SOAPs (Student Outcomes Assessment Plan)

Direct Measures

Direct measures of student performance are those assessments that students complete during their progress through a program.  These may be embedded into a course, administered at key points, or as part of a culminating experience.  There should be a direct relationship between the program objectives, content of the assessment, and assessment techniques. 

Course Embedded

Course embedded measures of student progress may be used for program evaluation in addition to individual progress reports for grading or other purposes.  These assessments are usually scored by the faculty teaching the course using an agreed upon rubric to assure uniformity of the evaluations.  Data are summarized for groups of students and used to make judgements about attainment of program goals and objectives.

Examples of Course Embedded Methods:


There are measures available that can help determine if program objectives are being met.  Independent professional associations, licensing boards, and testing companies have standardized measures that can give a program insight into the quality of its graduates.  When using these independent measures, it is essential to establish alignment between the learning outcomes on the test with the objectives of the program.  This will help avoid the problem of knowledge and skills that are not part of the program being used to evaluate the taught curriculum.

Examples of External Methods :