Reframing assessment: Innovation and accountability between the global and the local

Cachey Jr., Theodore J.
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Heinle Cengage Learning
This chapter highlights the roles and impact of assessment in a large multilingual department, from the experience and perspective of the chairperson. It argues for the value of useful assessment as a means of reframing the goals of language and culture programs and suggests that a more robust assessment culture might help languages and literatures to achieve the kind of reform that the Modern Languages Association called for in its widely discussed 2007 report “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World.” The approach to assessment outlined here aims to be useful, sustainable, and not too burdensome for faculty members. How the assessment project was started, how it has focused on a selected outcome in each assessment cycle, what kind of tools have been used to collect data, and the ways in which the assessment process can lead to curricular adjustments are also described. The project has contributed to building mutual respect and collegiality across the lecturer and research faculty frontier; has proven to be an incubator of curricular innovation; and has helped faculty members, both individually and collectively, to become more effective advocates for the importance of the languages and literatures other than English within the humanities. Finally, the chapter argues that engaging in assessment requires engaging with the messy world of higher education as it is and not as we wish it might be.
Cachey Jr., T.J. (2014). Reframing assessment: Innovation and accountability between the global and the local. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 230-244.
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