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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning Direct Measures

Types of Direct Measures Used at WSU

WSU encourages programs to choose measures that provide useful information to their faculty and fit with disciplinary expectations. The following are some examples of the types of direct measures used at WSU.

  • Capstone projects
  • Portfolios
  • Course-embedded assessment
  • Evaluation of student work with rubrics
  • Performances
  • Internship supervisors’ reports of student work
  • Certification or licensure exams
  • Student pre- and post-tests in courses
Direct MeasureDescription
Capstone Paper/ Project or Senior ThesisIn their senior year, students integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the curriculum to produce work that demonstrates achievement of program SLOs.
Embedded Assessment-Course AssignmentsStudents complete course assignments that are directly related to program SLOs; the assignments are used for course grades and program assessment, if scores are aligned with specific learning outcomes.
Embedded Assessment-Course TestsStudents take tests/exams as part of a course that include questions directly aligned with program SLOs. The test/exam results are used for course grades and program assessment.
Observation of Student PerformanceStudents’ performance of a task or activity is rated/scored by an unobtrusive observer, often using an “observation checklist” or rubric.
Portfolio of Student WorkStudents gather a collection of their work to demonstrate growth and/or showcase achievement; may include students’ reflections on the collection.
Pre-test/ Post-testStudents take a test administered at the beginning and again at the end of a program in order to determine change or growth.
Standardized Test Students take a test that is administered, scored, and interpreted in a standard manner; often commercially developed and administered to many (e.g., across the nation). May be linked to professional certification or to a concept inventory.
Supervisor Evaluation of Intern or Employer Evaluation of AlumniTypically a written evaluation of student/alumni performance in a work setting. May include a rubric, checklist, or other way to align the evaluation with specific program SLOs.
Washington State University