Assessing Student Competence in Accredited Disciplines

Pioneering Approaches to Assessment in Higher Education

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December 2011
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    30th December 2011
  • ISBN 9781620360149
  • Language English
  • Pages 320 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

How do accreditors encourage attention to the assessment of student learning? How do faculty on the campuses respond to these actions by accreditors? What can we learn from the accredited disciplines about defining learning outcomes, promoting thoughtful campus planning for assessment, and improving student competence?

Specialized accrediting bodies stand at the forefront of the assessment movement in higher education and exert important influences on program and institutional assessment and improvement. The academic programs these bodies approve are frequently among the first on a campus to consider ways to assess student competence. This book focuses on their approaches to assessment.

The book opens with two foundation chapters. The first examines the concept of student competence and reviews the historical and political contexts in which assessment takes place. The second reviews best practices in carrying out assessment, including the important roles of faculty development and assessment leadership.

Case studies then describe how faculty in eight professionally oriented disciplines have developed and practiced assessment on their campuses and the lessons these faculty offer to colleagues in their own and other disciplines. The book concludes with chapters on the use of authentic assessment within several disciplines on a single university campus; on the British quality assurance movement; and with a review of the lessons, issues, and challenges that are common across disciplines.

The stories and examples presented in this book covering issues as diverse as faculty and student involvement, the role of outside stakeholders, and balancing external guidance and institutional autonomy–will provide immediate practical guidance for faculty and administrators active in assessment regardless of their discipline.

" [The book] begins with two introductory chapters by the editors, followed by eight chapters written by a faculty member from teaching, pharmacy, nursing, social work, business, computer science, engineering, and the visual arts. Although each chapters tells how assessment in the field is handled on the authors' campus, it offers lessons that should be useful to other campuses, and other disciplines. The final chapters makes the book useful to accreditors as well as program or institutional educators."

- ASPA News

"This is a solid collection that brings together a tremendous amount of information and experience on the assessment of student learning in professional fields. It should prove enormously useful, both to educators in a given field who want to know what their own accreditors and colleagues are doing about assessment, and to those who want to look over the fence and borrow ideas from other fields. The citations and real-life case studies alone are worth the price of admission."

Barbara D. Wright - , University of Connecticut

"Includes case studies of assessment in business, computer science, engineering, nursing, pharmacy, social work, teacher education and the visual arts."

- The Chronicle of Higher Education

Assessing Competence in Higher Education—Trudy W. Banta; Implementing Effective Assessment—Catherine A. Palomba; Assessing Student Competence in Teacher Education Programs—Mary E. Diez, Alverno College; Redefining a Profession: Assessment in Pharmacy Education—Thomas D. Zlatic, St. Louis College of Pharmacy; Assessment of Student Learning in the Discipline of Nursing—Donna L. Boland and Juanita Laidig, Indiana University; Accountability for Professional Practice: Assessment in Social Work Education—Frank R. Baskind, Virginia Commonwealth University, Barbara W. Shank, College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas, and Elaine K. Ferraro, Columbia College; Assessing Student Competence in Business—Neil A. Palomba and Catherine A. Palomba, Ball State University; Assessment of Student Competence in Computer Science—Gordon E. Stokes, Brigham Young University; Engineering—John A. Muffo, Virginia Polytechnic and State University; Visual Arts—Kristi Nelson, University of Cincinnati; Accredited Programs and Authentic Assessment—Douglas J. Eder, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Hamilton College; The British Experience in Assessing Competence—Lee Harvey, University of Central England; Assessment Experiences in Accredited Disciplines—Catherine A. Palomba.

Catherine A. Palomba

Catherine A. Palomba is director, Offices of Academic Assessment and Institutional Research, at Ball State University, and a 1998 recipient of the Best Practice in Assessing Learning Outcomes award from the American Productivity and Quality Center. She is co-author of "Assessment Essentials".

Trudy W. Banta

Trudy W. Banta is professor of higher education and vice chancellor for planning and institutional improvement at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She is co-author of "Assessment Essentials" and "Making a Difference", and founding editor of the bi-monthly Assessment Update.

student assessment; accreditation standards; British quality assurance movement