The following definitions are used to help us provide a common vocabulary. These definitions were first formally provided to the campus community in 2005.
Goal: broad statements of long-term intentions (intended long-term impacts)
Learning Objective: clear, meaningful, and measurable statements of student performance; statements of what we want students to be able to do/know/feel (intended outcomes)
Strategy: the actions taken to achieve an objective
Outcome: the actual results we get from student after instruction (actual behaviors)
Standards: criteria for determining if a goal or learning objective has been met
Direct measures of student learning outcomes: direct measures of student learning outcomes are based on artifacts of student learning. Direct measures can take the form of standardized tests, rubrics designed to evaluate portfolios, checklists, and many others., as long as they are based on direct observations of student learning.
Indirect measures of student learning outcomes: indirect measures of student learning often ask students to assess themselves and peers. Faculty members reflecting on student learning in the absence of direct measures can be considered an indirect measure of student learning. Examples of indirect measures include satisfaction inventories and alumni surveys.