How do we know whether one college or academic program is better than another? Is it measured by the academic abilities of incoming students as defined by standardized test scores, GPA, and membership in the Latin club? Do we determine an institution is great because of its vast treasure of resources — buildings, world-renown scholars, and rich and successful sports programs? Is it the school’s environment or the experience is provides? Or is it determined by the success of the graduating class, GRE scores, acceptance into top graduate programs or professions.
A central idea in Alexander Astin and Anthony Lising Antonio’s book, Assessment for Excellence: The Philosophy and Practice of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 2e, (Rowan and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.©2012), is that good instructional assessment must account for inputs, environmentexperience, and outputs. This is Astin’s I-E-O model.
We know that healthy wellness is to a great extent determined by an individual’s behavior. But we also know that individual’s personal and professional success also depends on other factors, such as genetics, family health history, environment, society, and so on.
A wellness education assessment system should control for the input variables (the student’s health and fitness, background, current behaviors, etc.); control for the education environment (wellness instructor, fellow students, lesson plan, learning resources, living environment, and so on); and control for the output — what are reasonable levels of improvement over what amount of time in physical fitness, mental health, healthy behaviors, and so on?
I think that this kind of assessment will help us understand how to build effective wellness instruction that will help individuals become more personally, academically, and professionally successful no matter where they go to school.