Call for Articles: Special Issue on Assessment as Pedagogy in Education Abroad

Guest Editors: Kris Acheson, PhD, Director; Katherine N. Yngve, ABD, Associate Director; Aletha Stahl, PhD, Senior Intercultural Learning Specialist; Lan Jin, PhD, Intercultural Research Specialist; Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research [CILMAR], Purdue University

For decades, quality in education abroad was primarily determined in terms of program characteristics (length, degree of immersion, etc.) and easily quantifiable outputs (e.g., number of participants, effects on retention, etc.). More recently, a number of education abroad researchers have turned their attention to defining and measuring learning outcomes. However, although outcomes-focused, the majority of these excellent studies function primarily as program evaluation; most do not use data iteratively to improve learning. Although they often use similar instruments and techniques, there is an important distinction to be made between program evaluation, which focuses more on quality assurance, and assessment, which is, at its heart, learner-centered and focused on process. Assessment is thus about the specific and intentional alignment of learning objectives, learning context, learner capacity for development, and learner needs for both challenge and support.

At present, there is a gap in the education abroad literature around the pedagogical use of assessment. When learners receive timely feedback on their progress and processes, they are better able to set learning goals, maintain motivation and engagement, and achieve intended learning outcomes. In this way, the pur-pose of assessment includes not just improving future iterations of the course or program but also boosting skill mastery for current participants. The upcoming special issue of Frontiers centers on this specific prac-tice of assessment as pedagogy, also sometimes referred to by various terms such as formative assessment, baseline analysis, feedback to learners, in-process evaluation, and assessment as (rather than of or for) learning.

The special issue attempts to address the over-arching question:
How can institutions and instructors employ research-based best practices of assessment as pedagogy to help education abroad students achieve intercultural and/or disciplinary learning out-comes?

Case studies of assessment leveraged to enhance learning and recommendations of assessment prac-tices/frameworks from other disciplines or learning contexts are especially welcome, as are reports of large-scale assessment and longitudinal approaches.

The guest editors for this special issue include several members of Purdue University’s Center for Intercul-tural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research: Dr. Kris Acheson, Katherine Yngve, Dr. Lan Jin, and Dr. Aletha Stahl. Submissions will be subjected to double blind review organized by the guest editors, with decisions subject to final approval by the Frontiers editorial staff.

The guest editors are able to provide informal feedback on abstracts or concept descriptions until July 1, 2020. Interested parties are invited to send their ideas to the Guest Editors’ attention by emailing with the subject line: “Assessment Special Issue Abstract” before this date.

Submitting a proposal:

Articles should be submitted before July 31, 2020 using our online submission portal. Accepted papers will be expected to comply with Frontiers’ Submission Guidelines:

•5,000 – 10,000 words
•conforming with APA style
•anonymized so that neither author nor institution is identifiable in the submitted version
•accompanied by a title page indicating the name and contact information of the author(s), a 150-word abstract and a short (75-word limit) biographical sketch of each author

Any inquiries regarding this call for proposals can be directed to the Editors at

Timeline to Publication:
Articles due: July 31, 2020
Decisions sent: October 30, 2020
Revisions due: December 1, 2020
Publication date: Late January 2021