Assessing student learning in higher education is a critical requirement for colleges and universities world-wide. Pressure by government agencies, potential students, and parents to “prove” valuable learning is occurring in higher education will only increase for the foreseeable future. Most books on assessment focus on methods that are appropriate for large universities with budgets sufficient to support consultants and specialists on staff. This book seeks to help the other end of the higher education spectrum: the small and intermediate-sized institutions that may not have many resources to spare for assessment and who often use a large number of adjunct faculty. While written from the perspective of a school within the United States, the general method is applicable globally.
This short, idea-packed book provides an approachable means of quickly building a sustainable assessment system in a resource-strapped environment. It is a practical and detailed guide written to help newly-designated assessment coordinators in schools that use Moodle as their learning management system to bring their program up-to-speed quickly. Any type of institution of higher learning could benefit from the methods described in this book. No pre-existing knowledge of student learning assessment, curriculum development, or experience with MySQL database query-writing is assumed. Some basic knowledge of the Moodle platform would be helpful but is not necessary. Query examples using Moodle 2.7 are provided in the text which should work on any installation from 2.2 to 2.8.
1. A Quick Fly-Over of Assessment as a Concept
2. Building the Moodle-based Assessment System (MAS)
3. Outcomes and Assessment: Is Your House Built on Sand?
4. Moodle as an Assessment Platform
5. Pulling Assessment Data from Courses
6. Presenting the Data for Assessment
7. Next Steps: Using the Assessment Data for Program Improvement
If you are new to assessment, overwhelmed by the breadth of material available on assessment of student learning, or just unsure of how to best launch an assessment program at your school, this short and simple book is the perfect starting point for you.
About the author: Bob Stretch is a teacher and administrator with almost 30 years of adult education experience in public, private, and military institutions. A recent graduate of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' (WASC) Assessment Leadership Academy, he has previously written instructor guides, test-banks, and other ancillary materials for Pearson/Prentice-Hall in the areas of human relations, marketing, and advertising. His academic papers and presentations have won awards and he is on the Dean's List of Outstanding Faculty for National University. Bob has advanced degrees in both Adult Education and Management. He is currently the LMS Administrator for Coleman University in San Diego, CA.