Making Sense of Assessment

Making Sense of Assessment

Business school administrators have so much on their plates already, with budgets, fund raising, curriculum revisions, accreditation, and more. Adding yet another significant task can seem overwhelming. Yet learning assessment could well be as important to a school’s operations as the other activities combined. After all, learning assessment and assurance of learning represent a central tenet of a business school’s mission: making certain that students have learned what they need to make valuable contributions to business.

In this issue of BizEd, we present a variety of perspectives on the planning, design, and implementation challenges a business school faces when designing an effective assessment plan. How can a school involve all of its faculty members in the process? What does it take to get a complete picture of student learning? In what ways can student learning be measured? How often should schools test their students, what tests should they use—and when is testing not enough? We hear views on these questions from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island; Indiana University Northwest in Gary; the International University of Monaco; Erasmus University in The Netherlands; and the Graduate Management Admission Council in McLean, Virginia.

Setting assessment policies and procedures might be among the most detailed tasks administrators will tackle. But the educators here emphasize that, once in place, effective assessment can enhance learning, enrich teaching, and actually save time and effort in the long run. In the following section, they share advice, experiences, and insights in an effort to ease the way for other schools currently planning, developing, or refining their own assessment plans