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Innovative Practices for Higher Education Assessment and Measurement

Cano, Elena and Ion, Georgeta, eds.
IGI Global, 2016

Book Review

Tags: assessing students   |   assessment   |   formative assessment
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Reviewed by: Lisa Withrow, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2017
Editors Cano and Ion offer a group of international voices in their contribution to the Advances in Higher Education and Professional Development Book Series (series editor, Jared Keengwe), with this volume focusing on innovative practices in assessment. The book’s organization structure involves general contents followed by a detailed table of contents with full abstracts for each chapter, then a thorough summary of each of the twenty authors’ works in ...

Editors Cano and Ion offer a group of international voices in their contribution to the Advances in Higher Education and Professional Development Book Series (series editor, Jared Keengwe), with this volume focusing on innovative practices in assessment. The book’s organization structure involves general contents followed by a detailed table of contents with full abstracts for each chapter, then a thorough summary of each of the twenty authors’ works in the preface before turning to relevant chapters. Such a format facilitates pinpointing the reader’s interest in particular methodologies for assessment, measurement, and data-gathering. The volume itself is divided into three main sections: (I) Theoretical Approaches on Students’ Assessment, (II) Research-Based Evidences on Assessment, and (III) Innovative Practices in Students’ Assessment.

The editors claim that the purpose of their book is to attend to an international level of assessment innovation with a triple perspective (theoretical, practical, and research-based), that integrates theory and practice to enrich the field of assessment (xvii). Authors have created scenario-specific assessment innovations and practices in each of their chapters so readers have a variety of choices from which to draw ideas.

Section I focuses on engaging students in self-, peer-, and professor-based assessment loops. Self-regulated learning that is based on assessment, both in face-to-face and online environments, is addressed in the chapters one through three, and six. Competency-based assessment, where student competencies are measured against standards of performance, is illustrated in chapter four. “Brain-Based Learning” discusses the neuroscience of feedback and application to contexts in chapter five. “Comparative Judgement” is introduced in chapter seven as an alternative assessment domain to counter standardized tasks and test scoring.

Section II moves to research about assessment versus testing cultures, beginning in chapter eight with meaning-oriented learning rather than recall and recognition learning. Research in this chapter shows that students will make the effort to succeed when asked to do more complex thinking than is required for standardized testing. Feeding back and feeding forward are discussed as case studies and analyses in chapters nine and ten. Self-direction and student participation are also analyzed in case studies in chapters eleven and twelve, followed by online assessment projects conducted in Portugal and Spain in the remaining two chapters of this section.

Section III names innovative practices in student assessment. The remaining chapters in the book (fifteen through twenty) attend to pedagogical approaches to incorporate assessment into the learning endeavor. The chapters include case studies and strategies. Practical applications including project-based learning and formative assessment are outlined by each set of authors.

The book is a reference resource, best used by browsing topics and making choices about which innovative approaches to assessment best fit one’s own context. There is some overlap in authors’ experiences, reinforcing the validity of the international research and pedagogical approaches. This resource, filled with illustrations, should be available in libraries for institutions of higher education that are working on self-study and self-assessment. There is much here to aid teachers in honing their attention to assessment excellence as part of the pedagogical task.

 

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Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Higher Education: Global Perspectives

Brown, Sally
Palgrave Macmillan Springer Nature, 2015

Book Review

Tags: assessment   |   diversity   |   evaluation   |   student learning outcomes
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Reviewed by: Joanne Maguire Robinson, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2016
This global study of teaching, learning, and assessment goes beyond the typical single country context to extend to good pedagogical practice on six continents.The argument of each chapter is supported by examples of good practice accounts from around the world, a collection that forms a refreshing change from a generic case study model. Although the examples lean most heavily toward English-speaking institutions and classrooms, there is significant attention paid ...

This global study of teaching, learning, and assessment goes beyond the typical single country context to extend to good pedagogical practice on six continents.The argument of each chapter is supported by examples of good practice accounts from around the world, a collection that forms a refreshing change from a generic case study model. Although the examples lean most heavily toward English-speaking institutions and classrooms, there is significant attention paid to various elements of pedagogy from many cultural perspectives. The author takes great care throughout the book to consider all elements of the changing higher education landscape, including the changing student body, changes in technology, and changes in expectations about the goals of higher education and graduate employability.

The twelve chapters of this book take a comprehensive view of diversity in higher education teaching, learning, and assessment. The book opens with a consideration of cultural mores and assumptions that directly affect interactions in higher education. Brown looks both to the past and the future in subsequent chapters, noting pedagogical traditions and innovations in the context of today’s higher education landscape. She argues that we must adjust to a technology-rich world that necessitates more focus on “learning how and learning why than on learning what” (21). Her view of technology in the balance as both a distraction and a valuable addition to certain aspects of both teaching and learning is refreshing, as so many books either glorify or decry technology in classrooms and society. This ability to see things in the balance is one of the greatest strengths of this book: rather than arguing for a “best” way to teaching or learning or assessment, this book offers multiple possibilities from multiple contexts and thus leaves much to the reader to judge based on his or her context and constraints.

Brown identifies a few global trends. The most widespread seems to be a move from transmissive to transformative education. She notes that there is a “movement from perceiving the university teacher as an all-knowing, unchallengeable authority figure” (27) and parallel a movement by institutions and disciplines toward encouraging learning outside of the lecture hall. Another trend is teaching toward the multiple literacies expected of a twenty-first century graduate, looking well beyond academic literacy to digital, assessment, and interpersonal literacies (88). Finally, Brown notes that all education needs to think of itself as taking place in a global environment. This book is itself a fine way to encourage broader thinking about pedagogical contexts in higher education: our students are shortchanged when we privilege our own pedagogical traditions and ignore the broader, global context of higher education.

The strengths of this book are many. For instance, the author provides substantive and exhaustive bulleted lists in each chapter, a diverse set of highlighted good practice accounts, and a full chapter devoted to higher education teacher development. The book is easy to navigate, written in clear prose, and at once expansive but grounded in particulars. I would recommend this book highly to teachers and administrators in higher education across the disciplines.

 

Theological school deans are not just theological leaders for their institution, they must be EDUCATIONAL leaders. That is, they must implement sound educational practices related to curriculum, instruction, supervision, assessment, and administration. There is a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, and there are several levels ...

Theological school deans are not just theological leaders for their institution, they must be EDUCATIONAL leaders. That is, they must implement sound educational practices related to curriculum, instruction, supervision, assessment, and administration. There is a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, and there are several levels ...

Theological schools and seminaries have been relative latecomers to rigorous practices of educational assessment. There are varied and plausible reasons for that which "make sense." However, in the current age of higher accountability to accrediting agencies, stakeholders, and educational consumers, those reasons must give way to the implementation of institutional ...

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