice, to protect consumers, and to promote quality services, include specific assessment requirements for an applicant. Standard V of both the audiology and speech-language pathology standards requires an applicant for ASHA certification to demonstrate successful achievement of the knowledge and skills through both formative and summative assessments.

The Assessment CyberGuide for Learning Goals and Outcomes in the Undergraduate Psychology Major
This online resource from the American Psychological Association provides a wealth of links and readings that transcend disciplines and get to the heart of asking the right questions to get you started with assessment planning, application, and analysis.

The Assignment that Triggered Change: Assessment and the Relational Learning Model for Generic Capabilities (August 2002)
This paper shows how understanding variation in students' experience of learning a specific generic capability represents the first step in designing assessment instruments for bringing about desirable learning outcomes. This paper was presented at the Learning Communities and Assessment Cultures Conference.

A Constructivist Method for the Analysis of Networked Cognitive Communication and the Assessment of Collaborative Learning and Knowledge Building (2004)
This article, published in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, presents a discourse analysis method designed to study networked cognitive communication processes in knowledge communities, such as conceptual change, higher order learning and knowledge building.

Norm- and Criterion-Referenced Testing (1996)
A brief paper from Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, a peer-reviewed electronic journal, describes the differences between these two types of assessments and explains the most appropriate uses of each.

Peer Assessment in University Teaching: An Exploration of Useful Designs (September 2003)
This paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, University of Hamburg, reports on research focused on the contribution of peer assessment to the acquisition of writing skills by university students. Peer assessment is defined as an arrangement in which students consider the quality of their fellow students' work and in which the assessment is a formative one.

Student Learning Outcomes in the CSU
This site provides links, staff contacts and resources, and examples for assessment planning and activities throughout the California State University campuses.

Additional Resources

ASHA Annual Convention and Other Events

Online Journals

Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
This established international peer-reviewed journal publishes papers and reports on all aspects of assessment and evaluation within higher education. Its purpose is to advance understanding of assessment and evaluation practices and processes, particularly the contribution that these make to student learning and to course, staff and institutional development. Research-based, reflective or theoretical studies which help to illuminate the practice of assessment and evaluation in higher education are welcomed. The journal is aimed at all higher education practitioners, irrespective of discipline.

Edutopia: The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Edutopia provides articles and documentaries on alternative forms of assessment, interviews and opinion pieces by experts in the field, and a wealth of useful and informative resources, including an instructional module on building an evidence-based assessment.

Research & Practice in Assessment
The goal of Research & Practice in Assessment is to serve the assessment community as an online journal focusing on higher education assessment. It is dedicated to the advancement of scholarly discussion amongst researchers and practioners in this evolving field. The journal originated from the Board the Virginia Assessment Group, one of the oldest continuing professional higher education assessment organizations in the United States. Research & Practice in Assessment is a peer-reviewed publication that uses a double-blind review process.

Teachers College Record
The Teachers College Record is a journal of research, analysis, and commentary in the field of education. It has been published continuously since 1900 by Teachers College, Columbia University. The online edition offers articles, book reviews, and links to resources on a variety of topics, including Assessment & Evaluation.

Using Technology to Support Alternative Assessment and Electronic Portfolios
This site links to resources that will describe and discuss the use of technology to support alternative assessment from a number of perspectives. Developed and maintained by Dr. Helen Barrett, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, School of Education, University of Alaska Anchorage.

ASHA Corporate Partners