• Key Assessment Terminology

    Assessment Process*

    1. Establish clear, observable expected goals for student learning
    2. Ensure that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those goals
    3. Systematically gather, analyze, and interpret evidence of how well student learning meets those goals
    4. Use the resulting information to understand and improve student learning
        *(Suskie, Linda. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide, 3rd Edition, 2018)

    Course Learning Outcomes
    Learning outcomes that are observable, measurable and assessable; statements of the end products of student learning including knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes. (CCAC)

    Curriculum Map
    A matrix that connects goals or objectives to any courses within a particular discipline that allow for achievement of the goals/objectives; it is an auditing tool that helps identify potential gaps in the curriculum.

    Direct Assessment
    Gathers evidence about student learning based on student performance that demonstrates the learning itself; can be value added, related to standards, or quantitative, embedded or not, using local or external criteria.  Examples are written assignments, classroom assignments, presentations, test results, projects, logs, portfolios, and direct observations (Leskes, 2002)

    Evaluation focuses on grades and may reflect classroom components other than course content and mastery level. Evaluation is a final review on your instruction to gauge the quality. It's product-oriented. (https://www.onlineassessmenttool.com)

    Formative Assessment
    The gathering of information about student learning-during the progression of a course or program and usually repeatedly-to improve the learning of those students.  Example: reading the first lab reports of a class to assess whether some or all students in the group need a lesson on how to make them succinct and informative. (Leskes, 2002)

    General Education Goals
    Upon graduation with an Associate's Degree, a CCAC student will acquire a level of proficiency comparable with the first two years of a baccalaureate degree in the following six (6) General Education areas: Communication, Technological Competencies, Information Literacy, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning & Culture, Society and Citizenship

    Indirect Assessment
    Acquiring evidence about how student feel about learning and their learning environment rather than actual demonstrations of outcome achievement.  Examples include: surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and reflective essays. (Doug Eder)

    Program Assessment
    Helps determine whether students can integrate learning from individual courses into a coherent whole.  It is interested in the cumulative effects of the education process (Palomba and Banta).  Whereas classroom assessment focuses on gauging learning for individual students, program assessment gauges the learning of a group of students.  The outcomes information in program assessment is used to improve courses, programs, and services.  (ASL)

    Program Objectives
    Detailed aspects of the program that are accomplished by the successful completion of the course outcomes. (CCAC)

    Qualitative Assessment
    Uses flexible, naturalistic methods and are usually analyzed by looking for recurring patterns and themes.  Examples include: reflective writing, notes from focus groups, interviews, and observations, and online discussion threads.  (Linda Suskie)

    Quantitative Assessment
    Uses structured, predetermined response options that can be summarized into meaningful numbers and analyzed statistical.  Examples include: test scores, rubric scores, and survey ratings (Linda Suskie)

    Specific sets of criteria that clearly define for both student and teacher what a range of acceptable and unacceptable performance looks like.  Criteria define descriptors of ability at each level of performance and assign values to each level.  Levels referred to are proficiency levels which describe a continuum from excellent to unacceptable product. (General Education Assessment Resource Center Glossary, Borough of Manhattan Community College)

    Summative Assessment  
    Evaluation at the conclusion of a unit or units of instruction or an activity or plan to determine or judge student skills and knowledge or effectiveness of a plan or activity.  The gathering of information at the conclusion of a course When used for improvement, impacts the next cohort of students taking the course or program.  Example: examining student final exams in a course to see if certain specific areas of the curriculum were understood less well than others (Leskes, 2002)

    VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) is a campus-based assessment approach developed and led by AAC&U as part of its Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative. VALUE rubrics provide needed tools to assess students' own authentic work, produced across students' diverse learning pathways, fields of study and institutions, to determine whether and how well students are meeting graduation level achievement in learning outcomes that both employers and faculty consider essential. (AAC&U)


    [back to top]