Assessment Policy: A Stepping Stone to Quality Learning in Higher Education

By Nora Nasir, Ainol Madziah Zubairi and Sahari Nordin.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

To position student learning as the centerpiece of academic endeavor, a government-funded university in Malaysia has devised a strategy to develop, implement, and improve university-wide assessment policy and standards. The primary aim of the policy is to enable a balanced practice of assessment of, and for, learning (Stiggins, 2002). The authors of this paper examined the effects of the internally-initiated policy on faculty’s acceptance, expectation, and curriculum and assessment planning.

A series of workshops were conducted for the faculty to self-evaluate the prevailing assessment practice, and to articulate the details of the policy, which include standard practices of assessment. Thus far a total of 180 faculty members, a majority of them were senior professors have been involved in the process. To elicit the participants’ reactions and responses, the researchers used focus group discussions and structured questionnaire. The effects of the intervention were assessed on the bases of individual interviews, presentations of the group work, and the assessment plan that the participants produced during the workshops.

The policy intervention yielded promising results. The data clearly supported the argument that university-wide consultative and collaborative efforts are more likely to yield encouraging outcomes; the program providers appeared committed to involve a wider range of faculty members in the process of cascading and trickling down the university-wide policy and standards. Surprisingly, however, the study found that by and large the faculty urgently needed to make sense of the constructs “learning outcomes” of a program and courses. In addition, the analysis on the assessment plans produced discernable patterns of shift from a content-oriented assessment to student-centered assessment.

Keywords: Assessment, Assessment Policy, Student Learning, Higher Education, Educational Management, Organizational Change

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp.47-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.223MB).

Dr Nora Nasir

International Islamic University, Malaysia, Malaysia

Dr Ainol Madziah Zubairi

International Islamic University of Malaysia, Malaysia

Prof. Sahari Nordin

Dean of Admissions and Records Division, Admissions and Records Division, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia


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