in undergraduate teaching.10 The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) sponsors an Assessment Forum, designed to promote “…effective approaches to assessment that involve faculty, benefit students, and improve the quality of teaching and learning. It helps campuses, programs, and individuals to plan, implement, and share the results of their assessment efforts by publishing, networking, and sponsoring an annual national conference” (e.g., Cambridge, 1997; Suskie, 2000).11 AAHE also has published a directory of some 300 assessment books and articles, journals, newsletters, audiocassettes, organizations, conferences, and electronic resources such as listservs and websites (Gardiner et al., 1997). Another important source of exemplary success stories is Project Kaleidoscope’s Programs That Work. Project Kaleidoscope has collected a large body of information from a wide variety of postsecondary institutions about innovative practices for the improvement of teaching, curriculum, and institutionalization of reform.12

Public and private funding organizations have begun to stress the role of assessment in improving undergraduate teaching and learning. For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently instituted an initiative for Assessment of Student Achievement in Undergraduate Education. This program supports the development and dissemination of assessment practices, materials, and metrics designed to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate courses, curricula, programs of study, and academic institutions in promoting student learning in STEM.13 The Pew Charitable Trust has supported several efforts to make public what undergraduates are learning at the nation’s colleges and universities.14 The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which has contributed more than $475 million toward improving undergraduate and K–12 education in the sciences since 1988, has begun to compile and will share on a website information about the various kinds of assessments being used by its grantees to demon-

10  

Additional information about this prize is available at <http://www.case.org/awards>.

11  

Additional information about this forum and its related activities is available at <http://www.aahe.org/assessment/>.

12  

Additional information about the Project Kaleidoscope program, including specific case studies and publications that are available in print and on the organization’s website, are available at <http://www.pkal.org>.

13  

Additional information about this NSF initiative is available at <http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/DUE/programs/asa/>.

14  

Additional information is available at <http://www.pewtrusts.com/ideas/index.cfm?issue=22>.



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