The Assessment for Social Justice Project

CAS President Gavin Henning introduces the Assessment for Social Justice Project and describes resources and tools for higher education professionals seeking to expand the impact of their assessment efforts.
The Assessment for Social Justice Project
In this blog post, I wanted to provide an overview of an exciting collaborative project that CAS is co-leading. The Assessment for Social Justice Project is an endeavor to expand the impact of assessment in higher education. Traditionally, assessment has been an activity to measure learning and effectiveness as well as identify opportunities for improvement. But, approaching assessment with a critical theory and poststructuralism lens opens up new opportunities for assessment practice to foster equity and inclusion.
This concept emerged from a session on bias-free assessment that I was invited to co-present with Anne Lundquist, Assistant Vice President for Campus Adoption, at Campus Labs for the ACPA19 Convention in Houston, in March. Based on the ACPA, presentation and the Montenegro and Jankowski 2018 NILOA publication entitled Equity and Assessment: Moving Towards Culturally Responsive Assessment, we expanded the idea of bias-free assessment to culturally-responsive assessment and extended that further based on a chapter I wrote for the forthcoming 2nd edition of Contested Issues in Higher Education by Magolda, Baxter-Magolda, and Carducci. The result was a continuum for assessment with five components that fosters equity and inclusion. The components are:

- Bias-free assessment
- Culturally responsive assessment
- Socially just assessment
- Deconstructed assessment
- Assessment for social justice

The initial vision was to create a series of webinars and podcasts for content delivery and discussion of the model and then partner with higher education associations to explore how assessment practice across higher education can support equity and inclusion. The podcasts will launch in the fall and you can view the recorded webinars here:
There are a number of associations interested in collaborating to further assessment for equity and inclusion. With CAS and Campus Labs as co-leaders, other partnering associations include: Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL), NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community, NASPA Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Division, ACPA Commission for Assessment and Evaluation, ACPA Commission for Social Justice Educators, Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS), the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE), the National Institution for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).
I am excited about this project and its potential to transform assessment practice in higher education. Stay tuned!