This book was by far my favorite of the texts we have reviewed this semester. It did not take long for the authors to grab my attention either. On the very first page the authors offer a metaphor for the need of frequent assessment using the alphabet that is equal parts simple and accurate. The different ways Angelo and Cross organized the CATs, mixed with the formatting of the individual CATs, makes this the most useful and easiest resource to utilize. Picking the right tool for the job is always a difficult task. Angelo and Cross have provided variation in the ways an instructor might approach this process from planning to implementing and analyzing assessment. Further, the discipline specific examples of applying various CATs are extremely beneficial. It is unfortunately not a common theme in similar texts to have so many examples of discipline specific real-world application. So, I found that to be a nice addition. I also felt like Angelo and Cross did a better job of synthesizing and presenting the introductory information as compared to the other texts we have read. There was sufficient information to convey the essential points without the chasing of any rabbit holes or wandering aimlessly to other loosely related topics.
The organization of CATs, both overall and individually, suits the needs of an instructor very well. Angelo and Cross present the CATs in such a way that even novice instructors would be able to relatively easily select and implement an appropriate CAT. The analysis and communication of results is a bit more complicated and largely dependent upon the purpose of the assessment in the first place. Was the purpose of the assessment to increase learning or to measure what has been learned? The answer to this question will dictate how an instructor examines the assessment results and communicates those results to students. Of course, one could just shuffle through the list of CATs that have a “low” rating for estimated time and energy to analyze data. This rating system for time and energy was another big plus about this book for me. Often, instructors need CATs that are both quick to implement and analyze. Angelo and Cross have provided them with an easy way to seek out CATs that meet those criteria.