, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 201-228
Date: 29 Nov 2011

The Use of Learner-Centered Assessment in US Colleges and Universities

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Abstract

Over a decade ago, Barr and Tagg (Change Mag 27(6):12–25, 1995) declared that a shift had occurred in higher education from an instruction paradigm to a learning paradigm. A central element in this new paradigm is learner-centered assessment. While a growing body of literature suggests that this approach to assessment is a best practice in higher education pedagogy, it is still unclear whether faculty members have embraced it fully. Using data from the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, this study examines the extent to which faculty members employed learner-centered assessments in postsecondary classrooms at two points in time, 1993 and 2004. Findings show similar to higher rates of use for some assessment techniques in 2004 compared to reports from 1993, as well as differences by faculty gender, age, discipline, and institution type. Implications for faculty members, student learning, and institutional policy are discussed.