Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics contains 26 case studies offering lessons learned during a four year NSF-sponsored MAA project designed to support mathematicians and mathematics departments in the increasingly important challenge of assessing student learning. Three introductory essays set assessment in broader academic and national contexts: an appendix contains the 2005 revision of the CUPM Guidelines for Assessment of Student Learning.
Case studies deal primarily with coherent blocks of courses designed for particular purposes, e.g., general education, math-intensive majors, developmental education, quantitative literacy, teacher preparation, and mathematics majors. Institutions represented in the volume vary considerably in size, location, and mission.
Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics complements MAA's 1999 compendium Assessment Practices in Undergraduate Mathematics (Bonnie Gold, et al., editors). Whereas authors of chapters in the 1999 volume reported on assessment programs that had already been developed, most of the authors of chapters in the current volume started with little experience in assessment. These case studies illustrate the development of assessment programs in mathematics from the initial institutional needs to programs actively collecting and using data.
Consequently, these case studies are useful not just for the results achieved, but also to alert those starting assessment programs to the kinds of issues they will need to consider, the potential pitfalls along the way, and strategies for how these can be avoided. The range of solutions represented in these case studies offers readers a large variety of models to adapt to their own institutions' needs.