Featured Website: James Madison University
James Madison University’s Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) is a one stop shop for its assessment resources. According to its website, it provides a variety of services including quality assessment service to the university, applied graduate training in both assessment and measurement, increased use of innovative technology in assessment practice, and quality scholarship in assessment and measurement. Assessment support is provided to students, staff and faculty through several different means. An Assessment Advisory Council is charged with reviewing and offering suggestions to improve assessment procedures and practices on campus. Its Program Assessment Support Service offers assistance with program assessment, program review and accreditation for faculty. Assessment days are coordinated semi-annually so that all students participate in various assessments in order to improve student learning on campus.
Several resources are provided to assist in the campuses’ assessment efforts. JMU assesses of all of its students at four points throughout the students matriculation including: 1) Freshman Summer Orientation; 2) Mid-Undergraduate Assessment in February; 3) Graduating Senior Assessment; and 4) Alumni Surveys. Assessments used during these four points include an Information Literacy Test, Quantitative Reasoning Test, and Test of Oral Communication Skills, which are managed through Madison Assessments. Faculty awards are presented annually as well as at a JMU Assessment Fellows Program in which selected faculty work on various assessment projects for the CARS office as well as their departments. JMU is also one of a few institutions which offer graduate programs in assessment. These include a Doctoral Program in Assessment and Measurement, Masters Concentration in Quantitative Methods (Assessment, Measurement, and Statistics), and Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Assessment. Additional assessment resourcesinclude instruments on student motivation, rubrics, podcasts on topics in higher education assessment, a glossary on assessment terms, and tips on creating an effective assessment program.
For its various communication methods, creativity regarding how assessment is conducted on campus, and all of its assessment resources centrally located, JMU’s CARS is August’s Featured Website.