Technology Solutions to Support Assessment
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Type of Work27 pages
Citation of Original PublicationHarrison, J. M., & Braxton, S. N. (2018, September). Technology solutions to support assessment. (Occasional Paper No. 35). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
learning management systems
student information systems
ssessment Management Systems
In this paper, we explore how assessment technologies can support college and university assessment processes at multiple levels. Our goal is to help you think through your institutional assessment culture and processes, so you can identify tools that support your institution’s approach to assessment. Multiple software systems can offer institutions rich and nuanced information about students—most schools have learning management systems (LMS) and student information systems (SIS), often supported by analytics programs that integrate the data. Faculty rely on the LMS and other tools like student response systems (i.e., “clickers”), Scantron, and e-portfolios to assess students’ work at the program and course-levels. At program- and institution-levels, many schools have adopted Assessment Management Systems (AMS) to streamline assessment processes and enrich their evidence about student learning. Yet “meaningful implementation remains elusive”—while 29% of provosts would like tools that can “aggregate assessment results to represent overall institutional performance,” 51% of provosts do not find their AMS fully supportive of assessment efforts (Jankowski, Timmer, Kinzie, & Kuh, 2018, p. 4, 15, 23). How can institutions select useful assessment technologies and integrate them with existing tools, so faculty and administrators can easily extract and use the data to improve student learning? What elements should we consider when selecting technologies? Do any systems exist that address the requirements of authentic assessment in one solution? To explore these questions, we discuss how technologies can address assessment challenges. Next, we classify the functional criteria in a taxonomy. We then sketch a process to help you reflect on your assessment technology needs, giving attention to your institution’s assessment culture, data, technology users, and audiences. Finally, we present evaluation criteria for judging the appropriateness of technologies.