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  • Writer's pictureErin Crisp

The Program Health Index

Higher Education has a need for an evaluation index that makes the complex web of assessment variables actionable for leaders and policymakers. This article outlines a draft for a solution. The article is published in the proceedings for the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.

"The Need for a Post-secondary Evaluation Index

Assessment professionals working in higher education contexts will be the first to admit that there are persistent weaknesses in the assessment processes described by most accreditors and adopted by most institutions. These weaknesses have recently been identified and described both within the assessment community, by AALHE member Dr. David Eubanks (2017) and more recently in an article by Erik Gilbert (2018) in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which referenced Dr. Eubanks’ article.

At the root of these challenges lies the idea that learning outcome assessment data are not valid or reliable enough to support the kinds of interpretations that are common. Gilbert writes, “It turns out that the assessment program your college imposed on you was probably never going to improve anything” (2018). There is truth in this premise- documented improvements have been nascent, however, the premise also assumes that most participants in assessment processes are satisfied with the field’s early efforts when Dr. Eubanks’ asserts that the opposite is actually true. For many academic leaders, the more involved they become in the process, the more they become aware of the needs for continued improvement." ... The full article starts on page 80.

Crisp, E. (2018). The Program Health Index: A New Approach to Program Evaluation. 2018 Conference, Proceedings of the Association of the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.

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