Assessment at Ferris State University

Dear Colleagues:

When done well, learning assessment will advance learners’ achievements.  That’s why Ferris is committed to expanding our knowledge of good assessment practice and our implementation of a comprehensive, value-adding assessment system.

Today, much more is known about how learning can be designed to assure greater success.  Ferris has many experts in this arena who are available to share with you what they have learned from directly linking intended learning outcomes to relevant, valid, and reliable assessment strategies.  Assessment means much more than testing or grading.  Assessment is not an add-on to instruction but is in fact integral to effective instructional design.  Regardless of the instructional design model you embrace, each should encompass these characteristics:

  • Assessing learning needs (the discipline or industry’s expectations)
  • Assessing learners’ needs (the student’s needs)
  • Specifying outcomes
  • Designing instruction
  • Providing practice and feedback opportunities so learners may acquire intended learning
  • Evaluating (or assessing) learners’ performance
  • Evaluating (or assessing) instructional effectiveness
  • Adapting/Improving instruction to enhance outcomes

Ferris is compelled (both ethically and politically) to respond to the changing expectations for our graduates, with the increasing global and career complexity, and as the calls for accountability have accelerated.  We must assure that our students get the best education we can provide, and we must be able to document that success for various stakeholders.  We must also assist students to articulate and demonstrate the capabilities they have as they leave our programs.

We all have something to learn on this journey.  Some of us were not introduced to instructional theory in our college experiences.  Others may benefit from updating their expertise in these emerging educational areas, as assessment practice informs improved teaching and learning and new "best practices."  As a place that teaches our students about adapting to change and continuously improving, we must become models for lifelong learning.

The Office of Academic Affairs is committed to helping you to help your students by providing support in professional development and engaging the campus in dialogues about how we collectively and individually enhance the difference we can make for the thousands of students and their parents who trust us to serve them well.

Please join us on the journey and share with us your discoveries along the way.  Your ideas are always welcomed.

Sharing your interests,

Robbie Teahen
Associate Provost

last updated: Jan. 24, 2011