What are the principles of 'good practice' related to assessment?

In 1992, the American Association for Higher Education developed a set of 9 principles to serve as guidelines for assessment practice. A tenth principle was identified in Assessment in Practice (Banta, Lund, Black, & Oblander, 1996):

Assessment is most effective when undertaken in an environment that is receptive, supportive, and enabling. More specifically, successful assessment requires an environment characterized by effective leadership, administrative commitment, adequate resources (for example, clerical support and money), faculty and staff development opportunities, and time. (p. 62)

What are the various types of assessment methods?

A basic discussion of the various assessment methods is available to faculty and administrators.

Are there standardized exams that could be used to assess student outcomes in my department?

The Educational Testing Service offers Major Field Tests in 16 discipline areas. For more information about these tests, consult the ETS web site.

What are the pros and cons of standardized exams versus tests developed by my department?

A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of developing your own tests can be viewed here. This question was addressed in greater detail in an instructional module created in the spring of 2002.

What are the University's expectations regarding the types of assessment my unit should be conducting?

In general, the univeristy expects your unit to define its goals and objectives while maintaining a short- and long-term perspective. Each year, a number of goals and supporting objectives will become the target of more intense attention. Data accrued over several years are summarized and become a focal point for internal discussions, recommendations, and action planning. Units with a teaching or student development function will need to feature assessment activities that focus on student learning outcomes.

What roles do faculty members play in assessment? 

The faculty plays a critical role in defining the expected outcomes of student learning or student development programs. The heart of assessment lies in the faculty's willingness to accept responsibility for this role and to work toward effective assessment practices, collaboratively and continuously.

Where can I learn more about evaluating student portfolios? 

Basic information about portfolios can be read on our web site or click here.


AAC&U VALUE Rubrics -  16 commonly accepted and used rubrics for undergraduate learning.

Bloom’s Taxonomy – For use in design of outcomes, curriculum, and coursework.

Inventory of higher Education Assessment Instruments -  The National Center for Postsecondary Improvement’s  list of many assessment instruments used to measure learning in higher education.

NC State’s Assesment References – A comprehensive list of the internet’s assessment resources for program, course, and institutional-level assessment.  Sorted by topic.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) – UK’s Regional Accreditor

Assessment Organizations & Conferences



IUPUI Assessment Institute

TAMU Assessment Conference

The Assess Listserv

Commonly Used Assessment Methods

Surveys and Interviews


Capstone Courses

Performance Events


Pre/Post Assessments

Existing Institutional Research Elements