Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: The Assessment of Doctoral Education

The book The Assessment of Doctoral Education by Peggy Maki and Nancy Borkowski offers insight into the modern Doctoral education and common methods of assessment and evaluation. The work moves into significant detail on a number of topics that include New Models of Assessment of Doctoral Programs and Emerging Assessment of Student Learning. Through this book, readers should come to understand the overall assessment process and growing trends in the modern educational process. 

The book lists the following trends administrators should expect:

-Increase in accountability through accreditation process, assessment and state money, and assessment responsibilities.

-Increase in diversification of education through assessment of individual students, core-competencies, and degree integrity.

-Student-centered learning that focuses on value-added, technology incorporation, and campus cultural assessments. 

The book indicates that there will be a number of difficulties associated with assessment and change. Some of the difficulties will be to change college culture. Many state universities have traditions, union rules, and other issues that may make it difficult to change people’s minds about assessment.  Changing culture can be difficult and requires a concerted effort from all of the parties involved. 

One of the largest criteria that universities will need to focus on is student readiness to take positions in their chosen fields. All of the assessments seem to focus in at least a tertiary way on this overall concept. How colleges do this is more of an open question. A broad education has its advantages in terms of opening students to new experiences and understandings while focused career education is more efficient but can leave students limited in their general knowledge for periods when a career change is needed. 

The book is well researched and comes with a host of citations and references. The work will provide a strong understanding of assessment processes and possible future trends. The work is a little occupationally focused and technical so it is not likely to be fun reading. Yet the typical person to buy this book is more interested in understanding the behind the scenes process of evaluting doctoral education. 

Maki, P & Borkowski, N. (2006). The Assessment of Doctoral Education. VA: Stylus Publishing ISBN: 978-1579221799
Pages: Approximately 260
Price: $24

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