Assessing Student Learning

Veronica Thomas , Ph.D.

March 22, 2006


Long before the “accountability movement” gathered steam across the U.S., Dr. Veronica Thomas was preaching the importance of assessing student learning. “If there’s no learning, there’s no teaching,” she explains. “You’re just talking.” So how can teachers assess student learning? Dr. Thomas can show them how.

A professor of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Dr. Thomas is an expert on assessment, especially culturally responsive evaluations. At Howard’s School of Education, she has taught numerous courses on assessment, courses such as “Evaluation Theory and Practice,” “Evaluation Methodology,” and “Introduction to Educational Research.” Meanwhile, at Howard’s Leadership Academy, she has taught the popular “Outcomes Assessment” workshop for faculty and staff. She has also served as an evaluation consultant or trainer for other organizations, including the National Council on Community and Education Partnerships, Council of Graduate Schools’ Preparing Future Faculty Program, District of Columbia Public Schools’ HIV/AIDS Education Program, and the Minority Graduate Education Program.

Dr. Thomas’s research interests include not only assessment but also the well-being of Black women and girls and the academic and socio-emotional development of youths placed at risk. Currently, she is Principal Investigator of the Howard University Evaluation Training Institute, funded by the National Science Foundation, and the former Co-Principal Investigator of the Secondary School Project at Howard University’s Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR). As a result of her research, she has authored or co-authored work in publications such as New Directions for Evaluation, Adolescence, Educational Leadership, Journal of Adult Development, Review of Research in Education, Journal of Negro Education, Family Relations, Journal of Black Psychology, Sex Roles, Journal of Social Psychology, Women and Health, and the Journal of the National Medical Association. An active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS), she currently serves on the APA Division 35 Committee on Women in Psychology and the board of the EERS.

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