Book Reviews

Quote of the Month from resources available in the OOA:

“In an analysis of closing reflections written by departments when they submitted the results of the student learning outcomes assessment, four lessons learned seem to reflect Gallaudet’s assessment spirit:

  1. Assessment can benefit teaching and learning.
  2. Assessment is not rocket science.
  3. Assessment is not a report.
  4. Assessment fosters conversations about one’s discipline.”

Coming to Terms with Student Outcomes Assessment.  Edited by Peggy L Maki

Book Review

What a paradox

Heather Buck, Assoc. Professor, Practical Nursing

 Teaching at the college level is a paradox: joyously difficult. The highs of having a student finally “get it” are robbed by the mountain of papers to grade and the attempt to plow through them unbiased by fatigue. Stevens and Levi provide a solution in their book, Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback and promote student learning. Although most of the book addresses the how and why of rubrics, a nice synopsis is presented on the use of rubrics to assess student outcomes and teaching effectiveness. The Higher Learning Commission’s policy on Criteria for Accreditation mandates that institutions such as JCCC have a focus on student learning and a culture of continuous improvement. As faculty, we can utilize the wisdom of Stevens and Levi to meet these two ends: 1) grading our papers without bias and 2) improving our teaching. To this end, the Practical Nursing Program has implemented a faculty created rubric to critique and analyze student performance in the area of simulation. The rubric, in this case, is not utilized to justify a grade. Instead, it is utilized to help faculty identify areas of student weakness so that additional instruction can be implemented during the debriefing time. The rubric allows faculty a consistent way to fairly critique student performance across several pre-determined domains.

 To learn more about rubrics, how they can make you a better teacher and ease your workload, check out Stevens & Levi’s book! The Office of Outcomes Assessment is always ready to answer any questions you might have, or help you develop your first rubric!

 Stevens, D.D. & Levi, A.J. (2005). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback and promote student learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

 Additional resources at the lending library in the Office of Outcomes Assessment.  Come check these out:

  • Assessing Student Learning:  A Common Sense Guide by Linda Suskie
  • Assessing General Education Programs by Mary J. Allen
  • General Education Assessment for Improvement of Student Academic Achievement: Guidance for Academic Departments and Committees by James Nichols and Karen W. Nichols

.A good read for those just getting into assessment is the book by Linda Suskie, Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide.  Come by the office and check it out.

Check out the publication from the Associationi of American College and Universities on the VALUE rubrics at the OOA office.

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