Contends that the resources/reputation approach, which uses proxy variables to measure university quality, and the alumni outcomes approach, which may simply reflect institutional recruitment practices, are fundamentally flawed. Maintains that the effective educational practices approach is a major step forward; suggests that a combination of the methods may provide the best picture of institutional quality.
College Outcomes Assessment, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Evaluation Methods, Undergraduate Study
This opinion piece questions the value of national ranking systems and proposes alternative ways that colleges and universities can be evaluated for public consumption. This is of high importance given 1) more schools are trying to provide a high-quality education given: 1a) there are increased public calls for school accountability as college prices continue to rise and 2) the current ranking system by national magazines provide surface-level evaluations based on ill-placed values. primarily, the author points to magazines’ resources plus exclusivity equals high quality education.
Instead of basing schools’ educational quality on the current values, the author wants to measure empirical, educationally-related data to decide rankings. This includes measurements such as “effective practices.” However, in order to have accurate measurements, the author wants exceedingly high response rates (70%-80%). However, the author is also careful to note that people should be cautious to make too many comparisons between schools as schools’ environments place different values on different aspects of the educational and student experience even if both claim to be “liberal arts colleges” or “research-driven universities.”
Pascarella, E. T. (2001). Identifying Excellence in Undergraduate Education Are We Even Close?. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 33(3), 18-23.
|Links to Article||https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=5%2C50&sciodt=0%2C50&cites=12450751353150686698&scipsc=&q=Identifying+excellence+in+undergraduate+education&btnG=
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning|
|Type of Research||Critical or postmodern|
|Intervention/Areas of Study||Engagement|
|Level of Analysis||Other|
|Specific Populations Examined||Other|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics|
|Outcome Variables of Interest||Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades|
|Student Sample Size|