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White Papers

Measuring Learning Success

April 01, 2014


Across the country, the role of assessment and approaches to measuring learning success are changing as education leaders reset goals, standards, curriculum and pedagogy to improve student outcomes. Recognizing traditional approaches to assessment are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of today’s learners (see the sidebar “Old School” Assessment on page 7), K-12 and higher education leaders are adopting new strategies and technologies to measure student success. While test taking and summative assessments are still part of the academic year, the focus is shifting to tools and approaches that allow authentic, ongoing measurement, provide relevant feedback to students and educators, and help inform and personalize instructional practices. In this new paradigm, assessment encompasses much more than just accountability.

In a Center for Digital Education (CDE) survey of approximately 100 IT and curriculum leaders in K-12 and higher education conducted for this report,1 94 percent of respondents said measuring learning success was a top priority for their institution. In an open-ended question, individual respondents tended to cite either student-centered reasons for measuring learning success (e.g., to inform instruction, personalize learning and improve retention rates) or accountability centered reasons (e.g., to maintain accreditation and institutional ranking, and justify funding).

This CDE Special Report highlights more of this survey data and sheds light on the ways in which education leaders are accessing and utilizing learning measurement tools to improve student and instructor success.

White Paper Contents

  • The Changing Role of Assessment: From Accountability to Facilitation
  • Trends and Opportunities
  • Advice from the Experts
  • The Emerging Game Changes
  • Maintaining and Measuring Instructor Success
  • Paving the Way
  • Moving Forward


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