Outcomes Assessment Terminology | Capital University


Outcomes Assessment Terminology

  • Intended Student Outcome

    A hallmark, program level outcome that faculty intend students to get from several courses and/or key educational experiences.

    Measurable/Ascertainable Criteria

    A program level outcome restated in measureable or observable terms. An indicator used to measure student mastery of a skill or concept.

    Assessment Tool

    The actual instrument used to collect assessment data, such as a test, assignment, or performance.

    Assessment Vehicle

    The place, environment, or venue within which an assessment takes place, such as a capstone course, senior seminar, or internship workplace.


    The data that comes from the running of the assessment tool. The analyses are the observation of the data collected, as well as a proposition of why students performed as they did.

    Action Plans

    The stated changes or adjustments that faculty/staff plan to implement based on assessment results and overall, general analyses.

    Direct Assessment

    Assessment that involves the observation of first-hand student artifacts, performance, or knowledge, such as performance, test results, or rubric scoring of student work.

    Indirect Assessment

    Assessment that involves the observation of student and others’ reports about student learning, such as on a survey or a focus group.

    Assessment Cycle

    A single iteration of assessment, usually an academic year beginning in the fall and culminating at the end of spring.

    Assessment Matrix

    A grid or table that presents the all the basic elements of the program assessment process from the stated intended student outcomes through the action plans for the following assessment cycle.