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 exploring, developing, sharing, adapting, and implementing new practices to assess their programs, students' learning, and students' perceptions of their learning. 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 representative examples of new program- and student-level assessment practices that are being adopted. The book encourages faculty and academic leaders to reconsider the process and to formulate new questions to inquire into the efficacy of educational practices and traditions, such as the dissertation, that have historically led to the confirmation of the highest degree awarded across our higher education institutions. 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. The ideas and practices described here will 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. What also emerges from this study is the importance of listening and responding to graduate students as they progress through their studies and as they reflect on the relevance of their studies once they have graduated. It suggests new strategies to orient and support doctoral students in their educational journeys.

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Stylus Publishing
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