Mission

The goal of Research & Practice in Assessment is to serve the assessment community as an online journal focusing on higher education assessment.  It is dedicated to the advancement of scholarly discussion amongst researchers and practitioners in this evolving field.  The journal originated from the Board of the Virginia Assessment Group, one of the oldest continuing professional higher education assessment organizations in the United States.  Research & Practice in Assessment is a peer-reviewed publication that uses a double-blind review process.  Approximately forty percent of submissions are accepted for issues that are published twice annually. Research & Practice in Assessment is listed in Cabell’s Directory and indexed by EBSCO, ERIC, Gale, Google Scholar, and ProQuest.

Timeline

2015
December Volume 10 Winter Published
June Volume 10 Summer Published
February RPA archives indexed in ERIC
2014
November Fourth RPA Editor Begins
November Volume 9 Winter: Big Data & Learning Analytics Published
June Volume 9 Summer: Qualitative Methods Published
2013
November Volume 8 Winter: Student Affairs Assessment Published
June Volume 8 Summer: MOOCs & Technology Published
May Social Media Options Added
April RPA Archives Indexed in EBSCO, Gale, ProQuest and Google Scholar
2012
November Volume 7 Winter Published
July Volume 7 Summer Published
June RPA Launches new website
April Editorial and Review Boards Differentiated
2011
November Volume 6 Winter Published
July Downloads Available for iPad
July Volume 6 Summer Published
January Book Reviews and Ruminate Sections Added
2010
November Third RPA Editor Elected
September Volume 5 Winter Published
2009
January Volume 4 Winter Published
2008
January Volume 3 Winter Published
2007
June Volume 3 Summer Published
2006
November Second RPA Editor Elected
March Inaugural Issue Published
2005
November First Board of Editors Appointed
November First RPA Editor Elected

History

Research & Practice in Assessment (RPA) evolved over the course of several years. Prior to 2006, the Virginia Assessment Group produced a periodic organizational newsletter. The purpose of the newsletter was to keep the membership informed regarding events sponsored by the organization, as well as changes in state policy associated with higher education assessment. The Newsletter Editor, a position elected by the Virginia Assessment Group membership, oversaw this publication. In 2005, it was proposed by the Newsletter Editor, Robin Anderson, Psy.D. (then Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Blue Ridge Community College) that it be expanded to include scholarly articles submitted by Virginia Assessment Group members. The articles would focus on both practice and research associated with the assessment of student learning. As part of the proposal, Ms. Anderson suggested that the new publication take the form of an online journal.

The Board approved the proposal and sent the motion to the full membership for a vote. The membership overwhelmingly approved the journal concept.  Consequently, the Newsletter Editor position was removed from the organization’s by-laws and a Journal Editor position was added in its place. Additional by-law and constitutional changes needed to support the establishment of the Journal were subsequently crafted and approved by the Virginia Assessment Group membership.  As part of the 2005 Virginia Assessment Group annual meeting proceedings, the Board solicited names for the new journal publication. Ultimately, the name Research & Practice in Assessment was selected. Also as part of the 2005 annual meeting, the Virginia Assessment Group Board solicited nominations for members of the first RPA Board of Editors.  From the nominees Keston H. Fulcher, Ph.D. (then Director of Assessment and Evaluation at Christopher Newport University), Dennis R. Ridley, Ph.D. (then Director of Institutional Research and Planning at Virginia Wesleyan College) and Rufus Carter (then Coordinator of Institutional Assessment at Marymount University) were selected to make up the first Board of Editors. Several members of the Board also contributed articles to the first edition, which was published in March of 2006.

After the launch of the first issue, Ms. Anderson stepped down as Journal Editor to assume other duties within the organization. Subsequently, Mr. Fulcher was nominated to serve as Journal Editor, serving from 2007-2010.  With a newly configured Board of Editors, Mr. Fulcher invested considerable time in the solicitation of articles from an increasingly wider circle of authors and added the position of co-editor to the Board of Editors, filled by Allen DuPont, Ph.D. (then Director of Assessment, Division of Undergraduate Affairs at North Carolina State University).  Mr. Fulcher oversaw the production and publication of the next four issues and remained Editor until he assumed the presidency of the Virginia Assessment Group in 2010. It was at this time Mr. Fulcher nominated Joshua T. Brown (Director of Research and Assessment, Student Affairs at Liberty University) to serve as the Journal’s third Editor and he was elected to that position.

Under Mr. Brown’s leadership Research & Practice in Assessment experienced significant developments. Specifically, the Editorial and Review Boards were expanded and the members’ roles were refined; Ruminate and Book Review sections were added to each issue; RPA Archives were indexed in EBSCO, Gale, ProQuest and Google Scholar; a new RPA website was designed and launched; and RPA gained a presence on social media. Mr. Brown held the position of Editor until November 2014 when Katie Busby, Ph.D. (Assistant Provost of Assessment and Institutional Research at Tulane University) assumed the role after having served as Associate Editor from 2010-2013 and Editor-elect from 2013-2014.