Performance-based Funding, Outputs vs. Outcomes

I believe higher education professionals should STOP demanding that performance-based funding should measure learning and outcomes rather than “just” completion and jobs.   The current model of performance-based funding in Texas, as it pertains to community colleges, appears to provide necessary data for legislators to hold community colleges accountable for their responsibility to the tax-paying public, and I believe it does so while minimizing legislative intrusion into the classroom and institutions.


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Improving Program Outcomes Assessment

We are working to revisit, review, and as needed, revise our program outcomes assessment plans.  To a large extent, the assessment has been done very well at the program level; as our office of learning and assessment (OLA) has evolved over the past 4-6 years, however, we are continuously working to improve the services and support we provide to our faculty and instructional leaders (department chairs and deans) regarding program outcomes assessment.  We are working to improve and to better institutionalize those processes. Continue reading

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My thoughts regarding “Federal regulators debate how to handle direct assessment programs” @insidehighered

My thoughts regarding Federal regulators debate how to handle direct assessment programs @insidehighered.

Higher education inevitably will have to figure out competency-based education; it’s the logical conclusion to the national accountability discourse.  Several examples from this article that illustrate perhaps that we’re further away than we might hope:

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Why we should NOT locally modify the AAC&U LEAP Value Rubrics?

When discussing the LEAP Value Rubrics, the AAC&U allows and even encourages institutions to customize to to modify the rubrics for use locally. Certainly, I believe when presented with an instrument like the LEAP Value rubric for Critical Thinking that it is the natural, inherent tendency of faculty and educational institutions to add their perspective or to research that construct in order to create a “better” rubric or to establish “our institution’s definition” of critical thinking (because critical thinking may be defined in *many* different ways). At the moment however, I believe it is important to resist that tendency.  Quite simply, revising the LEAP Value rubrics is not likely to add value to the institutional assessment effort, may nullify the benefits of using the LEAP Value rubrics, and may expend valuable time and effort resources better spent.

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Why LEAP Value Rubrics?

As my institution has engaged a more systematic assessment of general education outcomes, the cornerstone of that effort, thus far, has been the AAC&U’s LEAP Value Rubrics.  Our faculty assessment committee has worked with faculty in different disciplines to identify a Value Rubric they determined was aligned to and an appropriate assessment method for each of our institutional general education outcomes. As faculty have encountered and begun using those rubrics, a number ask, “Why are we using the LEAP Value Rubrics?” or “Is there an opportunity to explore, create, and potentially use other rubrics?”  Generally, we are always open to discussion and continuous improvement, and that could include a change in rubrics.  With that said, there’s a number of reasons why we have relied inititally on the LEAP Value Rubrics as the foundation of our work and why I believe we should continue doing so.

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