Previous Essays

Teaching to Lead
Teaching practices that help students develop leadership

Knowing About vs. Knowing How
The challenges of translating what we know about good practices into making our classes, majors, and programs more effective

Clear and Organized Teaching
Why a basic and under-appreciated teaching skill is critical for student learning

Improving Educational Quality
Lessons learned from liberal arts colleges about the conditions that facilitate the use of evidence to improve student learning

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Assessing our assessment

"Assessing our assessment" will sound like the 10th circle of hell for many faculty. Yet if we want our assessment efforts to improve, we must reflect on whether our work to gauge, summarize, and report on how well our students are learning is paying off for us and for our students. Using the term "meta-assessment" with your colleagues may reduce their catcalls and derision when you ask them to engage in this important work.

Keston Fulcher and Megan Rodgers Good have written a good short review on assessing assessment called The Surprisingly Useful Practice of Meta-Assessment. In addition to providing a crisp rationale for evaluating our assessment programs, they also include a nice set of documents on departmental assessment.

As reductive as "assessing our assessment" might seem on first glance, we believe that systematic reflection with our colleagues about the purposes and impact of our work is essential to being a liberally educated teacher.