Academic Affairs

Office of Academic Affairs
3307 Third Ave. W., Suite 102
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206-281-2125
Fax: 206-281-2115

Office of Academic Affairs



Assessment Bibliography

All titles listed here are available for departments to check out from the Office of Academic Affairs. To do so, please contact Cindy Price ( or Megan Swanson (

Palomba, Catherine A. & Trudy W. Banta. Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing and Improving Assessment in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999.

“Experts in the Field of assessment offer this comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the most current practices for developing assessment programs on college and university campuses. Assessment Essentials outlines the assessment process from the first to the last step and is filled with a wealth of illustrative examples to show how assessment is accomplished on today’s academic campuses. It is especially useful for faculty members and others who may be new to the assessment process. In clear, accessible language Catherine A. Palomba and Trudy W. Banta describe effective assessment programs and offer a thorough review of the most up-to-date practices in the field.

Each chapter of the book addresses a specific aspect of assessment and is designed to walk users through various steps of the assessment process. This comprehensive resource offers vital information on how to

  • Develop plans and goals that are right for the needs of an individual campus
  • Encourage involvement and support from students, faculty, alumni, and employers
  • Select useful methods and approaches
  • Use the most advantageous performance measures
  • Develop tests and classroom assignments
  • Choose appropriate surveys and focus groups
  • Accurately assess general education, campus environments, and student experiences
  • Effectively analyze, report and use the assessment results.”

Nichols, James O. The Departmental Guide and Record Book for Student Outcomes Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. 2nd ed. New York: Agathon Press, 1995.

Intended for the needs of the busy chairperson or administrator charged with leading the implementation process within an individual department or program, it includes a chapter on “closing the loop” to show use of results to improve academic and educational support programming.

Nichols, James O. Assessment Case Studies: Common Issues in Implementation with Various Campus Approaches to Resolution. New York: Agathon Press, 1995.

This third and most recent volume in the author’s series on assessment procedures reflects the rise in the number of institutions that have made comprehensive strides towards implementing such programs. The case studies presented here are based on in-depth experiences of eleven cooperating institutions: three major research universities, four primarily four-year colleges and universities, and four community colleges. A number of other institutions also contributed materials for the extensive appendices, which provide specific examples of intended educational outcomes, means of assessment, and criteria for success from a wide variety of disciplines and administrative departments.

Erwin, T. Dary. Assessing Student Learning and Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

As more academic administrators, faculty, and student affairs professionals respond to calls for student outcome assessment, an urgent need has arisen for a basic, how-to resource for assessing student’s academic and personal development. With this book, T. Dary Erwin provides a practical guide to designing and implementing strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of institutional programs and services.

In engaging, nontechnical language the author describes the key issues, strategies, terminology, and challenges in developing an assessment program within an academic department of a student affairs office. He offers step-by-step guidance for determining what is to be assessed and how to define program objectives. Erwin shows how to select reliable and valid existing assessment methods that best fit institutional needs and details how to design new assessment methods – including how to develop a blueprint for a method, write a multiple choice test item, and construct a rating scale or checklist.

Erwin presents strategies for collecting assessment information, such as whom to assess and how often, and examines the cost factors to consider when determining whether the benefits would justify the assessment, and he tells how to interpret what assessment analyses mean to the program. And he spells out ways to ensure the quality and reliability of data, effectively report conclusions derived from the data, and use assessment information as at tool for positive change at an institution.

Bean, John C. Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Critical thinking – and indeed all significant learning – originates in the learner’s grappling with problems. Consequently, designing interesting problems is on of the teacher’s chief tasks. In this book, John C. Bean integrates the critical thinking movement with the writing-across-the-curriculum movement to create a practical nuts-and-bolts guide to designing interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities. He shows how teachers from any discipline can incorporate these activities into their courses in a way that encourages inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate.

The book presents a wide variety of strategies of stimulating active learning and for coaching writing and critical thinking, offering teachers concrete advice on how to design courses, structure assignments, use class time, critique student performance, and model critical thinking themselves.

Walvoord, Barbara E. and Virginia Johnson Anderson. Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

The grading process can yield rich information about student learning. Effective grading enables faculty to go beyond using grades as isolated artifacts and helps them make classroom grading processes more fair, time-efficient, and conducive to learning. Classroom assessment of student learning can then contribute to departmental and general-educational assessment in ways that meets the needs of institutions and accrediting agencies.

Tailored to specific needs of faculty members who seek to make grading a valuable part of student learning and motivation, Effective Grading balances assessment theory and hands-on advice. It offers an in-depth examination of the link between teaching and grading and provides concrete guidance on such critical steps as setting and communicating grade standards, developing assignments to grade, managing time spent on grading, and providing feedback for students.

AAHE Assessment Forum. Learning Through Assessment: A Resource Guide for Higher Education. Ed. Lion F. Gardiner, Caitlin Anderson, and Barbara L. Cambridge. Washington, D.C.: American Association for Higher Education, 1997.

Ellis, Arthur K. Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Together: The Reflective Classroom. Larchmont: Eye On Education, 2001.

This book is filled with activities that will enable you to:

  • Keep your students active and engaged
  • Facilitate cooperative group projects without losing control
  • Raise academic achievement
  • Apply multiple intelligences in your classroom, and
  • Teach your students who to think.

These strategies involve reflection through writing, discussion, drawing, investigating, record keeping, and other activities. They ask your student to be active, engaged, responsible, and caring learners.

Diamond, Robert M. Designing and Assessing Courses and Curricula: A Practical Guide. Rev. ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

Designing and Assessing Courses and Curricula provides a model for this change. Written with the faculty member in mind, it responds to the questions of faculty who see the need for change, but are unsure of how to reach their goals. Tested and refined through long-term use and study, the model presented in this book shows how to move from concept to actualization, from theory to practice.

This book moves the focus of course design from content coverage to an emphasis on the learning process. While based in theory, the book is first and foremost a practical guide for faculty and administrators, showing how the design or redesign courses and curricula, the structures in which learning takes place.

Angelo, Thomas A. and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

How well are college students learning? How effectively are faculty teaching? Teachers themselves are the closest observers of learning as it takes place in their classrooms – and thus have the opportunity to become the most effective assessors and improvers of their own teaching. But in order for teaching to improve, teachers must first be able to discover when they are off course, how far off they are, and how to get back on the right track. In Classroom Assessment Techniques, Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross provide a practical handbook to help college faculty – and teachers in other settings – develop a better understanding of the learning process in their own classrooms and assess the impact of their teaching upon it.

Back to Resources