Moraine Valley Community College || Assessment of Student Academic Achievement || Reference Guide to Principles and Practices—Assessment Vocabulary

Reference Guide to Principles and Practices—Assessment Vocabulary


  • An ongoing process aimed at understanding, documenting and improving student learning. (Stiehl, 2002)
  • A combination of assessment techniques designed to provide a comprehensive and useful picture of student achievement.

Assessment Techniques—Individual tasks and strategies that encourage students to demonstrate what they know and can do.

Student evaluation—Summative decisions and judgments made about students, based on information from sources that include academic assessment.

Classroom assessment—A process of assessment techniques customized to the specific needs of the students and curriculum, and guided by the professional judgment and knowledge of the teacher. (Angelo & Cross, 1993)

Course outcome—A clear statement of what students will be able to do after they have finished a course as a result of what they have learned. (Stiehl, 2002)

Course assessment

  • An assessment technique designed to measure student achievement for a course outcome, and administered either in all classrooms or a representative sample.
  • A combination of assessment techniques that address all outcomes for a course.

Program assessment—A combination of assessments techniques, data collection and analysis about student achievement for learning outcomes at the classroom and course levels, and leading to improvements of the academic program.

Culture of assessment—An environment in which continuous improvement of student learning influenced by thoughtful assessment is expected and valued. (James Madison University, 2003)
Student academic achievement—The qualities of students' performance in their courses, measured against criteria decided by faculty and defined by the course outcomes.