The Assessment of Doctoral Education: Emerging Criteria and New Models for Improving Outcomes

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9781579221782: The Assessment of Doctoral Education: Emerging Criteria and New Models for Improving Outcomes
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Following the growing commitment to assessment at the undergraduate level, doctoral programs are now grappling with what accountability means for them.

This book provides a foundation for faculty and academic leaders of doctoral programs to promote inquiry into the educational practices that define their programs and contribute to graduate students' learning. It presents an array of examples of new program- and student-level assessment practices. The ideas and practices described here expand program review to include evidence of student learning--that is, students' demonstration of their knowledge, abilities, habits of mind, ways of knowing, ways of problem solving, and dispositions--through direct and indirect assessment methods that verify or challenge the efficacy of educational practices.

The book encourages faculty and academic leaders to reconsider the process and to formulate new questions about the efficacy of educational practices and traditions, such as the dissertation, that have historically led to the conferring of the doctorate. It will prompt constructive discussion of desired student learning outcomes, and of the kinds of assessment methods that provide evidence of what and how students learn within the context of educational practices.

Stressing the importance of listening and responding to graduate students as they progress through their studies or reflect on the relevance of their studies after graduation, the book also suggests new strategies to orient and support doctoral students in their educational journeys.

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About the Author:

Peggy L. Maki is a higher education consultant who specializes in assisting undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities, higher education boards, higher education organizations, and disciplinary organizations integrate assessment of student learning into educational practices, processes and structures. Her work also focuses on assessment within the context of accreditors' expectations for institutional effectiveness. She has served as member of the Board of Contributors of About Campus as well as its Department Editor for Assessment for. She has been a national board member of AAC&U’s VALUE Project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) and serves annually as a faculty member in AAC& U's national Institutes on General Education and Assessment and Assessment in Engaged Departments; has served as a faculty member in the Carnegie Foundation's Integrated Learning Project; and teaches graduate-level seminars focused on assessment. Currently, she also serves as sole consultant to the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.

Review:

“The Assessment of Doctoral Education provides a snapshot of current research on the educational practices of the doctorate in the United States. Measures and practices trailed in the USA to improve the doctorate offer a valuable resource for others dealing with pressures to improve the quality of their doctoral programs.
The notion of assessment of doctoral programs can suggest a focus on metrics and through-put and out-put measures, such as completion rates. But this is not what this book is about. As a number of its contributor’s state, our understanding of doctoral candidate learning and the nature of the research experience, for example, is only beginning to take shape. Consequently, much of the research presented in this book is focused as much on understanding doctoral practices as their assessment.
While this book appears to be written with an internal [U.S.] audience in mind it is nonetheless useful for readers outside the USA, both in terms of gaining an insight into the research being conducted on doctoral education in that country as well as for informing research on doctoral programs beyond its shores. It is not only informative but useful, comprising a veritable treasure trove of strategies, assessment models and research findings. The book makes an informative addition to the growing body of literature on doctoral education.” (Quality Assurance in Education (Australia))

"Anyone associated with doctoral education should review this work and reflect on the discussions of program prestige and ways to ensure continuous quality improvement. The book also reprints some good surveys." (Library and Information Science Research)

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