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Indirect Assessment

Assessment that consists of analysis of reported perceptions about student mastery of learning outcomes.  This provides perspectives of students, faculty or other people who are concerned with the course or program or institution.


  • Ask student to reflect on their learning
  • Provide clues about what could be assessed directly
  • Easy to administer
  • Particularly useful for ascertaining values and beliefs

Indirect Assessment Examples: 

Course Level Indirect Assessment

  1. Course evaluations
  2. Test blueprints (outlines of the concepts and skills covered on tests)
  3. Percent of class time spent in active learning
  4. Number of student hours spent on service learning
  5. Number of student hours spent on homework
  6. Number of student hours spent at intellectual or cultural activities related to the course
  7. Grades that are not based on explicit criteria related to clear learning goals

Program level indirect assessment

  1. Focus group interviews with students, faculty members, or employers
  2. Registration or course enrollment information
  3. Department or program review data Co-op supervisor surveys Job placement
  4. Employer or alumni surveys
  5. Student perception surveys
  6. Graduate school placement rates

Institutional indirect assessment

  1. Locally-developed, commercial, or national surveys of student perceptions or self-report of activities (e.g., National Survey of Student Engagement)
  2. Transcript studies that examine patterns and trends of course selection and grading
  3. Annual reports including institutional benchmarks, such as graduation and retention rates, grade point averages of graduates, etc.

Indirect Assessment Examples Explained