Colleges Back Away From Using Tests to Assess Student Learning

Colleges Back Away From Using Tests to Assess Student Learning 1

Daniel Johnson for The Chronicle

Tests of student learning, like this one being administered at Northwest Missouri State U., 
increasingly “lack credibility and acceptance” among many colleges, says one expert in the field.

It wasn't long ago that standardized tests were ascendant in higher education.

Feeling pressure from federal policy makers and the public to demonstrate rigor in their courses, colleges turned to the tests as seemingly objective measures of quality and what students are learning.

Consumer-oriented websites sprang up. College presidents pledged to be upfront about their students’ performance on such tests. A widely cited book relied on standardized tests to support its