Office of Academic Assessment


Choosing Assessment Strategies


The links below will provide you with a variety of methods for assessing student learning.  While you will see some ideas repeated across the links, each will provide a slightly different frramework for thinking about what you want to assess and how you might do so.


For wide-ranging lists of resources, the following:


Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)


The links below are organized into four sections--Books from the Assessment Library; Lists of Methods; Tests, Etc.; and Advantages and Disadvantages of Selected Methods.  



Books from the Assessment Library


Assessment Tools




Links to additional resources for rubrics: 

For links to a variety of rubrics, click here.

For a web page with more assorted rubrics, click here.

For selected service learning rubrics, click here.

For rubric rating descriptors, click here.


Lists of Methods


Assessment Instruments and Methods Available To Assess Student Learning In the Major

Divides assessment strategies into direct and indirect measures and provides a description of each.  From the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Assessment Strategies and Methods

See Chapter 4 of this manual from the University of Massachusetts Office of Academic Planning and Assessment, Program-Based Review and Assessment; Tools and Techniques for Program Improvement.


Authentic Assessment Toolbox

Explains how and why to create strategies for 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”-- Jon Mueller)


Knowledge Surveys

Knowledge surveys offer a way to measure student knowledge at the beginning and the end of a course, as well as to provide them with an overview of the learning expected in the course.


Measuring Quality; Choosing Among Surveys and Other Assessments of College Quality

From page 2 of this 44-page document from the American Council on Education and the Association for Institutional Research: "The purpose of this guide is to articulate a set of questions and issues that campus leaders can review when deciding whether to participate in a given survey or use a specific assessment instrument. The guide also describes some of the major national surveys and assessments."


Portfolio Resources

This page provides a variety of selected resources on portfolios and e-portfolios, with links to articles, web pages, books, and more.


Selecting and Implementing Assessment Methods

From the Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Guide from California Polytechnic Institute.  Provides a list of methods with brief descriptions of each.



Tests, Etc.


Resources Related to Tests, Surveys, Portfolios, and Curriculum Mapping

A variety of resources from the National Institution for Learning Outcomes Assessment.


An Inventory of Instruments, Tools and Resources

A searchable database from the Association for Institutional Research.


First Year Assessment Instrument Database

A searchable database from the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition.


NSSE Nuggets and Scalets

Nuggets and scalets are groups of questions from the National Survey of Student Engagement which can be used to gather information on specific behaviors--e.g., writing, higher order thinking skills, collaborative learning, etc.  Information can be gained from administration of NSSE at UNI; NSSE questions can also be used in program assessment surveys, with permission from NSSE.  For more information, contact the UNI Office of Academic Assessment.  The link for this entry will provide an overview on these resources.  For more information on scalets, click here.


NSSE 2013

In 2013 the National Survey of Student Engagement was revised to increase emphasis on teaching and learrning. For access to NSSE data for UNI, contact the Office of Academic Assessment.



Advantages and Disadvantages of Selected Methods


Evaluating Assessment Strategies

See information beginnon page 14 of this resource from APA Online for advantages, disadvantages, and recommendations for a variety of assessment techniques, as well as other useful information on assessment.


Why Not Grades

For additional information, go to Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment and look for "Grades as outcomes assessmen"t


Assessment Methods: A Close-Up Look

This document by Barbara D. Wright, Assessment Director at Eastern Connecticut State University, suggests advantages and disadvantages for a variety of assessment strategies.