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Ed466 688 - Ensuring Quality and Productivity in Higher Education: An Analysis of Assessment Practices. Ashe-Eric Higher Education Report. Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series by Catherine H Augustine, Susan M Gates (Paperback / softback, 2013)
A RAND research team conducted a broad review of the general literature on the assessment of quality and productivity in education and professional development. The team also reviewed the documentation of organizations engaged in such assessment, interviewed experts, attended conferences, and conducted site visits to exemplary organizations. This report synthesizes the information and provides suggestions for approaches that might be useful for agencies given the task of ensuring the quality and productivity of education and professional development activities in a specific system. Assessment, as used in this mograph, means the start-to- finish process of examining quality or productivity, while evaluation is the step in the assessment process in which performance measures are examined, and a judgment about performance is made on the basis of that examination. Regardless of the assessment model selected, the study found that three key steps must be included in any provider or student assessment: (1) identifying goals o f the education activities under consideration; (2) measuring the outcomes related to those goals; and (3) evaluating whether the outcomes meet those goals. Each step should be linked to the others, and the process as whole should be driven by the goals. Six appendixes contain supplemental information about the research methodology. (Contains 7 tables, 1 figure, and 137 references.).