That said, I could not help but thinking as I listened to the presentation that, at the end of the day, what assessment does is shift the focus away from grading students to grading institutions and programs. One could argue that this is necessary given rampant grade inflation: i.e., since grading students doesn't mean anything anymore, we need to pay attention to assessing / grading the programs they are in.
Assessment is helpful insofar as it makes departments, schools, and institutions intentional about what they are teaching. But when it is wrapped in a veneer of somehow quantifying what and how well students learn...well, I'm not entirely sure what to make of that.
Now, this is horribly simplistic, not in any way the fault of my institution, and **insert other standard academic loophole here**, but at the moment I'm feeling a bit disappointed: I thought I was more or less done being graded for a while...