Assessment of College-Level Communication Programs

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Book Chapter

Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date



When done well, assessment can be a powerful force for positive change in the educational process. This chapter details the components of effective assessment of communication programs. Beginning with the background of assessment and its role and purpose, the chapter describes the place of assessment in student learning and its goal of improving the educational product delivered to students. Assessment is also at time confused with similar concepts, so the chapter compares and contrasts accreditation, accountability, and program review with assessment. The chapter then covers the tools and essential steps un developing an effective assessment. As communication has unique aspects not found in other disciplines, the chapter addresses these unique dimensions and gives advice on factoring them into the assessment process. Each of the typical assessment tools is described along with the issues of validity, reliability, and bias. Finally, the chapter describes the challenges to effective assessment including faculty resistance. The information in this chapter can help departments develop an assessment program that improves the quality of instruction they deliver to students.


This chapter was originally published in Communication and Learning. The full-text chapter from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston 2016