The purpose of the glossary is to establish a common
language to communicate about important assessment of student learning terms
within and across schools/colleges and institutional offices. In addition to
promoting shared understanding, a common language provides consistency to the assessment process. According
to Leskes (2002), “miscommunications and mistrust from [using] this confused
language are likely to interfere with developing the kind of useful value added
assessment proposed by Benjamin, Hersh, and Klein.”
A logical connection between the curriculum and the expected
is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and
diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know,
understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational
experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve
subsequent learning. (Huba and Freed, 2000)
Assessment for Improvement
Assessment activities that are designed to feed the results
directly, and ideally, immediately, back into revising the course, program or
institution with the goal of improving student learning. (Leskes, A., 2002)
about the basic principles of sound assessment practice, including terminology,
the development and use of assessment methodologies and techniques, familiarity
with standards of quality in assessment, and with alternatives to traditional measurements
method involves students’ display of knowledge and skills (e.g. test results,
written assignments, presentations, classroom assignments) resulting from
learning experiences in the class/program. (Palomba & Banta, 1999)
Collecting data/evidence on program learning outcomes by
extracting course assignments. It is a means of gathering information about
student learning that is built into and a natural part of the teaching-learning
process. The instructor evaluates the assignment for individual student grading
purposes; the program evaluates the assignment for program assessment. When
used for program assessment, typically someone other than the course instructor
uses a rubric to evaluate the assignment. (Leskes, A., 2002)
method involves perceptions of learning rather than actual demonstrations of outcome
achievement (e.g. alumni surveys, employer surveys, exit interviews).
Uses the institution as the level of analysis. The assessment
can be quantitative or qualitative, formative or summative, standards-based or
value added, and used for improvement or for accountability. Ideally,
institution-wide goals and objectives would serve as a basis for the
Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
and easily understood statements that describe measurable expectations of what
students should be able to think, know or do when they’ve completed a given
educational program and beyond.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Statements that identify the knowledge, skills, or attitudes
that students will be able to demonstrate, represent, or produce as a result of
a given educational experience. There are three levels of learning outcomes:
course, program, and institution (Leskes, 2002).
Uses the department or program as the level of analysis. Can be
quantitative or qualitative, formative or summative, standards-based or value
added, and used for improvement or for accountability. Ideally, program
goals and objectives would serve as a basis for the assessment.
A tool often shaped like a matrix, with criteria on one side and
levels of achievement across the top used to score products or performances.
Rubrics describe the characteristics of different levels of performance, often
from exemplary to unacceptable. The criteria are ideally explicit, objective,
and consistent with expectations for student performance. Rubrics are
meaningful and useful when shared with students before their work is judged so
they better understand the expectations for their performance. Rubrics are most
effective when coupled with benchmark student work or anchors to illustrate how
the rubric is applied (Leskes, 2002).
Student Learning Outcome Assessment Plans (SLOAPs)
Document that outlines what will be measured
and how and when measurement of student learning will occur. Student Learning Assessment plans
usually contain the program’s
student learning outcomes, rubrics, curriculum
maps, assessment methods, results and a continuous improvement narrative.
Terminology for Gallaudet University: A Glossary of Useful Assessment Terms
2. Huba, M. E., & Freed J. E. (2000). Learner-centered
assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning.
Boston, MA: Ally & Bacon.
3. Leskes, A. (2002). Beyond Confusion: An Assessment
Glossary. AAC&U Peer Review, Winter/Spring 2002, Volume 4, Number2/3. http://www.aacu.org/peerreview/pr-sp02/pr-sp02reality.cfm
C & Banta T. (1999). Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and
Improving Assessment in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey Bass