Types of Methods

When assessing student learning, there is a wide range of methods to choose from. Below is a partial list. Please note that the categorizations are not mutually exclusive, e.g., a direct measure can also be a summative one. Remember to consider multiple methods when doing assessment.

Direct assessment methods:

  • Course exam, quiz, assignments
  • Capstone projects/Final papers
  • Student presentations

Indirect assessment methods:

  • Student self-reflection essays
  • Graduate/Alumni surveys
  • Institutional research data (e.g. graduation rate)

Embedded assessment methods:

  • In-class problem-solving activity
  • Lab report
  • Student portfolio consisting of student assignments in the course

“Add-on” or external assessment methods:

  • Published tests
  • Juried review of student artifacts
  • Clinical interview of students’ problem-solving

Absolute (non-value-added) assessment methods:

  • Licensure exams
  • Standardized tests (e.g. SAT, GRE)
  • Proficiency test to place students in different tracks

Value-added assessment methods:

  • Pre/Post tests
  • Entrance/Exit Interviews

Formative assessment methods:

  • One-minute paper in class
  • Concept mapping
  • Small group analysis

Summative assessment methods:

  • Final exam
  • Concept inventory
  • Student post-participation experience focus group