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Updated Resources to Connect Assessment with Theory

Spring blooms frame the Bellower on a warm March day. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

DASA faculty and staff value connecting their assessment work to theory and research. Yet time constraints and the sheer volume of literature can make it difficult to keep up to date on current research and assessment methodologies. DASA Assessment provides online resources to give you a jump start on your assessment and theory research.

The DASA Assessment website Resources page offers “theory sheets” summarizing major bodies of literature and associated measures for selected student success topics.  Each theory sheet provides a list of research articles and seminal papers on the relevant topic. Over the past academic year, DASA Assessment has updated these theory sheet resources to include current literature and measures for the following assessment topics: 

  • Civic Engagement
  • Cultural Competence 
  • Goal Setting
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving
  • Sense of Community

High quality teaching and assessment are grounded in theory and research. There are several ways to effectively connect teaching and assessment to theory and research: 

  • Use specific parts of a theory to write unit outcomes
  • Use theory to support the inclusion of specific outcomes in designing curricula
  • Use theory as criteria to teach to and systematically measure outcomes
  • Use theory to help interpret assessment results

Integrating theory into your assessment may provide additional weight to the results of your assessment activities. DASA Assessment staff are available to discuss how to connect any of these theories to your assessment efforts and take suggestions for any additional theory sheets you would like to see created.