Based on the statement of outcomes that arise from the institution’s mission, purposes, programs, services and courses, its underlying educational philosophy, its own assessment experience, and the experience of the higher education community, William Woods University’s assessment of student achievement is guided by the following principles:
- Commitment to an assessment process rests on a respect for human achievement and for achievers, on pride in the profession of teaching, and responsiveness to accountability in our learning community.
- The assessment methods involved in this process must be aligned with pedagogy, curricular design, students’ learning histories, and their ways of knowing/learning. Tasks should be developed that require students to demonstrate knowledge, abilities, habits of mind, and ways of knowing/thinking. These should not be arbitrary, but should be carefully designed to provide evidence for decision making (Maki, 2002).
- Learning theories emphasize the way knowledge is represented, organized, and processed in the mind. Social dimensions of learning are also encompassed in these theories, including social and experiential practices that support knowledge and understanding. Thus, assessment practices should encompass more complex aspects of student achievement (NRC, 2001).
- Assessment is a process that evolves over time; it is continuous and should focus on the teaching/learning experience. It should involve a diversity of perspective and data types in order to strengthen the validity of the assessment information.
- Assessment processes associated with any given academic program are most productive when “owned” and managed by persons directly involved in designing and managing the program’s curriculum, in providing instruction for program-related course work, and in observing student achievement in that program.
National Survey of Student Engagement
Since 2000, National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) has measured the extent to which undergraduate students are involved in educational practices that have been proven to be linked to high levels of learning and development. The NSSE Survey is an online voluntary survey of freshmen and seniors that analyzes student responses by looking at five important benchmarks of effective educational practice. More...