Monday, August 14, 2006

on Higher Ed Assessment

People now acknoledged that better higher ed assessment is needed.
Testing, Testing - Inside Higher Ed
- A Culture of Evidence: Postsecondary Assessment and Learning Outcomes - an ETS article
- Claim work toward for institution's internal evaluation
Critical Thinking - Wikipedia
Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) - Assessment Articles
- Liberal Education Outcomes: A Preliminary Report on Student Achievement in College
-- Use stadandard test to make sure local assessment aling with each other.
-- Should move away from multiple choices style test.
-- Believe compond test is the best way to measure the REAL benifit of Liberal education
-- Accept standard test for single component evaluation
-- Not against ACT, SAT
-- Use survey to support their findings - arguable!!
To help understand the issues, it worth to take a look how and why the higher Ed. assessment become an issue. Before we look at that, let's first feel the power of captilism in our mind.

There is no doubt in my mind, all these begin with business competitions. In the past, business competition isn't high and the profit margin are high, companies can offered to absorbe some training costs. These days, competitions are everywhere and turnover rate of worker are high too. Companies are reluctant to training their worker and, at the same time, demanding highly trained worker upon their hiring. The demands transformed into several forms. For skills that are easy to measure, the demands quickly turn into the demands for certificates or test score. For skills that are hard to measure, companies first relyed on screening services and, eventurally, without satisfied results, voice their flustration and were heared and feeled by politicians and public.

The issue has since turn into presures on institutions and, without thinking carefully, scholars, in particular, begin to defend the quality of higher education in United States. But we have to realized that, as pointed out earlier, the issue is not about the quality of our higher education but about how to measure skills that are hard to measure. Companies can careless about the quality of higher education as long as they can find the worker they need.

So, for companies, the only issue is how to measure those hard to measured skills. To this end, all it is needed are testing services that measuring these hard to measured skills. The net effect is that institutions with good testing results will attract more students and are eyed as good institutions since, for large amount of people, they can also careless about the quality of higher education as long as they can get the training they need to find a job. Now, you can really feel the power of the capitalizm!

However, the success of capitalizm is not without governments! The good about capitalizm is that it motivates people. Without governments, the motivation can turn to illegal means, and self-interestedact and dis-regard public's interest. So, what governments need to do is to prevent flaws and guard public interest.

What will happen if we let all these play out, most students/parents will only interested in career driven courses and they can careless who taught it. As long as they can pass exams and get hired. Because of this, given the profit driven nature of capitalizm, the price for getting these kind of training will went down - which can't be a bad thing, consumer got what they wanted without those extra cost for courses and services they don't want - like a swiming pool or a laxutry dome.

As we could expect, some of the academic courses exist today will be ignored by students and parents and it is very possible that these courses are considered valuable to the society in the long run. If this is the case, governments will need to purswating their citizen to suport those courses through government provisions. Since these courses are supported by governments, governments can demand the quality of these courses through mandated checks. These may include basic science research or some libera art courses. Governments should also try to prove to companies the value of these courses and have them to support it as a way to lower governments' spending.

There are, however, questions for Governments: What is in the best interest of our citizen? Granted, capitalism have brought good things to our citizen, but it also caused griefs from time to time and it is the job of governments to mitegate the griefs.

The question for governments to think about is what's the right step to take in regarding the future of our citizen. To answer this question, we need think about what is in the benifit of our citizen? Safty, Happiness, Money( Can it buy the happiness?)

From the view of ecomonic developemt, what the government need to do is to support companies' need. This means

Questions left for governments are
Predicting what will happen. Think about the wellfare of our citizen. Determine what is the right things to do in the benifit of our citizen.

Question: What wil

Now, you can

We, however, do need realize that testing resluts of these testing services will influence public's opinion on each institution. So the net

For United States,

To them, the quality is measured in their terms.

The quality of our higher education only became companies' concern if they can't find skilled worker any place else. Don't you see they out sourcing to foreign countries?

With this in mind, we understand that there are two issues. For companies, their major concern is about how to measure those skills.

Presures are on institutions.
The public fee
As all the evidence quoted above, people no longer can deny or resist the idea of measuring higher education in a standard way. Those claim that higher education simply too complicate to measure with standard processes are diminishing. Overall, this is a victory of the consumer.

It may be true that public have got institutions to listen, but people must realize that some of the claims institutions have posted do have their merits. It is very important, now, to listen to what they said and set a realistic measurement scheme.

A measurement scheme can sustain itself only if there are customers. For example, the ACT and SAT can sustain itself because colleges using them. The question is then, who are the potential customer of higher ed. measurements? The likely customers are employers. Employers can careless about where employees got their training, as long as they have the skill they need.

We have to understand thatand the presure of producing to consultant are feeled and heard by applicants and communities. The pressure are put on

In planing the measurement, it is very important to recognize that employer should be invited. After all, who is really care about these measurement? This is a very realistic question especially at a time of the booming for-profit institutions. For employer with applicants from these institution, a simple check of legitmacy of their diploma may no longer enough.

With all these developments, we can say
With all sectors in the higher education working on

It is good accredidation and ETS are working on this. So are the Education Department. They can proceeded as they like. Except that, the Education Department is liable to the general public.

As one of the comment point out, if company want to test it, go ahead. He is actually on target! We have to remember that companies are the final judgment - unless you are going to be self-employed. So no matter what ETS or accredidation agency do, they will have to have companies buying into it. If they can't proof their value, it won't survial!

Along with other news, the postive note here is that, at least, people agree that even higher ed can be measured! As to what is to be measured, it will dependt on the customer.

The value added measure isn't really needed. - I will work on this!

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