Outcomes Measurement in Higher Education: The Assessment Movement “Assessment of educational outcomes” has become part of the vocabulary in higher education. While the push to engage in such assessment may come from external forces, such as legislatures, campus presidents, or accrediting bodies, it is well to keep in mind that the impetus for attention to assessing what ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 1998
Outcomes Measurement in Higher Education: The Assessment Movement
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy J. Lund
    State University of New York, College of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Article Information
Outcomes Measurement
Article   |   June 01, 1998
Outcomes Measurement in Higher Education: The Assessment Movement
SIG 10 Perspectives on Issues in Higher Education, June 1998, Vol. 2, 4-5. doi:10.1044/ihe2.1.4
SIG 10 Perspectives on Issues in Higher Education, June 1998, Vol. 2, 4-5. doi:10.1044/ihe2.1.4
“Assessment of educational outcomes” has become part of the vocabulary in higher education. While the push to engage in such assessment may come from external forces, such as legislatures, campus presidents, or accrediting bodies, it is well to keep in mind that the impetus for attention to assessing what students are learning came from within the academy. The publication of Involvement in Learning (Study Group on the Conditions of Excellence in Higher Education, 1984), written by a group of distinguished academics, addressed the need for reform in higher education in order to assure and demonstrate that the college experience makes a positive difference. Several influential publications followed in the same vein (Boyer, 1987; Special Study Panel on Education Indicators for the National Center for Education Statistics, 1991; Wing-spread Group on Higher Education, 1993). A common conclusion of all of these analyses is the need for better assessment and feedback to effect educational improvement. Combined with these internal calls for self-examination and improvement, external constituencies have increasingly demanded more accountability. As higher education has come under increasing attack from politicians and the press, there is a need to demonstrate that a college education is, indeed, a good investment of state and personal resources.
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