The authors provide context for the three articles in the special section of this issue of Teaching Sociology on the topic of assessment. They provide a brief discussion of assessment in higher education today, supported by research conducted by the American Sociological Association from a survey of department chairs. These data indicate that most sociology departments are in fact conducting some form of assessment, although faculty members often are critical of these activities. The authors argue that sociologists are well situated to play a major role in carrying out assessment plans by virtue of their disciplinary training and skills in analyzing data. Further, the authors appeal to readers of Teaching Sociology that assessment and the scholarship of teaching and learning are inextricably linked and that it requires only a small step from conducting research on the scholarship of teaching and learning to doing assessment.
- scholarship of teaching and learning