An AAUP critique

I have reason to be interested in this, and will explain later.

Recommended Standards for Mandated Assessment
American Association of University Professors
Policy Reports & Documents, 11th Ed

Our university’s current assessment policy states that faculty calls all the shots on assessment: When it occurs, where it occurs, how assessments are designed and deployed, and how results are used. This particular document puts limits on those freedoms in the guise of protections.

From item 2: It assumes that assessment is liable to “significantly divert the energies of the faculty, administration, or governing board” from teaching. Which it doesn’t if it’s executed thoughtfully–the whole authentic assessment model.

From item 3: “Because experience demonstrates the unlikelihood of achieving meaningful quantitative measurement of educational outcomes for other than specific and clearly delimited purposes” is a massive assumption. It’s also not true. In many cases, good assessment measures reveal things you never expected. So I’m not sure what “experience” they’re talking about.

Since this sort of tangential logic is at work in many places at the AAUP, I tend to take their advice with a grain of salt. I know they’re trying to protect faculty freedoms, but they do it at a cost that I’m not entirely sure they fully understand themselves. Thus, not a fan.


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