Assessment Intruments and Techniques

For the purpose of course assessment, evidence takes two forms: direct or indirect methods.

Samples of Direct Methods of Assessment
Direct methods are about the demonstration of student learning. They require a student to show in some way, what they can do and what they have learned. Examples include:

  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Writing Proficiency Examinations
  • National Examinations assessing subject matter knowledge
  • Graduate Record Exam General Test
  • Graduate Record Exam Subject Test
  • Certification Examinations
  • Licensure Examinations
  • Locally developed tests
  • Senior thesis or major project
  • Portfolio evaluation  of student work
  • Capstone courses
  • Audio or video evaluations

Samples of Indirect Methods of Assessment
Indirect methods of assessment tend to be perception or comparison data. These methods provide important sources of supporting data in the assessment process. However, they are not adequate as an assessment process measuring how well a student has met learning goals. They work in conjunction with direct methods in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of student learning.  Examples include:

  • Comparison or benchmarking with peer institutions
  • Job placement of graduates
  • Employer surveys
  • Advisory groups from a profession
  • Graduate school acceptance rates
  • Student graduation/retention rates
  • Exit interviews with students graduating or leaving the program
  • Student satisfaction surveys
  • Student course evaluations
  • Focus group discussions
  • Alumni surveys
  • Alumni Achievements
  • Analysis of grade distribution
  • Peer review of program curriculum
  • Analysis of syllabus
  • Service participation

For more examples of instruments and techniques: