Assign or create a
committee to spearhead General Education Assessment
Nichols (1995) reported
that every successful assessment program had established assessment
but the roles and levels of authority were highly variable depending
upon the campus.
interdisciplinary representation on the committee.
Banta (1999) described successful general education program
assessment as led by strong interdisciplinary committees that cooperatively assessed, interpreted, and
recommended action for improvement.
importance and scope of General Education assessment,
but try not to place blame in any one department.
General Education Assessment is crucial because all programs require a
core of general education courses (Palomba &
Banta, 1999; Tickle, 1999). Gail Mee of Mesa college in Arizona
reported that it was important not to blame
the English department when written communication assessment was lower
than expected. General Education
outcomes are taught by some classes but must be reinforced in all
General Education curriculum.
Consider locally developed
Locally developed assessment tools created by interdisciplinary
general education assessment committees
were very common, however the similarity stopped there. Case studies
displayed a compilation of highly individualized
assessment strategies that were reflective of campus culture and values
(Banta, Lund, Black, & Oblander, 1996;
Nichols, 1995; Tickle, 1999).
Developing tools locally required extra time and effort from faculty
necessitating stipends or workload adjustments.
developed standardized tests.
There are some commercial standardized assessment tools for limited
aspects of general education,
such as critical thinking and math competency. The variety of goals for
accessing General Education made
standardization difficult. Another issue involves cost.
Define the assessment
goals and pilot test the tool.
Whether locally developed or standardized tests were used , it was
important to pilot the test,
and determine how the data would be used and who would interpret and act
on the data.
Apply good assessment
General education case studies invested time to validity and
Make General Education
1. SAMPLE, SAMPLE, SAMPLE! Don't attempt to test all students.
Determine a representative sample.
2. Don't assess all General Education outcomes every year. Select one or
two to concentrate in each year.
3. Consider using embedded assessment in courses to guarantee quality
student involvement. See the sample
assessments for examples of embedded General Education assessment.