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Matt Serra, Director of the Office of Assessment at Duke University, argues for a multi-methods approach. He says, "I do what I call 'triangulations.' I bring two or three measures to bear on a specific issue. If they point in the same direction, fine. But if they don't, I figure out why. We use direct and indirect measures to get at everything. We don't rely on either one or the other. And we don't try everything every year." (Assessing College Student Learning: Evaluating Alternative Models, Using Multiple Methods, 31)
Lee S. Shulman, former president of the Carenegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has counseled that a wise assessment plan will "intentionally employ an array of instruments that will constitute a 'union of insufficiencies.' It is dangerous to permit highly consequential decisions of policy and practice to rest on the results of a single instrument, however carefully it has been field-tested and ostensibly validated." ("Counting and Recounting: Assessment and the Quest for Accountability." Change (January/February) 2007, 24.)
In a similar vein, Peggy Maki says that "Relying on one method to assess the learning described in outcome statements restricts interpretations of student achievement within the universe of that method. Using multiple methods to assess the learning expressed in an outcome is advantageous in several ways:
(Assessing for Learning, 156-157)
Maki lists the following methods as examples:
All of the methods in Maki's list could be used as embedded assessments. More information on that approach here.
The Disciplinary Assessment page from SUNY Albany lists assesment practices for