• YU Learning Assessment

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Assessment Cycle
  • What Is Assessment?

    Assessment is "the systematic and ongoing process of gathering, analyzing, and using information from multiple sources to draw inferences about the characteristics of students, programs, or an institution for the purpose of making informed decisions to improve the learning process" (Linn & Miller, 2005). The principle that assessment is a systematic and continuous process, not an end product, is central to this definition.

    Assessment is...Assessment is not...
    a cyclical processan end goal
    planned and systematicrandom and variable
    ongoing and cumulativeone point in time
    multifacetedsingular
    informativea judgment
    objectivesubjective
    transparentunclear or hidden
    pragmaticuseless
    faculty designed and implementedimposed from the top down
    What Are the Defining Units of Analysis?

    Classroom assessment: assessing an individual student’s learning experience in a course

    Program assessment: assessing a group of students’ learning experience in relation to a program, departmental major or unit of study

    Institutional assessment: assessing campuswide factors

    Why Is Assessment Essential?

    If you don’t know where you are going, the best-made maps won’t help you get there” (Mager, 1997, p. vi).

    1) Assessment promotes self-reflection, which is essential for effective teaching and learning (Assessment: FAQ, Stanford University). It helps you to reflect on:

    • What goals you are trying to accomplish
    • How well you are meeting those goals
    • How you can improve

    2) Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning—“Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the institution’s students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education goals” (MSCHE, 2009). MSCHE.org.

    What Are the Different Types of Assessment?

    Assessment involves collecting evidence of student learning and attainment of intended learning outcomes. To develop a more complete understanding of the extent of student learning, multiple pieces of evidence are needed. Evidence of student learning can be direct or indirect. To obtain the best indication of student learning, a combination of direct and indirect measures should be used.

    • Direct assessment: evidence based on directly examining and measuring students’ performance (e.g., exams, projects, papers, portfolio assignments, oral presentations, fieldwork observations)
    • Indirect assessment: evidence based on reports of perceived student learning (e.g., surveys and interviews with students, employers, faculty)
  • Contact Us

    Please contact us if there is any aspect of this website or student learning assessment that you would like to discuss.

    Rachel J. Ebner, PhD
    Director of Student Learning Assessment
    Belfer Hall 543
    212.960.5400, ext. 6854
    rachel.ebner@yu.edu

Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
212.960.5400

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