Vanderbilt University Assessment Website

Possible Choices for Direct and Indirect Measures

Direct Measures Indirect Measures

Direct Measures

Direct assessment measures require individuals or entities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and/or a behavior that reflects achievement of the stated goal.

Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Standardized exams
  • Locally developed exams
  • Questions embedded into regular course exams
  • Review by an external examiner
  • Oral exams
  • Minute papers
  • Portfolios (evaluated with rubrics)
  • Behavioral observations
  • Simulations
  • Project evaluations
  • Performance appraisals
  • Think-alouds
  • Concept maps
Operational Outcomes
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Degree Attainment
  • Cost
  • Materials and equipment
  • Cost per student
  • Faculty qualifications
  • Faculty productivity
  • Reduction in errors
  • Audit by external evaluator

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Indirect Measures

Indirect assessment measures rely on individual perceptions to determine if a goal/objective has been achieved.

Student Learning Outcomes
  • Written surveys and questionnaires:
    • Student perception
    • Alumni perception
    • Employer perception of program
  • Exit and other interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Grades in courses
  • Student records
Operational Outcomes
  • Written surveys and questionnaires:
    • Stakeholder perception
      • Students
      • Administration and staff
      • Faculty
      • Employers
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups

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