- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (May 31, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1119268508
- ISBN-13: 978-1119268505
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Improving Quality in American Higher Education: Learning Outcomes and Assessments for the 21st Century 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
Solidly based in research and with contributions from outstanding thought leaders in the field, Improving Quality in American Higher Education is a key resource that outlines the essential concepts and competencies that college graduates must attain if they are to achieve lasting success. Drawing on the findings from the Measuring College Learning (MCL) project, the text encompasses faculty voices from biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociologydisciplines that account for nearly forty percent of undergraduate majors in the United States. Filled with illustrative examples, this valuable text explores the ideas and skills which faculty believe are fundamental to the field, valuable to students, and worth emphasizing given limited time and resources.
The contributorsincluding such luminaries as Ira Katznelson, George Kuh, and Carol Geary Schneideroffer a comprehensive overview of prior efforts to demonstrate learning outcomes in the six disciplines. Throughout the book, the experts take stock of existing learning outcomes assessments and present a forward-thinking, discipline-specific vision for the future of assessment.
Improving Quality in American Higher Education addresses common concerns head-on, and offers compelling reasons why faculty should find productive ways to engage with assessment, not only in their own classrooms, but also in their departments and beyond.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR IMPROVING QUALITY IN AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION
"Joined by Amanda Cook, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa have organized and edited a most worthy successor to their landmark 2011 work, Academically Adrift. Improving Quality in American Higher Education should be mandatory reading for every faculty member, administrator, and policymaker concerned with student learning in postsecondary education."
Ernest Pascarella, professor of Higher Education, University of Iowa; co-author, How College Affects Students
"Too often, faculty perspectives are absent in public policy discussions about student success and learning. The work highlighted in this book not only centralizes the role of faculty, but also advances current efforts to better demonstrate the value of a college education."
Michelle Asha Cooper, president, Institute for Higher Education Policy
"Arum, Roksa, and Cook rightly argue that higher education canand shoulddo more to foster students' long-term professional and personal success by developing their passion for learning as well as their higher-order skills and dispositions. The key is to empower faculty to set goals and develop measures to chart progress towards those goals. This collection of faculty voices is a must read for all those involved in higher education."
Richard J. Shavelson, former dean, Stanford University Graduate School of Education; author, Measuring College Learning Responsibly
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Another drawback is that this book focused on standardized assessment, and higher education is moving away from those. In defense of this book, they emphasize the need not to focus on content knowledge like most multiple choice tests and have essays and tasks to demonstrate conceptual knowledge. This might provide a middle ground.
In short, this book is probably useful if you're in one of the specific disciplines, but other than that, you're probably better off finding a more general book.
It's in this context that this book plants the seed of an idea: more assessments need to be made of college learning discipline by discipline. Here we get an overview of how improvements in assessments could be made in six academic disciplines. In a lot of ways, this is a quixotic effort. College leaders aren't interested in extensively measuring learning of college students, probably because they suspect that any new efforts would continue to bring to light just how little college students are learning today. It's not surprising that this book is authored by professors, not college leaders. Will assessment of student learning outcomes become common on college campuses? Given the resistance from college leaders, the answer is almost certainly no. Still this effort, while it runs against the grain, is a useful document in a troubled time in higher education.