Missions and Practices of Student Learning Assessment: An International Comparative Study
Included in repository with the permission of Allied Academies. For information or to submit a paper for a journal or conference, see the publisher's website.
Classroom assessment of student learning is part and parcel of the educational processes that both faculty and administrators use to guide their practices, ensure program effectiveness, and use as checkpoints for student achievement (Palomba & Panta, 1999). Mission statements and articulated policies often mention varied and continuous assessment techniques of student learning. However, how much they are reflected on the educational practices varies due to different factors like government mandates, requirements of accreditation, social factors, market forces, and accountability to stake holders which can all be credited for the degree of adherence to assessment best practices (Burke, 2005). This qualitative study is an effort to explore student learning assessment techniques at an American university which adopts the active learning approach and an urban Egyptian University where efforts of adopting the comprehensive learning approach are taking place. Research questions included: What are the evaluation tools utilized to measure students learning? What are the perceptions of faculty and students about the adequacy of these evaluation techniques? To what levels are these techniques standardized? What are the efforts made to get student feedback about the efficiency of these techniques for improvement purposes? Recommendations for maximizing student success and learning outcomes included: more campus professional development initiatives, adopting a progress and developmental approach of assessment, and involvement of professors and students in designing the assessment process. The study offers valuable information for administrators of higher education institutions and education faculty focusing on assessment, accountability, administration, curriculum planning, student success, and student engagement.