Our Upcoming 2017 Conference Theme: Assessment Revisited
Until recently, the term “assessment” referred primarily to grading students on their classroom performance. But today the meaning of the term has dramatically broadened. Students, faculty, and institutions alike are now evaluated in a variety of dimensions and with a variety of aims. The public funds that support higher education have justified this call for greater accountability, but private institutions are also under pressure to show that their claims of research and teaching “excellence” are well founded.
At the same time, the increasing ubiquity of assessment raises questions that go to the heart of higher education. What sort of performance counts? Should the university be seen as an engine of research, a launching pad for student careers, or a hybrid combining both? Is the aim of assessment primarily to offer useful feedback, or to render a final verdict on performance? Finally, how well do our instruments measure actual performance? Are we measuring the right things, or, as some critics allege, just the easy things?
Over three days in Tel Aviv we will address these questions as well as other aspects of academic assessment. Our host will be the Mofet Institute—a prominent Israeli center for research and development in the realm of teaching and learning. We hope you will join us there.
Six sub-themes underlie the overall conference topic:
- Assessing student learning
- Evaluating faculty performance
- Rating educational institutions
- Improving self-assessment
- Summative versus formative assessment
- Recent research in assessment