Assessing Communication Education: A Handbook for Media, Speech, and Theatre Educators

By William G. Christ | Go to book overview

Preface

Accountablity. Evaluation. Assessment. Taxpayers, legislatures, and others, including academic administrators, have been asking whether a college education is worth the cost and effort. Leading the attack are critics who ask pointed questions about what faculty are teaching and what students are learning. Schools are being asked to develop measurable assessment criteria for judging success. Unfortunately for those communication programs caught in "assessment fever," there has been little written that directly applies to the complexities of most communication programs.

Within this resource handbook, we balance the philosophical implications, of accountability with concrete, specific, usable assessment strategies. The aim is to provide, in one place, necessary and vital information that will help a variety of communication educators and programs.

The volume is broken into three parts. Part 1 provides background and foundational information for assessment. Rosenbaum's first chapter gives an overview of assessment and suggests how it might impact communication education. Christ and Blanchard discuss the elements of program assessment and how the linkage of mission statements with outcomes can lead to strong, innovative programs. Allison compares and contrasts the regional association requirements and ends with a section on a specific, how-to strategy for writing outcome statements.

In Part II of the book, the chapters deal with broad assessment strategies that apply to a variety of media, speech, and theatre courses and programs. Potter discusses teaching evaluation and argues that we need to identify the "what" of teaching before we try to measure the "how." Tucker looks at creative ways for formative and surnmative course evaluation that starts with the creation of an explicit syllabus. Orlik shows how the complex task of developing and evaluating student portfolios can be accomplished. Moore discusses the use of capstone courses as a way of evaluating not only the major but also how students have integrated their "total" educational

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