Terminology and Checklist

Goals are the broad aims and rationale for a why a unit, from the University to a particular course or assignment, exists.

Outcomes are measurable things that students do, aligned with the goals for a program. An outcome can be knowledge, a skill, a behavior, or an attitude/value. They should be published on syllabi and websites.

Objectives relate to what instructors do in courses and specific lessons.

Outputs measure the function and performance of an office or support staff.

A curriculum map is a grid that matches outcomes (and sometimes objectives) to courses in a program.

Assignments (or artifacts) are outcomes-based instruments that are used to gage student performance. The most direct assessment is coursework. Professional exams, faculty feedback, course evaluations, and surveys are also important but indirect measures.

Rubrics list the criteria and describe range of student performance on assignments. Depending on the assessment model, rubrics may or may not correspond to grades. Instructors might use rubrics of their own for grading purposes.

Benchmarks are a predetermined standard of what is considered acceptable performance for students.

Implementation is the action taken to improve student performance—also called “closing the loop.”

The organization identifies the committees and individuals responsible for managing the flow of information and devising implementation strategies.

Procedures identify the process and mechanism/s for handling evidence and data.

The calendar is the schedule of how often the data for each of the outcomes is collected and analyzed.