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

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

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

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

Synopsis

Designed as a handbook, this text provides media, speech (public speaking, interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication), and theatre educators with both the theoretical and practical ammunition to fight the assessment battles on their campuses. The philosophical implications of accountability are balanced with concrete, specific, and usable assessment strategies. Stressing student, faculty, course, program, department, and institutional assessment, this book's aim is to provide, in one place, information that will help diverse and complex communication programs face the growing challenges in assessment. The book is divided into three sections: background and foundational information for assessment; broad assessment strategies that apply to a variety of media, "speech," and theatre courses and programs; and context-specific assessment strategies. While covering a host of topics, it:
• provides an overview of assessment and suggests how it might impact communication education,
• discusses the elements of program assessment and how linkage of mission statements with outcomes can lead to strong, innovative programs,
• compares and contrasts regional association requirements and presents a specific how-to strategy for writing outcome statements,
• discusses teaching evaluation and argues that we need to identify the "what" of teaching before we try to measure the "how,"
• looks at creative ways for formative and summative course evaluation that starts with the creation of an explicit syllabus,
• discusses the use of capstone courses as a way of evaluating not only their major but also how students have integrated their "total" educational experience,
• suggests the variety of ways that interpersonal communication can be assessed and calls for future research that stresses the "knowledge" component of learning,
• reports on a strategy for developing small group communication assessment measures, and
• provides media, speech, and theatre faculty and administrators with the background, understanding and tools to build stonger programs and develop better courses and educational experiences for their students.

Excerpt

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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