Local Lexicon of Assessment Terms
The method used to assess identified objectives.
The ability to know, understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and
evaluate. (Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive Domain)
Assessment techniques are brought to bear on the stated learning objectives of a given course. Assessment evidence may be collected during the semester within the course or at some time after the conclusion of the course. Assessment data gathered during the course reflects student progress in achieving stated course objectives, while data gathered after the conclusion of the course provides evidence of the persistence of stated learning outcomes over the time elapsed.
Presented in a matrix, a curriculum map relates program-level student learning objectives (usually enumerated in individual rows) to the courses and/or experiences that students take in progress to graduation (usually captured in columns).
Direct Measures of Student Learning
In contrast to opinion surveys and instruments that gather self-reports of student knowledge and/or ability, direct measures of student learning are generated when students are evaluated in their performance of a stated objective. Assessment techniques implemented can range from scoring rubrics to locally generated or nationally normed examinations of student performance. Third-party reports of what students know and can do represent direct measures of student learning when the reports are student-specific rather than summarized across a cohort of students.
Also referred to as course-embedded assessment, these techniques generate assessments of course-specific student learning objectives entirely within the duration of the specific course. There are many assessment techniques that can be applied to routine assignments made within a course that can be summarized across multiple sections and/or multiple semesters to provide evidence of student learning at the program level.
Utilizes assessment techniques that emphasize the role of feedback in assessing how students are learning and then using the information to make beneficial changes in instruction and/or the learning environment. Formative assessment usually focuses on a limited set of specific objectives, often a subset of the complete roster of objectives identified by a program, and is focused primarily on the improvement of program delivery.
Indirect Measures of Student Learning
Usually found in opinion surveys and instruments that gather self-reports of student knowledge, indirect measures of student learning are generated when students report on their own progress of learning, what experiences they attribute their learning to, how they feel about what they know, and what students value as a result of their educational experiences. Third-party reports of what students know and can do represent indirect measures of student learning when the reports are summarized across a cohort of students rather than student-specific .
The ability to imitate, manipulate, perform with precision, and
articulate. (Bloom’s Taxonomy: Psychomotor Domain)
Employs analysis of student flows into, through, and out of an academic program. Pipeline analyses can highlight:
- Sources of student matriculations,
- Time durations and unit achievements while students are enrolled,
- Typical paths of student course enrollments,
- Illustrative trends in student flows over time and
- Potential targets for improved student flows.
Assessments of student learning and development of program goals and objectives provide program faculty opportunities to evaluate the effectiveness and status of their academic program at the same time they reflect vital information to use in improving curriculum and instruction. Program assessment is comprehensive across a set of prioritized program objectives in contrast to course assessment that is limited to course-specific objectives.
Utilizes assessment techniques that emphasize the comprehensive achievement of program objectives across comparatively large student cohorts. While summative and formative assessment need not be mutually exclusive, the tenor of summative assessment is to provide evidence of accountability and achievement of comprehensive program outcomes compared to formative assessment, which focuses feedback to improve program delivery.