Assessment for Excellence: The Philosophy and Practice of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education

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Overview

The second edition of Assessment for Excellence arrives as higher education enters a new era of the accountability movement. In the face of mandates such as results-based funding and outcomes-based accreditation, institutions and assessment specialists are feeling increasingly pressured to demonstrate accountability to external constituencies. The practice of assessment under these new accountability pressures takes on special significance for the education of students and the development of talent across the entire higher education system. This book introduces a talent development approach to educational assessment as a counter to prevailing philosophies, illustrating how contemporary practices are unable to provide institutions with meaningful data with which to improve educational outcomes. It provides administrators, policymakers, researchers, and analysts with a comprehensive framework for developing new assessment programs to promote talent development and for scrutinizing existing policies and practices. Written for a wide audience, the book enables the lay reader to quickly grasp the imperatives of a properly-designed assessment program, and also to gain adequate statistical understanding necessary for examining current or planned assessment policies. More advanced readers will appreciate the technical appendix for assistance in conducting statistical analyses that align with a talent development approach. In addition, institutional researchers will benefit from sections that outline the development of appropriate student databases.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Originally co-published by ACE and Macmillan (of Maxwell infamy). Now co-published by Oryx and ACE. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
George D. Kuh
As with its predecessor, this volume is a timely tour de force of clarity in terms of explaining the philosophical, conceptual, and technical underpinnings of how assessment in postsecondary education should be conducted in order to serve students and society.
The Journal Of Academic Librarianship
This invaluable contribution is essential reading for anyone involved in academic assessment from assessment designers to legislative policy makers....Special emphasis is given to the question of how assessment can be used to enlighten professors and administrators about educational practices and policies that enhance the learning process....This is a welcome book for persons involved in the assessment movement - a broad-based effort to make assessment a more meaningful and effective part of higher education's role and function.
The Journal of Academic Librarianship
This invaluable contribution is essential reading for anyone involved in academic assessment from assessment designers to legislative policy makers....Special emphasis is given to the question of how assessment can be used to enlighten professors and administrators about educational practices and policies that enhance the learning process....This is a welcome book for persons involved in the assessment movement - a broad-based effort to make assessment a more meaningful and effective part of higher education's role and function.
Ernest Pascarella
Alexander W. Astin and anthony lising antonio have produced a most worthy successor to a genuine classic in our field: Assessment for Excellence. This second edition is a work of first-rank scholarship with a wide range of practical and policy implications. It is indispensable reading for anyone with a serious interest in assessment and evaluation in postsecondary education.
Peter T. Ewell
When it first came out in 1991, Assessment for Excellence was a breakthrough book, rendering the new field of assessment both broadly comprehensible and academically legitimate. This new second edition, updated with coauthor Anthony Antonio, retains the flavor of the original—personal, down to earth, and wise—while acknowledging and harnessing the best of the two decades of assessment scholarship that the original helped stimulate.
Grounded in a well-articulated philosophy of research, Astin and Antonio believe that assessment is not a set of techniques, but a way of thinking guided by humane and helping values. Where they encounter methodological questions, they do not gloss their difficulties but, as good teachers, sensibly take their readers through them step by step. Decades of experience have given them scores of good stories to illustrate these approaches and they use them well. The ‘piano lesson’ remains one of the best portrayals of learning with effective feedback ever put forward. This book is more than useful; it is a classic that has stood the test of time.
Trudy W. Banta
Astin’s talent development concept and I-E-O model have informed research and practice in outcomes assessment for almost three decades.In this new edition, the authors deepen our understanding of the model and give us detailed advice about measuring student inputs, educational environments, and developmental outcomes. Graduate students and campus assessment leaders in particular will find this clear explanation of applied research aimed at improving college student learning both useful and helpful in guiding their thinking and their work.
Patrick T. Terenzini
This revised edition of Assessment for Excellence remains the leading authority on virtually all aspects of assessment in higher education. Grounded in sound theory and extensive practical experience, rigorous in conception and methods, savvy in its advice, comprehensive in coverage, and updated for this era, the volume provides important, accessible, and timely guidance for administrators, teaching faculty members, legislators and policy analysts, and higher education students and faculty members. More important, the coverage is as solid as it is broad, but handled in a fashion faithful to the book’s goal of making assessment do-able, credible, and useful in practice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897748056
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Series: American Council on Education Series On
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander W. Astin is the Allan M. Cartter Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emeritus at UCLA and the founding director of UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. Astin has been identified as the most frequently cited author in the higher education field, has earned awards from 14 different national associations, and is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees.
anthony lising antonio is associate professor of education and associate director for the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research at Stanford University. He writes and teaches courses on access to college, student development and assessment, and multicultural issues in higher education.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
1 The Philosophy and Logic of Assessment 1
2 A Conceptual Model for Assessment 16
3 Assessing Outcomes 38
4 Assessing Student Inputs 64
5 Assessing the Environment 81
6 Analyzing Assessment Data 94
7 Use of Assessment Results 128
8 Building a Data Base 151
9 Assessment as Direct Feedback to the Learner 178
10 Assessment and Equity 194
11 Assessment and Public Policy 216
12 The Future of Assessment 231
Appendix Statistical Analysis of Longitudinal Data 255
References 315
Index 325
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