Types of Evidence

Direct sources of evidence must be used in program assessment whereby actual student work or performances is evaluated using a standardized method or rubric. Assessment using student work provides information about a level of achievement of an outcome(s) in a program.  Direct measures are imperative for program assessment.

Indirect sources of evidence provide information about a program through means other than looking at actual student work and can be helpful in quickly providing information which indicates something about a program or an outcome. Indirect measures are an option in program assessment.

Examples of Direct Evidence

  • Archival records
  • Behavioral observations of students performing a task
  • Brownbag presentation to the program or department
  • Competence interviews
  • Comprehensive examinations
  • Conference presentations
  • Culminating project (capstone projects, senior theses, senior exhibits, senior dance performance)
  • Embedded assignments, course activities, tests/quizzes
  • Employer/supervisor direct evaluations of student performance
  • External examiner
  • Exam essay questions
  • IRB or IUCAC approval of research
  • Licensing and professional examinations
  • Locally developed examinations
  • Oral defense of a thesis/dissertation
  • Oral examinations/presentations
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles submitted for publications
  • Performance appraisals
  • Portfolios or e-portfolios
  • Poster or paper presentations at conferences
  • Practica and internships
  • Pre-test/Post-test evaluations
  • Projects
  • Published examinations (commerial, norm-references, standardized)
  • Scoring rubrics
  • Simulations
  • Student publications
  • Teaching evaluations for graduate teaching assistants
  • Thesis/Dissertation proposal draft
  • Thesis/Dissertation defense draft
  • Videotape or audiotape evaluations

Examples of Indirect Evidence

  • Alumni surveys
  • Course evaluations
  • Employer or supervisor evaluations*
  • Enrollment in higher degree programs
  • Focus groups
  • Institutional/program research data
  • Job placement
  • One-on-one interviews
  • Reflections*
  • Student surveys
  • Syllabi analysis
  • Transcript analysis