Over the past three decades or so, assessment professionals have come to embrace the importance of combining direct and indirect measures when building a comprehensive process for evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and learning enterprise. The results from surveys, focus groups, and other means of gathering the impressions of students, faculty, administrators, and external stakeholders typically draw the blueprints from which the questions and rubrics essential to direct structures emerge. Measures of actual rather than perceived performance, in turn, inform the design of subsequent indirect approaches. This interplay between the essential tools of assessment not only provides the information and analysis upon which all effective processes are built, but also generates the creative stimulation that makes the work of assessment so rewarding.
The articles featured in issue 6.1 of JAIE illustrate this symbiosis of assessment in imaginative ways. Peggy C. Holzweiss, Rebecca Bustamante, and Matthew B. Fuller study the views of higher education administrators toward the purpose of assessment and the effectiveness of assessment practices at their respective institutions. Mary Yakimowski and Mary Truxal suggest through a case study of their institution’s teacher education programs how colleges and universities might move beyond perception in demonstrating the impact of their graduates on learning in Pre-K-12 classrooms. Gary Blau and Darin Kapanjie explore the perceptions of students taking both online and face-to-face courses toward the comparative efficacy of these [End Page iv] two delivery systems. Ron Germaine and Lisa Rubel Spencer analyze the perceived value of an assessment effort in their academic department as it progressed over s seven-year period. Together, these authors inspire us to pursue the “art” of assessment, merging perception and performance to craft the kind of interactive pieces that can keep evolving and improving as process matches vision.
With the publication of JAIE 6.1, I am most pleased to welcome our journal’s incoming editor, Cathy Zeek. As director of the RoseMary B. Fuss Teaching and Learning Center and professor of education at Lasell College, Cathy brings exactly the depth of experience and expertise necessary to continue strengthening our journal’s contributions as a conveyer and shaper of assessment scholarship and practice. I wish her all the very best and look forward to our collaborative work on issue 6.2. The thanks I owe to Patrick Alexander, director of the Pennsylvania State University Press, Journals Manager Diana Pesek, and Journals Production Assistant Jessica Karp is immeasurable. I am indeed fortunate to have worked with such consummate professionals and wonderfully generous human beings. JAIE’s managing editor, Meredith Fletcher, with whom I also have the privilege of working at Castleton University, has carried the responsibilities of logistics and communication with typical good humor and attention to detail. Her efforts have defined the position for her successor as well. The trust and support of my colleagues on the New England Educational Assessment Network’s executive board have sustained and energized the endeavor of moving our journal forward over these past five years. A proper expression of my gratitude to them exceeds the extent of my vocabulary. [End Page v]