Examples of Assessment by Institution

MIT: The Dean for Undergraduate Education (DUE) is charged with promoting education across the Institute. DUE has two funds (D'Arbeloff and Alumni) to support cross-cutting educational innovation. The D'Arbeloff fund is used to support interdisciplinary educational innovation often involving several departments and many faculty. The Alumni Fund supports smaller scale innovations by a single faculty member. Resources from both funds are accessible by faculty in all schools. The underlying idea is that the funds will support innovations that the departments might not want to support since they don't know the effectiveness of the innovation. Thus it is critically important to assess the impact and value of the proposal. All proposals to the funds must outline how they will undertake assessment. In the case of the D'Arbeloff fund, ten percent of the proposal award is set aside for professionals in the Teaching and Learning Lab to work with the faculty to develop appropriate assessment tools. For the Alumni Fund, the faculty are all asked to report at an annual workshop for MIT faculty and representatives of the sponsoring alumni classes.


These arrangements build assessment into the work from the beginning and have been instrumental in persuading departments to pick up the innovations when the DUE funds ended. This happens after one or two years depending on the proposal. The Physics course Teaching Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) was funded this way. Pre- and post-exams that tested conceptual knowledge showed significantly better results compared with traditional methods of teaching freshman physics.                                               


Massachusetts Institute of Technology