Contexts for Learning

Contexts for Learning

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Editor: Bruce Keith

Subtitle: Institutional Strategies for Managing Curricular Change Through Assessment

The purpose of this book is to re-center the conversation on assessment from one focused on assessment-as-evidence to an alternative perspective that emphasizes assessment-as-process. Questions and discussions on assessment that surface routinely in various venues must ultimately come back to a focus on process, with a particular focus on an institution's context and culture. One of the great frustrations often encountered by assessment practitioners in higher education is the realization that published models are not easily imported into their own institutional environments. In working with assessment, they learn that their strategy must be tailored to the specific parameters -- context and culture -- of their own institutions. This realization requires them to design and implement an assessment plan within the established mechanisms (process) employed by their institution to manage change. This suggestion, although intuitively obvious, is a subject often overlooked in conversations about assessment through public dialogues and professional publications.

Contexts for Learning is written for several distinct audiences. In bringing together the perspectives of faculty, administrators, and practitioners, the editor tried to balance academic rigor with practical application. Administrators will find value in learning how their counterparts at other institutions have successfully managed the implementation of assessment plans. Faculty, as scholars, will hopefully find that the essays further the professional dialogue on assessment. Faculty, as practitioners, will find value in the utility of the essays as practical suggestions worthy of consideration in their own efforts to manage assessment locally. Finally, students of higher education and organizational behavior will gain insights into the dynamics of higher educational reform through exposure to several new and relevant institutional case studies.


Preface Page v

  1. James L. Radcliff
    The Rudder and the Sail: Assessment for Staff, Program, and Organizational Development  . . . Page 1
  2. Henry F. Linck
    Creating a Culture of Evidence: Learning Assessment at the Community College of Baltimore County  . . . Page 21
  3. Mitch Nesler
    Using the Baldrige Criteria for Institutional Improvement: The Excelsior College Outcomes Assessment Framework  . . . Page 65
  4. George B. Forsythe and Bruce Keith
    Assessing Program Effectiveness: Design and Implementation of a Comprehensive Assessment Plan  . . . Page 97
  5. Donald Farmer
    Course-Embedded Assessment: A Catalyst for Realizing the Paradigm Shift from Teaching to Learning  . . . Page 125
  6. J. Fredericks Volkwein
    Assessing Student Learning in the Major: What's the Question . . . Page 145
  7. Bruce Keith and James Forest
    Managing Organizational Change Strategies: A Case Study on the Implementation of an Institutional Assessment Plan . . . Page 173
  8. Armand S. LaPotin and Carolyn J. Haessig
    Fostering Faculty Leadership in the Institutional Assessment Process . . . Page 199
  9. MaryAnn Baenninger and Jean Morse
    Accrediting Learning  . . . Page 210

Index Page 243

About the Author: Bruce Keith is associate dean for academic affairs at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

2004 [ISBN: 1-58107-086-1; 244 pages; 5 1/4 by 8 1/4 inch; soft cover]