22 possible ways of assessing a course

Assessment is an important issue in schools of all levels today. On the college level, there is a growing emphasis on collecting data about particular courses and programs and then assessing whether these courses and programs met critical goals and then using that data to improve what is being offered.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has put together 22 different assessment measurements for a hypothetical college course. Broken into three categories, the instructor, during the course, and after the course, this table quickly suggests how easy or difficult it is to collect the data and then the limitations of each measure.

Just looking at this chart, here is what one could take away from it:

1. It is relatively easy to assess the qualifications of the instructor.

2. Measurement during the course appears easier than after the course.

3. A key issue with the after the course data is that it is difficult to determine exactly what impact one particular course had when students take other courses as well and get educational input outside of courses.

4. It appears that a variety of data would be useful to help avoid the limitations of individual measures.

5. Assessment can be a time-consuming and complex task.

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