Assessment in Higher Education: Issues of Access, Quality, Student Development, and Public Policy

By Samuel J. Messick | Go to book overview

try, to encourage simple changes that may make a difference, to help the discouraged teachers note signs of progress, and to help them begin to appreciate and love their students.

While my examples have been drawn from the student rating literature, they fit with laboratory research as well, and they apply to Classroom Assessment Techniques as well as to other feedback devices.


Questions

That's a sample of what Cross and Keeton stimulated. I've interacted with each of them many times over the past 30-odd years and I always come away with new ideas. But what of my questions for the minute paper?

For Cross--I like the emphasis upon causing learning as contrasted with selecting students (although I would use the word "facilitating" rather than "causing"). As Cross suggested, this means that we need to get students to think about their own learning. But reflection should not only assess what has been learned but also how one can continue to develop skills and capacities for further learning. In The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray ( 1994) concede that intelligence can be raised but argue that it's too expensive to help the less intelligent develop these skills; I argue that it all depends on how one values effective human beings as compared with new devices for Star Wars or an extra yacht for a speculator in the stock market. My question is (finally) "If we are to enhance both access and success, how can we build upon Classroom Assessment and other advances to go beyond learning a specific topic to facilitate development of skills in learning and thinking to be used in non-formal learning situations?"

And my question for Keeton--His paper deals mostly with cognitive and performance assessment; yet I know from listening to him through the years that he believes as I do that among the most important educational outcomes are such characteristics as zest for further learning, a sense of community, qualities that contribute to good citizenship, attitudes, values--a whole array of non-cognitive outcomes. How can we develop these? How can we assess them?


REFERENCES

Angelo T. A., & Cross K. P. ( 1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A Handbook for college teachers ( 2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Gleason-Weimer M. ( 1987). "Translating evaluation reports into teaching improvement". AAHE Bulletin (April), 8-11.

Herrnstein R., & Murray C. ( 1994). The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life. New York: Free Press.

Langer Ellen J. ( 1989). Mindfulness. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

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