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Types of Assessment Measures

And Associated Assessment Instruments

Direct Assessment Measure
Direct assessment measure is a data source or tool used to indicate the attainment of a student learning outcome by
directly observing student demonstration of their knowledge or skill. It involves looking at actual samples of student work
produced in your program.
Direct Assessment Instruments:
Capstone course evaluation
Tests (standardized, localized)
Oral exams
Pre-post testing
Competency-based measures such as performance appraisals and internships
Simulations and role playing
Judging of portfolios by industry professionals
Case studies
Reflection papers
Indirect Assessment Measure
An indirect measure differs from the direct measure in that it indicates ones opinion or perceived attainment of a student
learning outcome. Direct measure assesses students demonstrated understanding or skill application, while an indirect
measure assesses the perceived level of understanding or skill. This method gathers information through methods other
than looking at an actual sample of student work.
Indirect Assessment Instruments:
Self-reported data
Data from graduates, parents, employers
Exit interviews
Syllabus or program analysis

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Assessment can be done at various times throughout a program and a comprehensive assessment plan will include
formative and summative assessment. The point at which the assessment occurs in a program distinguishes these two
categories of assessment.

Formative Assessment (Assessment FOR Learning)

Formative assessment is often done at the beginning or during a program, thus providing the opportunity for immediate
evidence for student learning in a particular course or at a particular point in a program. Classroom assessment is one of
the most common formative assessment techniques. The purpose of this technique is to improve quality of student
learning and should not be evaluative or involve grading students. This can also lead to program modifications when
specific programs have not met the student learning outcomes. It also can improve instructional quality by engaging the
staff in the design and practice of the program goals and objectives and the impact on the program.
Formative Assessment Instruments
Question and answer: This is perhaps the most commonly used method and is almost instinctive. It gives
instant feedback, can be used to develop motivation, but is largely difficult to record.
Short tests and quizzes
Skills assessment

Observation of performance: This is used in team and leadership as well as in the arts and music. It requires
experience in assessment of this kind.
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Written questions/exercises with short extended or multiple-choice answers
Peer and self-assessments
Visual representations: A non-linguistic representation such as a graphic organizer. Requires students to
illustrate a concept.
Diagnostic tests

Summative Assessment (Assessment OF Learning)

Summative assessment is comprehensive in nature, provides accountability and is used to check the level of learning at
the end of the program. For example, if upon completion of a program students will have the knowledge to pass an
accreditation test or some type of certification, taking the test would be summative in nature since it is based on the
cumulative learning experience. Program goals and objectives often reflect the cumulative nature of the learning that
takes place in a program. Thus the program would conduct summative assessment at the end of the program to ensure
students have met the program goals and objectives. Attention should be given to using various methods and measures in
order to have a comprehensive plan. Ultimately, the foundation for an assessment plan is to collect summative
assessment data and this type of data can stand-alone. Formative assessment data, however, can contribute to a
comprehensive assessment plan by enabling staff to identify particular points in a program to assess learning (i.e., entry
into a program, before or after an internship experience, impact of specific courses, etc.) and monitor the progress being
made towards achieving learning outcomes.
Summative Assessment Instruments
Capstone project
Multiple choice test
Oral exam (speaking skills)
Essay or report

Performance assessment

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