Perceptions of College Faculty Regarding Outcomes Assessment, 13(2)


  • Heath Marrs


The perceptions of college faculty regarding outcomes assessment were explored using a qualitative interview research approach. Three faculty members at a liberal arts college in the United States were interviewed about their understandings, reactions to, and concerns regarding the assessment movement. Faculty members differed in their understandings of assessment and articulated a number of concerns with the current emphasis towards implementing assessment in higher education. Faculty understood assessment to be a primarily quantitative endeavor and a means of accountability as well a process of identifying learning objectives. In addition, faculty expressed resistance to the idea of assessment and perceived it to be a distraction rather than an important aspect of the teaching-learning process. Some faculty thought that the growing importance of outcomes assessment was indicative of a lack of trust in the ability of faculty to competently perform their duties. Implications of these findings for engaging faculty in the assessment process are discussed.