Glossary of assessment terms

Accreditation:  In the United States, accreditation is a non-governmental, peer review process that ensures educational quality. Educational institutions or programs volunteer to periodically undergo this review in order to determine if certain criteria are being met. It is important to understand, however, that accreditation is not a ranking system. It is simply assurance that a program or institution meets established quality standards.

ABET, Inc.:  The recognized U.S. accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology (ABET website).

AQIP:  Academic Quality Improvement Program, an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that align with those ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving to improve their performance (AQIP website).

CASO:  Commission on the Assessment of Student Outcomes, the Institute-wide committee charged in 1996 with the development of an Institute assessment plan and the maintenance of the RosEvaluation System (CASO website).

Objective:  Broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve.

Outcome:  Statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation.

Performance criterion:  Performance criteria are the measurable statements that define the learning outcome on RHIT rubrics.

Rating rubric:  A brief description of the level of student performance in a document that meets the standard for the RosEvaluation.

REPS:  RosEvaluation System.  Software used to conduct rating of student documents using rubrics.

Unique submission:  a submission that has been made to the portfolio for one performance criterion.  Submissions to the portfolio may be mapped to more than one performance criterion, so the designation of "unique" gives a truer picture of the number of files submitted that must be rated.

HLC: Higher Learning Commission: regional accreditation agency for institutional accreditation (HLC website).

AITU: Association of Independent Technical Universities: 22 school consortium primarily used for benchmarking (AITU website).

MUPEC: Midwestern Undergraduate Private Engineering Colleges: facilitates discussion of current and emerging issues in engineering education by member institution deans

NSSE: National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE website).

Formative assessment: Monitoring student learning to provide ongoing feedback for improvement.

Summative assessment: Evaluation at the end of an instruction or a program.

Authentic assessment: A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.

Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR): the degree of agreement among raters.

Evaluation: process of gathering summative results to make a judgment.

Norm Referenced/Standardized Test: type of test, where all students answer the same questions under the same conditions that allow benchmarking and comparison.

Performance assessment: a form of testing that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list.

Reliability vs. Validity:
Reliability is the degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results.
Validity refers to how well a test measures what it is purported to measure. 

Confidential vs. Anonymous:
- When confidential: Personal information may include a name, phone number, address, birthdate, and/or social security number.  This information is NOT to be given to anyone not involved in the project, testing site, or organization.
- When anonymous, a person gives no personal information about himself/herself and should not be asked for specific personal information that would give his/her identify away.  In anonymous cases, the individual’s responses or results cannot be linked to his/her identity.

Revision History: October 8, 2013 by CASO