Measures, Rubrics and Tools

Direct Measures of Student Learning

  • The capstone experience
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Standardized tests (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test [MFAT]; the Test of Critical Thinking Ability; the Academic Profile)
  • Performance on national licensure, certification, or professional exams (e.g., Professional Assessment Examination for Beginning Teachers [PRAXIS]; Federal Aviation Administration exam)
  • Locally developed tests
  • Essay questions blind scored by faculty across the department, division, school or college
  • Qualitative internal and external juried review of comprehensive senior projects
  • Externally reviewed exhibitions and performance in the arts
  • External evaluation of performance during internships based on stated program objectives

Source: Cecilia Lopez, NCA Commission on Institutions of Higher Education: Opportunities for Improvement: Advice from Consultant-Evaluators of Programs to Assess Student Learning, March, 1996.

Indirect Measures of Student Learning

  • Alumni, employer and student surveys
  • Exit interviews of graduates and focus groups
  • Interviews of instructors, program coordinators, residence halls leaders and others who have direct contact with students
  • Graduate follow-up studies
  • Retention and transfer studies
  • Length of time to degree
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Graduation rates and transfer rates
  • Job placement data
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Self-report measures assessing students’ perceptions of what they’ve learned
  • Observing and recording students’ behaviors

Parkland College Academic Assessment Program
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice’s list of Indirect Measures