Assessment Methods

How will you determine if students are learning what you set out for them to learn? 

The method you choose should align not only with the learning outcome you are trying to achieve, but with the context in which you are trying to measure it as well (Assessment Reconsidered, 2008).

Formative vs. Summative


Conducted during the program

Conducted after the program

Used to monitor student learning Used to evaluate student learning
Use to modify or shape the program in real time Results can be incorporated into future planning
Examples: Student Response System, Concept Map, one-minute reflection, muddiest-point exercise Examples: Survey, final exam, reflection, portfolio









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Direct vs. Indirect

Direct Indirect

Any process employed to gather data that requires subjects to display their knowledge, behavior, or thought processes.

Any process employed to gather data that asks subjects to reflect upon their knowledge, behaviors, or thought processes.

Evidence of: Student learning 

Evidence of: Attitudes, perceptions, and feelings

Methods: Pre/Post Test, Portfolio, Poster Presentation, Quizzes, Rubric, Student Response System

Methods: Survey, Focus Group, Exit Interview, End of Course/Program Evaluation

Sample question: Please name the three main services provided by the UMB Writing Center. 

Sample question: I feel confident that I can find the Student Health Center. Strongly agree, Moderately agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Moderately disagree, Strongly disagree

Quantitative vs. Qualitiative


Produce data that shares facts or figures

Produce data with more depth and description

Looks at questions that concern who, what, where, when

Looks at questions that concern why and/or how


Matches with outcomes about knowledge and comprehension (define, classify, recall, recognize)

Matches with outcomes about application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation

Examples: Survey, existing data, rubric (if assigning #’s), tracking system, observation, document analysis, KPI

Examples: Focus group/interview, portfolio, rubric (if descriptive), visual methods, one-minute assessment, open-ended survey question, observation, document analysis, case study
















Note: A mixed methods approach may be used as well.