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Choosing a Published Instrument to Assess Student Learning

  • ID: 1194567
  • Training
  • December 2008
  • 90 Minutes
  • Magna
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90-Minute computer file containing audio with synchronized PowerPoint and downloadable handouts - Originally Broadcast December 4, 2008

It’s your first big decision when considering student assessment tools:

Store-bought or homemade?

“Store-bought” assessment tools - more generally known as “published assessment instruments” - have some advantages and disadvantages relative to homemade, or locally developed, tools. But published instruments are also a diverse lot; they need to be examined carefully, and on their individual merits.

You’ll get an excellent perspective on these tools in Choosing a Published Instrument to Assess Student Learning, an online seminar led by Linda Suskie of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This 90-minute presentation will help you decide whether published instruments should be part of your assessment program, and if so, which ones.

Here’s just some of what is covered:

- The difference between a published and a standardized test.
- The relative advantages and disadvantages of published and locally-developed assessment tools.
- The key features of some of today’s most popular published tests and surveys.
- Sources of further information on published instruments, and ways to interpret and critically analyze that information.
- The essential questions that must be addressed as you plan the administration of an assessment program.
- The appropriate role of published instruments in your assessment program.

Ms. Suskie also looks in detail at many of the best-known (and some lesser-known) published instruments, including:

- Praxis 1
- Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)
- The National Survey of Student Engagement
- And more

Who will benefit from hearing this seminar:

- Faculty
- Faculty Development Personnel
- Academic Affairs Personnel
- Academic Administrators
- Department Chairs
- Academic Deans
- Continuing/Extension Education Personnel
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Linda Suskie is a vice president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Prior positions include serving as associate vice president for assessment and institutional research at Towson University, near Baltimore, Maryland, and as director of the American Association for Higher Education’s Assessment Forum. Her nearly 30 years of experience in college and university administration include work in assessment, institutional research, and strategic planning at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, the State University of New York at Oswego, and the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Suskie is an internationally recognized speaker, writer, and consultant on a broad variety of higher education assessment topics, including planning assessment programs, crafting learning goals, assessment tools, student learning styles, and using assessment results to improve teaching and learning. Her latest book is Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide, published by Jossey-Bass. She holds a bachelor’s degree in quantitative studies from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s in educational measurement and statistics from the University of Iowa.
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