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Direct Assessment 

Assessment that is based on an analysis of student behaviors or products in which they demonstrate how well they have mastered learning outcomes.  Allows you to collect evidence of student learning or achievement directly from students and the works that they submit to you.


  • Requires students to demonstrate knowledge
  • Provide the data that directly measure achievement of expected outcomes

Direct Assessment Examples:

Course level direct assessment

  1. Course and homework assignments
  2. Examinations and quizzes
  3. Standardized tests
  4. Term papers and reports
  5. Observations of field work: Co-op/internship, service learning and clinical experience
  6. Research projects
  7. Case study analysis Rubric (a criterion-based rating scale) scores for writing, oral presentations, and performances
  8. Artistic performances and product development Grades that are based on explicit criteria related to clear learning goals

Program level direct assessment

  1. Capstone projects, senior theses, exhibits, or performances
  2. Pass rates or scores on licensure, certification, or subject area tests
  3. Student publications or conference presentations
  4. Employer, Co-op and internship supervisor ratings of students’ performance

Institutional Direct Assessment

  1. Performance on tests of writing, critical thinking, or general knowledge
  2. Explicit self-reflections on what students have learned related to institutional programs such as the co-op experience

Direct Assessment Examples Explained