Thursday, May 15, 2014

What's your institutional culture of assessment?

StuffedWithContent This paper caught my eye both for the topic (institutional cultures of assessment) and the research methodology (Delphi method).

Conclusion: Instilling a positive culture of assessment focused on student learning is a process, which involves redefining any negative cultures that exist and managing symbols and dialogues to slowly spread a positive culture of assessment. Even though defining a negative culture was seen as necessary to move to a more positive culture of assessment, assessment leaders stated change was difficult and slow, but necessary. Assessment leaders in this study had varying motivations for their desire to improve their campus’ culture of assessment, but the motivations were not based on defined theoretical frameworks as much as on metaphors...

Assessment leaders’ perspectives of institutional cultures of assessment: a Delphi study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 14 May 2014 doi:10.1080/02602938.2014.917369
Institutional cultures of assessment are praised as beneficial to student learning. Yet, extant studies have not explored the theoretical foundations and pragmatic approaches to shaping cultures of assessment. The researchers used the Delphi method to explore 10 higher education assessment leaders’ attitudes and theoretical perspectives regarding cultures of assessment. These expert assessment leaders were iteratively surveyed until a reasonable threshold of consensus was reached. Study participants viewed buy-in as a necessary component of a positive campus culture of assessment, and advice on reshaping negative cultures was offered. Assessment leaders’ guiding theoretical frameworks were implied and loosely defined with metaphors. Finally, advice is offered for improving cultures of assessment by symbolically connecting assessment to student learning through dialogue.

Image credit: Bill Ferriter 

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