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Using Assessments to Evaluate Geoscience Programs

A Framework for Knowing

Course instructors that use assessment to better understand changes in student content knowledge and attitudes provide a foundation on which to gather direct measures of how students are meeting overall program goals. Increasingly, Geoscience departmental program evaluations are required for both internal administrative purposes and for use by outside accreditation organizations. [Palomba and Banta, 1999] provide a framework for faculty wishing to begin to assess programs in their book, Assessment Essentials: Planning Implementing and Improving Assessment in Higher Education.

Seeing the Big Picture

When assessing programs, one very useful kind of assessments to use are those that may be aggregated across all sections of a given course and across different courses. Access more information on assessment of individual courses.

A well constructed plan is provided by Palomba and Banta (1999, pg. 6-18). They suggest six essential steps to develop a comprehensive assessment of an educational program:

References and Resources

Instructional Assessment Resources: Program Evaluation
This site, published by the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment at the University of Texas - Austin, provides guidance on creating and implementing an evaluation of an academic program. Other assessment information is also available on this site.

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