Lincoln University - Office of Institutional Effectiveness


What is Assessment?

Assessment is a very broad term with various meanings. Within higher education, “Assessment is the ongoing process of establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning, ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes, systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well students learning matches the expectations and using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning” (Suskie, 2009).

Why do we assess?

Simply put, the purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment allows us to make evidence-based decisions on program curriculum, course objectives, pedagogy and student support services

Aren’t grades enough?

No.  Grades are a helpful indication of student learning in a particular course, but grades alone do not tell us whether students have or have not achieved specific learning goals.

What counts as evidence of student learning?

Both direct and indirect evidence of student learning provides valuable information. Direct evidence however is a visible, clear and compelling indication of student learning. Examples of direct evidence include: licensure examinations, field experiences, presentations, theses, performances, portfolios and assignments based on rubrics

What is the difference between assessment and evaluation?

Assessment is an interactive process which focuses on learning, teaching and outcomes. Evaluation is the analysis and use of data to make judgments about student performance (i.e. grades).