Term Definition
Artifact A sample of student work that is scored according to an established rubric for assessment purposes.


Assessment Assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of information regarding the efficacy of a program, undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development.
Assessment Plan An assessment plan (or schedule) that includes the cycle in which all learning outcomes will be evaluated and by what specified (identified) measures.
Assessment Targets Planning model - a set of measureable points to meet an outcome goal.
Benchmark Student performance standards (the level(s) of student competence in a content area.) An actual measurement of group performance against an established standard at defined points along the path toward the standard. Subsequent measurements of group performance use the benchmarks to measure progress toward achievement. Examples of student achievement that illustrate points on a performance scale, used as exemplars.
Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives This taxonomy for categorizing level of abstraction of outcomes can demonstrate a particular level of student achievement (appropriate for the course level). These terms assist in the development of assessable outcomes and program expectations.
Closing the Loop The utilization of assessment data to inform decisions on program/curriculum improvement, and the analysis of the changes to determine if desired outcomes have been achieved.
Data Source/ Data Information gathered that provides analysis for program learning outcomes. Typically refers to student work, but may also include survey results or other forms analysis.
Learning Outcomes A defined educational goal, usually a culminating activity, product, or performance that can be measured.
Program Objectives Statements that describe what students should be able to do when they’ve completed a given educational program. Each statement should describe one expectation; should not bundle several into one statement.
Rubric Some of the definitions of rubric are contradictory. In general a rubric is a scoring guide used in subjective assessments. A rubric implies that a rule defining the criteria of an assessment system is followed in evaluation. A rubric can be an explicit description of performance characteristics corresponding to a point on a rating scale. A scoring rubric makes explicit expected qualities of performance on a rating scale or the definition of a single scoring point on a scale. A kind of holistic or primary trait scoring in which detailed criteria are delineated and used to discriminate among levels of achievement in assignments, performances, or products.
Sample A way to obtain information about a large group by examining a smaller, randomly chosen selection (the sample) of group members. If the sampling is conducted correctly, the results will be representative of the group as a whole. Sampling may also refer to the choice of smaller tasks or processes that will be valid for making inferences about the student’s performance in a larger domain. “Matrix sampling” asks different groups to take small segments of a test; the results will reflect the ability of the larger group on a complete range of tasks.
Threshold An established criteria for which outcome achievement is defined as met or not met.