Measuring Learning, Using the Results

In recent years, state and federal lawmakers and accreditors have placed much more emphasis on measuring student learning, institution by institution, instead of just focusing on the grades individual students earn or the programs colleges offer. As this trend has taken off, many have voiced concern that as colleges adopt assessment systems, they aren't necessarily using the results to do anything beyond telling outside groups that they have some assessment tool in place.

On March 31, at noon Eastern, Inside Higher Ed will sponsor an audio conference, led by a national expert on assessment, to focus on the context for recent assessment demands -- and the all-important question of how college use the results they gain. The presenter, Richard Shavelson, is both a scholar of assessment and someone who has helped develop assessment tools.

Among the topics he will cover:

• Why assessment became a hot issue, and why it didn't go away with Margaret Spellings' departure as education secretary.
• The different demands for measuring student learning -- from the government and accreditors.
• The tools colleges are using to assess student learning..
• The steps colleges might take when results are back to analyze
results and then to consider actual changes so that assessment can improve the student experience.
• Likely future directions for accountability, balancing competing
interests of the public, policy makers, academe and "clients" such as students, parents, government and employers.

The program will feature a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute question-and-answer period. The entire program will last one hour.

This event is ideal for:

• Provosts and deans
• Academic affairs
• Institutional research
• Student affairs
• Assessment officers


This audio conference, "Measuring Learning, Using the Results," costs $199 for a single telephone line; listen yourself or with a group around a conference table. (Institutions wishing to have multiple people participate from separate locations may need to purchase additional lines.) Register early -- through Friday, March 12-- and the cost is only $149. Upon registering, you'll be e-mailed information about how to dial in. The day before the conference, we'll send you a PowerPoint that you can use to follow along with the presentation. This is an audio-only conference; you will not need to be connected to the Internet to participate.

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About the presenter:

Richard Shavelson is Emeritus Margaret Jacks Professor of Education, professor of psychology and former dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. He also helped to develop the Collegiate Learning Assessment (although this presentation will not focus on the CLA and will be oriented for colleges using a range of assessment systems). His most recent book is "Measuring College Learning Responsibly: Accountability in a New Era" (Stanford University Press).

About Inside Higher Ed:

Inside Higher Ed is the leading source of free news, jobs and commentary for professionals in higher education. Sign up for your free daily e-mail alert at https://www.insidehighered.com/sign_up.