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Volume 83 | Issue 6
November/December 2015

Quotable: This Year in Assessment

"Those who engage in the assessment of student learning as well as those who call for or use the evidence should do so with a touch of patience and humility, recognizing both the power of assessment and its limitations. Students come with multiple motivations, proficiencies, and aspirations. Academic programs and faculty members hold sometimes conflicting views as to what learning outcomes are relevant and which are genuinely important. In this context, there are no easy answers. There is no simple test score or institutional ranking that is likely to reveal a great deal about what students actually know and can do—let alone shed light on the changes that need to be made to improve the outcomes. Those who demand accountability must be willing to accept this reality and complexity, and those within the academy must focus on real questions and academic issues with evidence that will prove useful—not just in verifying academic quality but also in making it stronger and better. It is within this broader context that we believe the shift of assessment of student learning from a culture of compliance to one focused on institutional transformation will be so important in the era that lies ahead." —George D. Kuh, Peter T. Ewell, Pat Hutchings, Jillian Kinzie, Stanley O. Ikenberry, Natasha A. Jankowski, and Timothy Reese Cain in their book Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education

Read more words of wisdom in Quotable: This Year in Assessment.