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Assessing Improvement

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When I began my academic career, most of my effort focused on teaching, research and advising. Over the years, administrative tasks have devoured more and more of my time. One of the most ravenous beasts in the administrative pack is assessment. This data is now critical for accreditation and an essential part of how state funding is allocated under the punitive performance-based funding system that the state has imposed on public higher education. Back when assessment became part of the bureaucracy, the main goal was to fill binders with paper containing outcome data. After several years of this, there was a realization that outcome data by itself did not show the value added by the educational process. To use an obvious analogy, if you just looked at the times of a cross country team at the end of the season with a new coach, you would be hard pressed to determine the impact of the coach. Because of this, measuring improvement eventually became a thing to do. As part of the current. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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