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Paul Ewald: A review of current trends in assessment in American higher education

This article presents an overview of assessment practices in contemporary American higher education. Assessment is described as a tool used to improve educational practice, and as a means of establishing accountability. The article is divided into four sections. In the first, general background information is presented. This includes some historical context, philosophical and theoretical issues, and reform efforts in the mid-1980s that led to mandates for accountability. In the second section a description of the range of assessment practices in use is presented along with examples of how some specific institutions are making use of them. In the third section an attempt is made to identify some of the major effects that assessment appears to be having. The final section delineates our dilemmas that need to be addressed or resolved in order for assessment to move forward in the United States at the post-secondary level. In the concluding com¬ments the author suggests that in the coming years Hungarian higher education may be confronting some of the same issues and questions that have given rise to the assessment movement in the U.S. in recent years.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 94. Number 3-4. 179-206. (1994)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Paul D. Ewald, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, Maine, 04005. U.S.A.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia