Glossary of Terms
- Assessment - A process that asks important questions about student learning and program effectiveness: gathers meaningful information about these questions; uses the information for program and course improvement in the achievement of University program goals.
- Action Plan – An agreed upon strategy among the faculty to address the results of an ongoing assessment plan.
- Benchmark - A detailed description of a specific level of student performance expected of students at particular ages, grades, or developmental levels. Benchmarks are often represented by samples of student work, which can be used as "checkpoints" to monitor progress toward meeting performance goals within and across grade levels.
- Culture of Assessment – The attitudes and mindset of individuals within the university toward assessment and all of its components that are seeking to serve the student body to the fullest extent.
- Closing the Loop – The demonstration of the use of assessment results to improve the educational or service program through drafting of and implementation of an action plan. Once the "loop" is completed, the process is repeated to assess the impact of the plan.
- Institutional Effectiveness – The extent to which an institution achieves its mission and goals.
- Institutional Goals – Institutional- level action statements that implement, support, and are derived from the Mission and Strategic Plan.
- Institutional Mission – A broad statement of institutional philosophy, role, scope, etc.
- Learning Standards – Standards that define the skills and abilities to be mastered by students at a certain point in their learning progression.
- Portfolio - A collection of student-generated or student-focused evidence (for ex., student work samples, photographs, videotapes and observations), designed to assess student’s progress, effort, and/or achievement. Portfolios encourage students to reflect on their learning and provide the basis for demonstrating the student’s mastery of a range of skills, performance level, or improvement in these skills over time.
- A portfolio becomes a portfolio assessment when:
- the assessment purpose is defined,
- criteria or methods are made clear for determining what should be included in the portfolio, by whom, and when,
- criteria for assessing either the collection or individual pieces of work are identified and used to make judgments about performance.
- Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) – Statements that specify what students will know, be able to do or be able to demonstrate when they have completed or participated in a course or a program. The systematic evaluation of specific student learning which informs the University on the status of accomplishing the mission, and if students are learning what is expected of them by their programs. SLO demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes or values.
- Reliability - An indication of the consistency of scores across raters, over time, or across different tasks or items that measure the same thing. It is the degree to which the results of an assessment are dependable and consistently measure particular student knowledge and/or skills.
- Rubric – A scoring tool developed by instructors to assess the performances of their students. The rubric lists the task of the performance to be evaluated and describes the levels for each dimension of the performance to be evaluated. Rubrics have sets of criteria that clearly define for both student and faculty what a range of acceptable and unacceptable performance looks like.
- Validity - An extent to which an assessment measures what it was designed to measure and the extent to which inferences and actions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and accurate.
If you are a faculty or staff member, who needs help with assessment efforts, you can submit a consultation/training request to Ms. Irina Koroleva at email@example.com