If you are assessing student learning, it is important to first consider whether you need a direct or an indirect measure of that learning.

Direct Methods - any process employed to gather data which requires students to display their knowledge, behavior, or thought processes.

  • For example, where on campus would you go, or who would you consult with if you had questions about which courses to register for in the fall?
  • Direct measures of learning are usually accomplished through assessment methods such as “quiz” type survey, rubric, document analysis, observation, portfolio, visual methods, one-minute assessment, and/or case study

Indirect Methods - any process employed to gather data which asks students to reflect upon their knowledge, behaviors, or thought processes.

  • For example, I know where to go on campus if I have questions about which courses to register for in the fall. (Strongly agree, Moderately agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Moderately disagree, Strongly disagree)
  • Indirect measures of learning are usually accomplished through assessment methods such as survey, focus group, document analysis, and/or one-minute assessment
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