Skip to main content

Choose an Assessment Method

Types of Assessment Methods

Once a particular learning objective is identified, the program will determine which assessment method to use.

When choosing an assessment method, it is important to consider which techniques, tools, and instruments are best for determining the extent to which students demonstrate the desired learning objectives.

  • Direct Measures

    Direct Measures of student learning assess actual student work or behavior of identified learning objectives, usually derived as part of the regular educational experience of students in courses.

    Examples of direct assessments are: pre/post test; course-embedded questions; standardized exams; portfolio evaluation; videotape/audiotape of performance; capstone course evaluation.

  • Indirect Measures

    Indirect Measures of student learning assess opinions or thoughts about student knowledge, skills, attitudes, learning experiences, and perceptions.

    Examples of indirect measures are: student surveys about instruction; focus groups; alumni surveys; employer surveys.


  • Create and Use Rubrics

    A rubric is an assessment tool that takes the form of a matrix, which describes levels of achievement in a specific area of performance, understanding, or behavior.

    Faculty often use rubrics for assessment or feedback on specific assignments in their courses. They are also valuable for program level assessment. When using a rubric, raters ask, "Did the student meet the criteria for acceptable work on the rubric?" rather than "How well did this student do compared to other students?" Thus, rubrics are criterion-referenced, rather than norm-referenced.


  • Sampling Student Work

    What are the advantages of sampling student work?

    There are many reasons to sample student work, but there are also things to consider when sampling.