Assessing for Learning
Building a Sustainable Commitment Across the Institution
Edition: 2

Paper: 978 1 57922 441 7 / $39.95
Published: November 2010  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 440 0 / $95.00
Published: December 2010  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 495 0 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: March 2012  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 496 7 / $31.99
Published: February 2012  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
356 pp., 8 1/2" x 11"
boxes & figures
While there is consensus that institutions need to represent their educational effectiveness through documentation of student learning, the higher education community is divided between those who support national standardized tests to compare institutions’ educational effectiveness, and those who believe that valid assessment of student achievement is based on assessing the work that students produce along and at the end of their educational journeys.

This book espouses the latter philosophy—what Peggy Maki sees as an integrated and authentic approach to providing evidence of student learning based on the work that students produce along the chronology of their learning. She believes that assessment needs to be humanized, as opposed to standardized, to take into account the demographics of institutions, as students do not all start at the same place in their learning. Students also need the tools to assess their own progress.

In addition to updating and expanding the contents of her first edition to reflect changes in assessment practices and developments over the last seven years, such as the development of technology-enabled assessment methods and the national need for institutions to demonstrate that they are using results to improve student learning, Maki focuses on ways to deepen program and institution-level assessment within the context of collective inquiry about student learning.

Recognizing that assessment is not initially a linear start-up process or even necessarily sequential, and recognizing that institutions develop processes appropriate for their mission and culture, this book does not take a prescriptive or formulaic approach to building this commitment. What it does present is a framework, with examples of processes and strategies, to assist faculty, staff, administrators, and campus leaders to develop a sustainable and shared core institutional process that deepens inquiry into what and how students learn to identify and improve patterns of weakness that inhibit learning.

This book is designed to assist colleges and universities build a sustainable commitment to assessing student learning at both the institution and program levels. It provides the tools for collective inquiry among faculty, staff, administrators and students to develop evidence of students’ abilities to integrate, apply and transfer learning, as well as to construct their own meaning. Each chapter also concludes with (1) an Additional Resources section that includes references to meta-sites with further resources, so users can pursue particular issues in greater depth and detail and (2) worksheets, guides, and exercises designed to build collaborative ownership of assessment.

The second edition now covers:
* Strategies to connect students to an institution’s or a program’s assessment commitment
* Description of the components of a comprehensive institutional commitment that engages the institution, educators, and students--all as learners
* Expanded coverage of direct and indirect assessment methods, including technology-enabled methods that engage students in the process
* New case studies and campus examples covering undergraduate, graduate education, and the co-curriculum
* New chapter with case studies that presents a framework for a backward designed problem-based assessment process, anchored in answering open-ended research or study questions that lead to improving pedagogy and educational practices
* Integration of developments across professional, scholarly, and accrediting bodies, and disciplinary organizations
* Descriptions and illustrations of assessment management systems
* Additional examples, exercises, guides and worksheets that align with new content

Table of Contents:
Preface to the Second Edition
1) Developing a Collective Institutional Commitment

A Culture of Inquiry; Dialogue about Teaching and Learning across the Institution; Anatomy of the Collaborative Process; Viewing the Process at Work; Planning the Assessment Process Backwards; Who Are Your Students?; What Do You Want to Learn about Your Students’ Learning and When Do You Want to Learn?; Principles of an Inclusive Commitment; Identifying Anchors; Accountability; The International Context: The Bologna Process; The Science of Learning; The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Disciplinary and Professional Organizations’ Focus on Student Learning; Institutional Focus on Learning-Centeredness; Institutional Focus on Becoming a Learning Organization; Roles and Responsibilities across the Institution; Faculty, Administrators, Staff, Students and Other Contributors to Student Learning; An Institution’s Principles of Commitment Statement; Higher Education’s Ownership
2) Beginning with Dialogue about Teaching and Learning
The Continuum of Learning: Beyond an Aggregation of Courses, Credits, and Seat Time; A Focus on Integration; Coordinating Committees; Dialogue Focused on Expectations for Learning; Dialogue Focused on the Design of the Curriculum and Co-Curriculum; Maps and Inventories of Educational Practices; The Design of Our Work
3) Making Claims about Student Learning within Contexts for Learning
Learning Outcome Statements; Levels of Learning Outcome Statements; Collaboration to Develop and Review Outcome Statements; Strategies for Developing Outcome Statements; Development of Outcomes-based Syllabi to Promote Enduring Learning; Students’ Accountability for Learning
4) Raising and Pursuing Open-Ended Research or Study Questions to Deepen Inquiry Into and Improve Student Learning
Beyond the Accountability Fixation; A Problem-Based Approach to Assessing Student Learning; Case 1: Making the Invisible Visible in Physics; Case 2: Shifting to A New Paradigm; Case 3: Changing Multiple Practices; Case 4: Changing Pedagogy to Address Levels of and Obstacles to Learning; The Seeds of a Problem-Based Approach to Assessment; A Scholarly Problem-based Approach to Assessment; Collaborative Tasks in a Problem-Based Assessment Process; Flexible Approaches to the Problem-Based Assessment Process; Three Representative Technology-focused Dissemination Projects; Educators as Lifelong Learners about Their Educational Practices
5) Identifying or Designing Tasks to Assess the Dimensions of Learning
The Range of Texts That Demonstrate or Represent Learning; Multiple Methods of Assessment; Direct and Indirect Methods of Assessment; Methods along the Continuum of Learning: Formative and Summative; Points of Learning; Issues of Alignment; Properties of a Method: Validity and Reliability; An Overview of Standardized Instruments and Locally Designed Authentic, Performance-based Methods; An Overview of Technology-enabled Direct and Indirect Assessment Methods; Appendix A: Strategies for Reviewing and Selecting Standardized Instruments; Appendix B: Institutional Example: Goddard College; Appendix C: Goddard College; Appendix D: An Inventory of Traditional and Technology-enabled Direct and Indirect Methods
6) Reaching Consensus about Criteria and Standards of Judgment
Interpretation of Student Achievement; Scoring Rubrics; Strategies to Develop Scoring Rubrics; Strategies to Assure Inter-relater Reliability; Threaded Opportunities for Institutional and Student Learning; Appendices: Sample Scoring Rubrics
7) Designing a Cycle of Inquiry
A Design for Institutional Learning; Some Key Institutional Contributors; Key Decisions: Determining Your Sample Size, Identifying Times and Contexts for Collecting Evidence, Scoring Student Work and Administering Instruments, Analyzing and Representing Results, Collectively Interpreting Results and Making Decisions, Re-entering the Assessment Cycle; A Narrated Cycle; Development of an Ongoing Commitment; Appendix A: Institutional Example: University of Maryland; Appendix B: Program Assessment Form
8: Building a Core Institutional Process of Inquiry over Time
A View of the Whole; Some Representative Structures, Processes, Decisions, Channels and Forms of Communication; Assessment Committees; Offices of Institutional Research and Planning; Processes and Decisions; Channels and Forms of Communication; Resources and Support: Human, Financial, and Educational; Resources and Support: Technological; Locally Designed Assessment Management Systems; Some Representative Commercially Designed Assessment Management Systems; Campus Practices that Manifest an Institutional Commitment; Signs of Maturation; Appendix A: Institutional Example: University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Appendix B: Descriptions of Some Representative Commercially Designed Assessment Management Systems; Appendix C: Consent Form

Reviews & Endorsements:
"This is a welcome second edition for Maki's well-known tome on assessment and learning. This volume stands out as a sentinel work in the area for three reasons. First, it is a comprehensive account of sustainable assessment across educational institutions. In this regard it looks at assessment not so much as something that occurs in universitites and colleges but as something that defines them. Second, it provides a range of practical strategies that have been well tested at the "coalface" of learning, that is, with students in classrooms and other educational settings. Finally, it provides a well-grounded practical focus without sacraficing conceptual depth. The book provides a wealth of theoretical material which creates and sustains a strong context for learning. This book is highly recommended."
- Richard Rymarz, St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta , Teaching Theology and Religion
"Peggy Maki's text as a whole represents a comprehensive and realist approach to assessment and constructs a notion of assessment that is an uncommon blend of the pragmatic and sustainable, meaningful and valuable, theoretical and practical. Maki has artistically drawn together esoteric, philosophical foundations with pragmatic, real-world applications from which nearly any assessment practitioner will benefit... The second edition of Assessing for Learning verges on being a seminal work in higher education assessment scholarship."
- The Review of Higher Education
Related Titles by Subject:
See Assessment & Accreditation ( Higher Education )