Direct v. Indirect Assessment
For program level SLO assessment it is recommended that faculty use either direct assessment methods or a combination of direct and indirect assessment methods. Direct measures of assessment demonstrate that students have or have not learned expected knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes in a program. Direct assessment measures may include measures such as capstone course assignments, collective portfolios, or embedded questions on exams. Indirect measures include tools such as alumni surveys, employer surveys, student exit surveys or focus groups. Indirect tools measure perceptions of student learning and can provide valuable feedback on students' feelings about a program and perceptions of how much they have learned in their courses within a program. If indirect measures are used, they should be used as a supplement to direct measures.
Each program should choose a combination of assessment measures that they believe will best assess their program SLOs. It is recommended that faculty who participate in the assessment of a program SLO agree upon a standardized assessment tool to use across the courses. This will provide faculty with a more reliable and valid data set.
Recommended Types of Assessment Measures
It is recommended that faculty consider choosing a combination of the assessment tools described in the documents below when conducting their program level SLO assessment. These assessment tools are recommended because they allow reasonable dialogue to occur between faculty members to improve student learning in their programs.
Direct Assessment Measures
Embedded Exam Questions
Portfolios and E-Portfolios
Capstone Course Project or Final Project
Indirect Assessment Measures
Other Indirect Measures