Cover of Measuring College Learning Responsibly by Richard J. Shavelson
Measuring College Learning Responsibly
Richard J. Shavelson

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2009
256 pages.
from $22.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804761208
Paper ISBN: 9780804761215

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Accrediting boards, the federal government, and state legislatures are now requiring a greater level of accountability from higher education. However, current accountability practices, including accreditation, No Child Left Behind, and performance reporting are inadequate to the task. If wielded indiscriminately, accountability can actually do more harm than good. This innovative work looks broadly at how accountability is being considered by campuses, accrediting boards, higher education organizations, and governments in the US and abroad. It explores how new demands for accountability and new technologies are changing the way student learning is assessed.

The author, one of the most respected assessment researchers in the nation, provides a framework for assessing student learning and discusses historical and contemporary debates in the field. He details new directions in assessment, such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment he helped develop, analyzes exemplary campus assessment programs, and proposes considerations necessary for designing successful accountability systems.

About the author

Richard J. Shavelson is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education, Professor of Psychology, and former Dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. He is the coauthor of Scientific Research in Education (2002), with Lisa Towne and Generalizability Theory: A Primer (1991), with Noreen Webb, among other books, articles, and policy reports.

"Richard Shavelson's Measuring College Learning Responsibility: Accountability in a New Era is timely and provocative, given the recent debate in higher education regarding the measure of learning. . . Shavelson's valuable work takes us to a new level of assessment for higher education: arguing for a reconfiguration of what we call learning. His view is more academic, more complex, and more nuanced than any of its assessment predecessors. The CLA measures cognitive abilities, knowledge and skills associated with particular college majors, and broad competence in individual and social responsibility. While being careful to give us the psychometrics of this instrument, the book is also compelling and readable for those with general interest. However, it should be required reading for higher education scholars, policymakers, administrators who are charged with assessment, and officers of accrediting agencies."

—Frances K. Stage, Review of Higher Education

"This timely book provides practical insights into the emergence of assessment and student learning as well as the accountability of institutions of higher education. As Shavelson reveals, assessment of learning and teaching effectiveness is not always aligned with the external purposes and goals of stakeholders."

—Henrik Minassians, California State University, Northridge

"No other work is willing to take on the important issue of the measurement of learning at the college level. Our current accountability measures are overused and often inadequate, but Shavelson provides a direction for assuring successful means of assessing higher education in the future."

—Frances Stage, New York University

"Shavelson provides an interesting overview of the increasing pressure placed on US higher education to provide information on quality, comparability and accountability."

—Bernard Longden, Liverpool Hope University, Higher Education