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Student-Focused Learning and Assessment

Involving Students in the Learning Process in Higher Education

Edited By Natasha A. Jankowski, Gianina R. Baker, Erick Montenegro and Karie Brown-Tess

This contributed volume explores institutional and programmatic policies and practices which actively engage students as partners in improving student learning. This entails an examination of the degree to which students are partners in the assessment and learning processes and the characteristics of these partnerships. This volume showcases student partnerships, as well as presents a history of institutional culture affecting student learning, the role of students in teaching and learning, and brings student voices and perspectives to bare through research from a variety of institutional types. Case studies, current programs and activities, and a model for culturally-responsive assessment are highlighted to better understand student-focused learning and assessment. Implications for faculty, staff, and administrators are questioned. Overall, this volume links research to practice, and offers faculty, practitioners, and administrators different forms and methods of including students, while keeping issues of equity in mind.

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About the Contributors


Dr. Robin D. Anderson is a Professor and Academic Unit Head for the Department of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University where she teaches Assessment Consultation, Research Methods, and Assessment and Public Policy. She also serves as Program Director for JMU’s Higher Education Specialist Online Graduate Certificate program. Her research areas include validity in higher education assessment and engineering educational research. In addition, Dr. Anderson is currently the Senior Associate Editor for the journal Research and Practice in Assessment (RPA). Previously, Dr. Anderson served as the Associate Director of JMU’s Center for Assessment and Research Studies and spent six-years as an assessment professional within the Virginia Community College System.

Dr. Gianina R. Baker, Assistant Director, provides support to the Director and is assisting with the development and maintenance of partnership networks under the Lumina Foundation for Education grant at NILOA. Her main research interests include student learning outcomes assessment at Minority Serving Institutions, access and equity issues for underrepresented administrators and students, and higher education policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Organization & Leadership with a Higher Education concentration from the University of Illinois, a M.A. in Human Development Counseling from Saint Louis University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University. Previous to this position, she was the Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Planning at Richland Community College.

Aurora Berger is a Los Angeles based artist and educator. She received a BFA in Visual Arts and BA in Art Education from...

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