Why Assessment?

Why collegiate assessment? Why write about assessment? Why give any tests at all or ever again? These were questions posed to me about my new position at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma by colleagues as I left my last job. They were confused about why we should worry about testing college students. The questions hit hard and left me wondering myself.IMG_3697

After a semester of working with students, advising their academic careers, and learning about how a university works from the inside I’ve learned these answers and much more. The educational world is much deeper and murky than I had given it credit as a student. The trials a college faces and how they meet them vary greatly but one constant is the need to assess their success.

To answer this question fully could take years. In light of brevity, I can answer at least one question—I write about assessment to explain why it is important. Too often tools such as assessment are discredited by frail arguments that are rarely supported (because who wants to be ‘That Guy Who Stands Up for More Testing’). It is my hope that this blog will serve as a personal journal outlining my process and time in the Assessment Office at USAO. In addition I hope to support the importance of collegiate assessment in short essays to keep things brief and interesting.

Topics will vary from what kinds of assessments you really need to how to assess students better. Also tips for constructing a better program, how to manage work study students, and news about assessment in general.

So I hope you’ll join me as the Assessment Team and I begin this journey of self discovery into the world of collegiate testing. Thank you!

If you have questions or topics you would be interested in, please comment or contact our office. Also follow us on Twitter @USAOAssessment and Facebook for news, posts, updates, and testing dates.

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