Alternatives to Outcome Assessment Testing in Higher Education

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Assessment is not simply a test, but a process by which information is obtained and related to some known objective or goal (Kizlik, 2011). Assessment can embody testing, but testing by itself is not a valid type of knowledge assessment. Accurate measurement requires both testing and observational methods. Assessment results may then be used for reporting purposes or to make changes in the study program for a particular participant or students. In order to assess student learning accurately and completely, objectives must be in place, along with a way to collect and measure data.

Assessment History

Assessment is a study in evolution within higher educational institutions. The history of assessment is traceable to as early as the
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Enrollment in educational institutions increased exponentially at this time.

Education had generally been a pursuit that resided in the realm of the very wealthy; however, gradually the merit system began to emerge among institutions. As a result, notae or note taking began to record academic progress as it became necessary for institutions to begin recording student achievement for prize allotment. Imperial Chinese examinations were the first known exams that based on merit. Then Europe began to model their exams after the Chinese model and the modern examination that led to traditional assessment practices began to emerge (Wilbrink, 1997). This was the beginning of the grading system within existing institutions today.

The Problem of Outcomes Assessment

As colleges and universities begin to keep track of students entering and exiting their establishments, they look at a spread of facts to decide whether the university has served the student to their best advantage. This assessment is a commonly used tool used in universities called the outcomes assessment. Outcomes assessments are usually employed within the field of higher education to find whether students have achieved success within their program of study. Those using outcomes assessments have

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