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Both Direct and Indirect Evidence are key to the overall assessment of student learning. When used in tandem, they create the most complete picture of students' achievement of Learning Outcomes. Only Direct Evidence can produce data used for systematic measurement against Learning Outcomes. Note: In both cases, the best evidence tends to come from blind samples, or random samples where the scorer does not know the student who created the evidence. Where possible avoid using only the "best" student work.

Direct Evidence demonstrates students' performance in relation to the goals set by Learning Outcomes. This form of evidence makes direct, measurable, correlations between outcomes and student work. Learning Outcomes should always be backed by student performance assessed through Direct Evidence.


  • Field experience/practicum ratings of a random sample of students
  • Capstone projects (scored with rubric)
  • Written work (scored with rubric)
  • Documentation of reviewed portfolios of student work
  • Documentation of juried reviews
  • Exhibitions (scored with rubric)
  • Documented observations of student behavior
  • Summaries of electronic discussions
  • Scores on tests
  • Student reflections that address student learning outcomes
  • Scores/pass rates on licensure exams

Indirect Evidence helps create a narrative of student learning. It uses the collection of anecdotal and circumstantial information to create a fuller picture of student achievement. Since it can not be singularly tied to a Learning Outcome to produce data, it is not "measurable" evidence of student learning.


  • Final course grades
  • Course/teaching evaluations
  • Retention rates
  • Attendance records
  • Student satisfaction surveys
  • Honors, awards, scholarships received by students and alumni
  • Student self-reporting
  • Information and reflections collected from focus groups
  • Other student records (pass rates by course, graduation rates, etc.).