Assessing Communication Education
A Handbook for Media, Speech, and Theatre Educators
Designed as a handbook, this text provides media, speech (public speaking, interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication), and theatre educators with both the theoretical and practical ammunition to fight the assessment battles on their campuses. The philosophical implications of accountability are balanced with concrete, specific, and usable assessment strategies. Stressing student, faculty, course, program, department, and institutional assessment, this book's aim is to provide, in one place, information that will help diverse and complex communication programs face the growing challenges in assessment.
The book is divided into three sections: background and foundational information for assessment; broad assessment strategies that apply to a variety of media, "speech," and theatre courses and programs; and context-specific assessment strategies. While covering a host of topics, it:
* provides an overview of assessment and suggests how it might impact communication education,
* discusses the elements of program assessment and how linkage of mission statements with outcomes can lead to strong, innovative programs,
* compares and contrasts regional association requirements and presents a specific how-to strategy for writing outcome statements,
* discusses teaching evaluation and argues that we need to identify the "what" of teaching before we try to measure the "how,"
* looks at creative ways for formative and summative course evaluation that starts with the creation of an explicit syllabus,
* discusses the use of capstone courses as a way of evaluating not only their major but also how students have integrated their "total" educational experience,
* suggests the variety of ways that interpersonal communication can be assessed and calls for future research that stresses the "knowledge" component of learning,
* reports on a strategy for developing small group communication assessment measures, and
* provides media, speech, and theatre faculty and administrators with the background, understanding and tools to build stonger programs and develop better courses and educational experiences for their students.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Part I: Background. J. Rosenbaum, Assessment: An Overview. W.G. Christ, R.O. Blanchard, Mission Statements, Outcomes, and the New Liberal Arts. T. Allison, Regional Association Requirements and the Development of Outcomes Statements. Part II: Broad Assessment Strategies. W.J. Potter, Teaching Evaluation. D.E. Tucker, Course Evaluation. P.B. Orlik, Student Portfolios. R.C. Moore, The Capstone Course. V.E. Limburg, Internships, Exit Interviews, and Advisory Boards. Part III: Context-Specific Assessment Strategies. Section 1: Speech Education. P.M. Backlund, Oral Communication Assessment: An Overview. S.P. Morreale, Public Speaking. E.A. Hay, Interpersonal Communication. S.A. Beebe, J.K. Barge, Small Group Communication. P. Shockley-Zalabak, R. Hulbert-Johnson, Organizational Communication. Section 2: Theatre Education. M. Malinauskas, G.T. Hunt, Assessment in Theatre Programs. Section 3: Media Education. J.E. Arnold, Using Accreditation for Assessment. S.T. Eastman, Exit Examinations for the Media Major.
"Anyone considering the addition of programs and requirements would find this book a useful step-by-step guide. The book covers almost every ground with appendices, activities, checklists, and selected resources for use. Anyone who needs advice and information for a curriculum change, and accreditation visit, or a general refinement will find this book a valuable source."
—Journalism and Mass Communication Educator
"This volume contains everything you ever wanted to know about outcomes assessment...and more. Part I examines outcomes assessment in terms of mission statements, accrediting associations, teaching evaluation, course evaluation, student portfolios, capstone courses, exit interviews, internships, and advisory boards. Part II describes assessment scales and methods in specific oral communication areas: public speaking evaluation, interpersonal skills, small group effectiveness, organizational communication competence, assessment in theatre, journalism accreditation, and media majors' exit exams. There's something for everyone. This is the sort of handbook your department chair should have read five years ago, and one that you'll want to keep near your desk for reference purposes. It's also the type of book that your colleagues will want to borrow once they find out you own it, so it's best to order one for the library as well."
Kent State University
"...a useful introduction to the general history and debates about assessment. It offers a good deal of specific advice about how to evaluate courses, teaching and other program elements. It also gives guidance in how to apply asessment measures in different communication specialties, particularly in speech and theatre."
—Willard D. Rowland, Jr.
University of Colorado, Boulder