Manias, Pathologies, and Alternative Approaches to Assessment: A Response to Doubting Assessors

The recent article, "Assessmania' and 'Bureaupathology' in Higher Education" by Thomas R. McDaniel (Academic Leader, June 2006) opens with "This is not a rant," followed by a claim that he recognizes the importance of "assessment and - bureaucratic efficiencies." In the remainder of the article, however, he seems to challenge that importance as he clusters three sets of questions about the reality of the need for assessment, the resources required, and the usefulness of the outcomes. In this article, I'd like to offer a response that moves beyond the standard defense of assessment toward offering a couple of insights on those "bureaucratic efficiencies."

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