It has long been agreed that the evaluation of instructional programs should be undertaken at more than one point in time. Typically, however, such evaluation is done at the termination of a course or program in order to determine to what extent objectives have been achieved. Occasionally, to be sure, evaluations are conducted during the sequence of instruction in the attempt to monitor the progress toward meeting instructional objectives. (Both of these forms of evaluation, summative and formative respectively, assume that initial objectives have, in fact, been established - but that issue is not central to this discussion.) On the other hand, little effort has gone into the attempt to assess the impact of instruction after students have graduated. Desirable as such impact assessment might be, it is thought to be difficult, awkward, and probably somewhat redundant and unnecessary, given the immediate demands on instructors. We must assume, after all, that if course objectives have been met and degrees granted, the instructors have done their job. And if succeeding cohorts of students keep demanding our courses and degrees, we must be doing most things (especially our teaching) right.
undergraduate programs, evaluating