This study examines how a state system of higher education, located in the Rocky Mountains area of the United States, allowed faculty members from the state’s public institutions of higher education to control the design and implementation of a pilot assessment of statewide general education courses. One of the primary reasons faculty were allowed to control the assessment process was to assuage the commonly held fear by faculty, academic departments, and institutions that they could be punished for the poor assessment results of their students who took the pilot assessment. An important conclusion of this study is that the promise of anonymity, given by the state board of regents (and tacitly by the legislature) to individual faculty members, academic departments, and institutions, was essential to the success of the assessment process.
Kramer, P. I. (2006). Assessment and the Fear of Punishment: How the Protection of Anonymity Positively Influenced the Design and Outcomes of Postsecondary Assessment. Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 31(5), 597-609.