Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones.


The research study explored the degree of faculty utilization of assessment practices at the class, program, and institutional levels within the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension. Differences in assessment utilization among faculty of various ranks and disciplines were examined. Faculty perceptions of the benefits and challenges of implementing assessment were also investigated. A quantitative research approach guided the study, which utilized a 78-item survey. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analyses of variance, and analyses of variance were used to analyze the quantitative data. In addition to the survey instrument, a qualitative analysis of data was conducted with regard to learning outcomes and assessment instruments submitted by faculty.;Four specific elements of assessment served as the basis for investigating faculty utilization of assessment. The descriptive data revealed that faculty were utilizing a number of effective practices with regard to developing learning outcomes, designing assessment measures, creating learning experiences, and using the results of assessment. In terms of differences in utilization with regard to faculty discipline, the inferential statistics uncovered statistically significant differences in developing learning outcomes and using assessment measures. In terms of disparities in assessment utilization based on rank, no significant differences were found. The investigation of faculty perceptions revealed countless benefits of assessment as well as a number of challenges.;This study resulted in findings which could serve as catalysts for additional research endeavors in assessment of student learning in higher education. The results of the study should enable administrators and assessment leaders to develop more effective strategies for encouraging faculty involvement in assessment efforts. This in turn could lead to successful initiatives to improve educational programs as well as accountability efforts within institutions of higher education.