Outcomes Assessment Terminology | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Outcomes Assessment Terminology

  • A common language is needed in order to effectively communicate assessment processes and results to various stakeholders.

    Program Learning Outcomes:

    • Represent what students are able to do at the conclusion of a program. 
    • Are broader than course and co-curricular outcomes. 
    • Cannot be accomplished in a single course or co-curricular activity.
    Student Learning Outcomes:
    • Are achieved through course and/or co-curricular assignments and activities.
    • Are developed across curricular and co-curricular activities with a progression of being introduced, reinforced, and advanced.
    • Include assignments and course or co-curricular activities.
    • Assignments and activities may or may not be graded.
    • Can be used for assessment of student learning.
    Measurable/Ascertainable Criteria
    A program level outcome restated in measureable or observable terms. An indicator used to measure student mastery of a skill or concept.

    Assessment Tool
    The instrument used to collect assessment data, such as a test, assignment, or performance.

    Assessment Vehicle
    The place, environment, or venue within which an assessment takes place, such as a capstone course, senior seminar, or internship workplace.

    Direct Assessment

    Assessment that involves the observation of first-hand student artifacts, performance, or knowledge, such as performance, test results, or rubric scoring of student work.

    Indirect Assessment
    Assessment that involves the observation of student and others’ reports about student learning, such as on a survey or a focus group.

    Assessment Cycle
    A single iteration of assessment, usually an academic year beginning in the fall and culminating at the end of spring.

    Assessment Matrix

    A grid or table that presents the all the basic elements of the program assessment process from the stated intended student outcomes through the action plans for the following assessment cycle.