Assessment Manual

Assessment Glossary

Assessment is the process of gathering, analyzing and discussing information from
multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students
know, understand, value and can do with their knowledge and skills as a result of their
experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve
subsequent learning.

Program Mission is a succinct statement of what the program is, what it values,
what its philosophy is, and what it is doing. The mission communicates a vision of what
matters most with reference to student learning and achievement in the program.

Program Goals are intended outcomes of instruction that have been stated in general
enough terms to encompass a domain of student performance. In other words, program
goals are statements regarding the general aims or purposes of a program and its
curriculum, including how the goals contribute to the mission.

Learning Outcome is an intended outcome of college experience that has been stated in
terms of specific and observable and measurable student performance. Specific learning
outcomes transform the general program goals into specific student performances and
behaviors that demonstrate student learning and skill development along these goals.
Learning outcomes specify knowledge, skills and attitudes students will possess upon
achievement of the goal.

Program Outputs are the direct products of program activities and are usually measured
in volume of work, such as the retention rate, number of degree granted, graduation rate,
placement data, number of internships, etc.

Assessment Methods are data collection strategies (designs and instruments) designed
to measure the attainment of learning outcomes

Formative assessment is assessment done for the sake of program improvement.
The goals are to:
provide feedback, with the aim of improving teaching, learning, and the curricula
identify students' strengths and weaknesses
assist institutions with appropriate placement of students based on their particular
leaning needs.

Summative assessment is assessment done for the evaluation and accountability purposes.
The goals are to:
use credible information to make decisions regarding allocation of funds
aid in decision-making at the program level (e.g., personnel, certification, etc.)
meet demands of accrediting bodies, state and federal agencies.

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