Language of Assessment

Program Assessment Concepts and Terms



Goal a general skills or knowledge category
Outcome specific accomplishments to be achieved
Components key elements of an outcome
Objects/Artifacts the objects of analysis
Performance Levels the relative degree of achievement of the component
Performance Characteristics/Criteria what gives information about students' levels of performance
Curriculum Map a visual way to track which courses in the program develop which learning outcomes         Example             Form to create a program curriculum map

Examples of use:

A goal of a communications program is to communicate effectively through writing and speaking.
A stated outcome of that program is to demonstrate the ability to effectively speak to groups.
Effective speaking components are non-verbal components, content components, and delivery components.
An object or artifact to analyze to assess effective speaking could include a speech, a statement, or an argument.
Criteria include behaviors to include that enhance delivery or behaviors to avoid that distract during delivery.
The combination of the performance characteristics of minimal eye contact, little gesturing, and rattling keys in the speaker's pocket indicate a low performance level in the non-verbal component of speaking.

Source: Dr. Susan Hatfield, "Designing Rich, Coherent, and Practical Departmental Level Assessment Plans" presentation at IU Kokomo, January 2004.