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Assessment Glossary


Office of Academic Assessment

Borzello 128, K-Box 190

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401




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East entry to Ford Center for the Fine Arts.

Learning Goals Statements describing expectations of results of learning, expressed in general terms.

Learning Outcomes (also called learning objectives) Statements of what students will be able to do at the course or program level. Explained using more precise terms and/or action verbs. Measurable and/or observable.

Formative Assessment Ongoing feedback (not necessarily grades) given to students about how they are learning. Prior to the end of the lesson or course to guide continuous improvement toward the intended learning outcomes.

Summative Assessment An assessment measure of learning that occurs at the completion of an instructional unit, project, course of study, or program.

Direct Measures Objective tests and performance measures used to indicate the attainment of student learning, knowledge, or skills by directly observing activities by students.

Indirect Measures Assessment tools that ask students to self-report or reflect on their learning rather than to demonstrate it. Surveys, interviews, focus groups.

Benchmark (standard, cut-score) - Data that are used for comparative purposes in order to gauge performance or measure progress. Can be used as a target to strive for, or as a baseline.

Portfolio A systematic collection of student works that is the basis of evaluation of learning and development.

Rubrics Specific criteria, scales, or scoring guidelines used to evaluate student works. Usually define each level of performance and assign values to each level.

Multiple Measures Assessment data gathered from a variety of sources and/or through a variety of means.

Assessment Feedback The dissemination of the result of an assessment process or activity. Used to help guide program change and improvement.

Accountability The public reporting on the college's performance in meeting its goals and commitments. Usually involve student, program, or institutional data for the purpose of program improvement.

Stakeholder Anyone who has a vested interest in the outcomes of a program and/or the performance of an institution.

Constituents People the institution serves, advocates for, or organizes.

Definition of terms is primarily based on, and adapted from, Assessment Essentials by Catherine A. Palomba and Trudy W. Banta

Need help with assessment? Contact Michael Schneider, Dean of the College.

Knox College

Printed on Friday, December 1, 2023