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CTE - Assessment Workbook

This guide provides information, resources, and templates for assessing student learning outcomes at Central Penn College.


A culture of assessment for an institution of higher education can be defined as a

  • commitment to continuous improvement through assessment at all levels of the institution.
  • understanding of assessment, assessment processes, and assessment practices by all members of the institution.
  • consistent, systematic, and practical use of assessment at all levels of the institution.
  • complete integration of assessment practices and processes at all levels of the institution.
  • use of assessment data to drive decisions at all levels of the institution.


The following resources provide additional insight into the ongoing and evolving conversation regarding establishing and maintaining a culture of assessment in institutions and departments.


Deffenbacher, K. (2011). "Faculty Forum: Assessment Metaphors We Live By." Academe.  AAUP. 

The article reviews the metaphors used by institutions and their constituents to describe assessment practices and the impact these metaphors have on the institutional assessment process.  In particular, the author notes that these metaphors mimic the institutional hierarchical structure, which can already be fraught with tension.  The author provides recommendations for improving the meta-critical conversation surrounding assessment.


Fuller, M. B. (2013).  "An Empirical Study of Cultures of Assessment in Higher Education." NCPEA Education Leadership Review, Vol. 14, No. 1– March 2013.

This article reviews The Survey of Assessment Culture tool that was developed to review and assess cultures of assessment.  The author reviews the tool, its methodology, and its uses within higher education assessment cycles and provides those administrators engaging in assessment with some further discussion for their institutions.  


Fusch, D. (2009). "Creating a Culture of Assessment." Higher Ed Impact. Academic Impressions. 

This article reacts to the conclusions from the Learning Outcomes Assessment report, which discussed some of the issues institutions were having with using assessment results to continuously improve learning.  The author provides three concrete recommendations for dealing with institutional and departmental barriers to engaging fully in the assessment process.  


Hutchings, P. (2010). Opening Doors to Faculty Involvement in Assessment. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 

This occasional paper presents the importance of faculty involvement in the assessment process and discusses some of the challenges and obstacles to that involvement.  The author provides six recommendations to improving faculty involvement: building assessment around the ongoing work of teaching and learning, including assessment discussions in faculty development, building assessment into graduate programs, reframing assessment as scholarship, creating campus-wide conversations about assessment, and involving students.     

Moltz, D. (2009). "A Culture of Assessment." Inside Higher Ed.  

This article provides a case study of assessment culture from Hofstra University.  Specifically, the case study reviews the importance of student surveys as a tool for assessment and the role of student services in a successful assessment process.  


Moore, C., P. O’Neill, & B. Huot. (2009). "Creating a Culture of Assessment in Writing Programs and Beyond."  CCC. 61:1. 

The article reviews the way the writing cycle functions as a model for institutional assessment and develops a framework for establishing and maintaining the process.  The authors analyze the role of writing faculty and writing administration in large-scale assessment cycles as well as the historical and theoretical implications of such as a process.   


Weiner, W. F. (2009). "Establishing a Culture of Assessment: Fifteen elements of assessment success—how many does your campus have?Academe. AAUP. 

This article offers a practical framework for determining an institution's progress towards a culture of assessment.  The author provides a helpful definition of a culture of assessment as well as fifteen defining elements of such a culture.