Are we using assessment to find minor shortcomings in our teaching and curriculum, changing what we do in the hopes of remedying those shortcomings, and in the long run having no real positive effect on the quality of our graduates and institutions? Are we, in effect, finding and treating harmless academic microcarcinomas rather than real problems? And, if so, what might be the consequences of all this?
Has anyone looked into whether assessing student-learning outcomes over many years has made American colleges, or students, better in some way? Has anyone tried to compare institutions with different approaches to assessment? ... As best I can tell from a literature search and from asking people in the field the answer is "no."
Read: Does Assessment Make Colleges Better? Who Knows? by Erik Gilbert
Photo credit: More Questions Than Answers by Tom Waterhouse | CC BY-NC 2.0