ALO: Accreditation Liaison Officer; at Loma Linda University, our ALO is Office of Educational Effectiveness Director, Dr. Marilyn Eggers.
Assessment: Processes that identify, collect, use, and prepare data that can be used to evaluate achievement.
Competency: Level at which performance is acceptable.
Evaluation: Process of reviewing the results of data collection and analysis and making a determination of the value of findings and action to be taken.
Exit and other interviews: Asking individuals to share their perceptions about the target of study—e.g., their own skills/attitudes, skills and attitudes of others, or program qualities—in a face-to-face dialog with an interviewer.
Focus groups: Guided discussion of a group of people who share certain characteristics related to the research or evaluation question, conducted by a trained moderator.
Objectives: Broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve.
Operational (—ize): Defining a term or object so that it can be measured. Generally states the operations or procedures used that distinguish it from others.
Outcomes: Statements that describe what students are expected to know and are able to do by the time of graduation. Here is an example from Gloria Rogers' workshop on assessing student learning that shows proper form: Students "understand ethical responsibilities."
Performance Criteria/Indicators: Specific, measurable statements identifying the performance(s) required to meet the outcome. They are confirmable through evidence.
Portfolios: Collections of work samples usually compiled over time and rated using rubrics.
Rubrics: A rubric is a set of categories that define and describe the important components of the work being completed, critiqued, or assessed. Each category contains a gradation of levels of completion or competence with a score assigned to each level and a clear description of what criteria needs to be met to attain the score at each level.
Stakeholder: Anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome of the program/project.
Triangulate: The use of a combination of assessment methods in a study. An example of triangulation would be an assessment that incorporated surveys, interviews, and observations.
Written surveys: Asking individuals to share their perceptions about the study target e.g., their own or others' skills/attitudes/behavior, or program/course qualities and attributes.
This list is a modified and compiled version of definitions presented by Gloria Rogers in her Faculty Workshop on Assessing Student Learning, August 6 & 7, 2007.