Artifacts of Expansive Learning in Designing a Web-Based Performance Assessment System: Institutional Effects of the Emergent Evaluative State of Educational Leadership Preparation in the United States

Artifacts of Expansive Learning in Designing a Web-Based Performance Assessment System: Institutional Effects of the Emergent Evaluative State of Educational Leadership Preparation in the United States

Hanne Mawhinney (University of Maryland College Park, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch218

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Introduction

In the context of recent global economic volatility, many institutions of higher education (IHE) around the world are adapting to two significant trends of the past decade: 1) a turn to regulation and accountability (King, 2007, Shin & Harmon, 2009), and 2) technology-based socioeconomic and institutional changes (Dolata, 2009, Hage & Meuus, 2006). These two trends have had particular import for IHE that contribute to the preparation of professionals by offering programs of study leading to certification to meet the standards set by external accrediting bodies.

The first of these trends, the turn to regulation was evident over a decade ago. In an article documenting the changing face of accountability in higher education internationally that was leading to a new focus on monitoring and assessing institutional performance, Alexander (2000) observed

A new economic motivation is driving states to redefine relationships by pressuring institutions to become more accountable, more efficient, and more productive in the use of publicly generated resources. Earlier attempts by states to measure institutional efficiency and performance have generally been met with passive resistance or benign neglect in academic circles. Although this trend still prevails, an increasing number of educational leaders are now exhibiting awareness that the status quo is no longer a viable option for higher education. (p. 411)

As the millennium approached the accountability movement inundating many Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations at that time was “premised on the perception that traditional measures of institutional performance and effectiveness such as peer review and market choice” were not sufficient indicators of institutional value (p. 414). This shift had its roots in the previous decade when governments in OECD nations across the globe became interested in performance funding and budgeting for higher education (Brennan & Shah, 2000; Burke & Serban, 1997; El-Khawas & Massey, 1996; Jongbloed & Koelman, 1996; Layzell, 1998; Peters, 1992; Piper & Issacs, 1992).

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