Ellen A. Hay Augustana College
Many published and "local" measures are available to assess interpersonal effectiveness. Measures have also been successfully developed by various departments to respond to their own conceptualizations of interpersonal competence. In order to enhance the assessment process in the future, professional associations, departments, and faculty members need to devise measures of the knowledge dimension, set standards for demonstration of interpersonal competence, create a bank of exemplar performances to reflect these standards, and follow sound assessment practices.
This chapter is organized around four questions: What are the challenges we face in designing assessment suitable to instruction in interpersonal communication? What are we trying to assess? How can we assess it? How might we do it better? Responses to these questions will offer perspectives on the outcomes, options, and resources that we have available when implementing assessment of interpersonal communication courses and programs.
Assessment activities don't take a "rocket scientist" to implement. They require careful review of assessment options (means) available, and consideration of statements of intended student outcomes and resources available (usually small), as well as the specific requirements placed upon the department. There will never exist the perfect means of assessment. However, choices will need to be made and implemented based upon the department's judgment of the best means available at the time. ( Nichols, 1991, p. 36)
Although Nichols' statement on conducting assessment demystifies the process, it is important to realize that this process is neither simple nor