Institutional Research and Assessment

Direct and Indirect Evidence of Student Learning

Examples of Direct Evidence of Student Learning

  • Ratings of student skills by their field experience supervisors.
  • Scores and pass rates on appropriate licensure/certification exams (e.g., Praxis, NCLEX) or other published tests (e.g., Major Field Tests) that assess key learning outcomes.
  • Capstone experiences such as research projects, presentations, theses, dissertations, oral defenses, exhibitions, or performances, scored using a rubric (guide, standards).
  • Other written work or performances, scored using a rubric.
  • Portfolios of student work.
  • Scores on locally-designed tests such as final examinations in key courses, qualifying examinations, and comprehensive examinations, accompanied by test blueprints describing what the tests assess.
  • Score gains between entry and exit on published or local tests or writing samples.
  • Employer ratings of the skills of recent graduates.
  • Summaries and analyses of electronic class discussion threads.
  • Student reflections on their values, attitudes, and beliefs, if developing those are intended outcomes of the program.

Examples of Indirect Evidence of Student Learning

  • Course grades.
  • Assignment grades, if not accompanied by a rubric or scoring guide.
  • For four-year programs, admission rates into graduate programs and graduation rates from those programs.
  • Quality/reputation of graduate programs into which alumni are accepted.
  • Placement rates of graduates into appropriate career positions and starting salaries.
  • Alumni perceptions of their career responsibilities and satisfaction.
  • Student ratings of their knowledge and skills and reflections on what they have learned over the course of the program.
  • Those questions on end-of-course student evaluation forms that ask about the course rather than the instructor.
  • Student/alumni satisfaction with their learning, collected through surveys, exit interviews, or focus groups.
  • Voluntary gifts from alumni and employers.
  • Students participation rates in faculty research, publications, and conference presentations.
  • Honors, awards, and scholarships earned by students and alumni.

Adapted from: Assessing Student Learning by Linda Suskie (2004)