Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

 Section 1

Section 2
  Background  Survey
What is Assessment?
Why Assessment?
Educational Improvement 
Formative Feedback
Learning Paradigm
Prompting Learning
Section 3
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Section 4
Assessment Tools and Data

Section 5
Course Assessment

Section 6
Program Assessment


Section 7
Closing the Loop

Section 8
Implementing Assessment Training on Campus


Section 9
References & Resources



Using Materials from this Website

Assessment and Bloom's taxonomy

The learning theory paradigm powerfully impacted accreditation standards shifting validation of higher education activities from inputs (finances, library books, curriculum, etc) to output, student learning outcomes. This orientation necessitates a review to determine what type of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning needs to be produced in the student. Consideration of assessibility of outcomes and expectations influences the design of programs and curriculum. Some faculty have found that the objectives or goals written for courses and programs in the past often focused on: 1) what they were going to cover not what the student would be able to do, and 2) knowledge or comprehension, rather than more complex levels of  thinking. Indeed, some courses should address primarily knowledge and basic skills levels; however, some faculty have found the assessment process useful in helping them incorporate outcomes that address higher order thinking skills more directly. In addition, it is expected that general education courses are include a component of critical thinking requiring analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.


The ability to recall what has been learnt


The ability to show a basic understanding


The ability to apply learning to a new or novel task


The ability to break up information logically


The ability to create something new


The ability to evaluate usefulness for a purpose

Hall, C. & Johnson, A. (1994) Module A5: Planning a Test or Examination.  In B. Imrie & C. Hall, Assessment of Student Performance.  Wellington, New Zealand: University Teaching Development Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Interrelationships between Bloom’s cognitive levels

Proceed to Assessment for Learning Part 2

Resources and Links

Bloom's Taxonomy

Gardiner's Multiple Intelligences

New Horizons in Teaching and Learning Multiple Intelligences

Background Information on Deep Learning




Janet Fulks ( & Kate Pluta (
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College