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Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning. (Huba and Freed, 2000)

This website contains many resources to support the assessment work of your programs or in your classroom. Please see the links below for assistance with the following types of assessment.

Assessment occurs at the course, departmental, college, and institutional levels. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), yet assessment practices at the university extend beyond SACSCOC to include many other accreditation agencies and as well as our own practices of assessment. However, assessment is not just important to our accreditors, but it is also important for student learning and continual improvement of our university programs.

The Assessment Reform Group from the UK has identified 10 main principles of assessment for learning. Assessment for learning:

  • Is part of effective planning [for your course or program];
  • Focuses on how students learn;
  • Is central to classroom practice;
  • Is a key professional skill;
  • Is sensitive and constructive;
  • Fosters motivation;
  • Promotes understanding of goals and criteria;
  • Helps learners know how to improve;
  • Develops the capacity for self-assessment;
  • Recognizes all educational achievement (Assessment Reform Group, 2002).

The “assessment movement” has changed many institutions of higher education as we strive to show the quality of our programs in a visible way to internal and external constituents.

Program & Course Assessment

Program Assessment: Program assessment involves providing evidence of the effectiveness of your courses and curriculum. This webpage provides an overview of program assessment, a timeline of assessment reporting activities and additional resources.

Program Assessment FAQs: This webpage provides a variety of frequently asked questions from faculty during the assessment reporting process.

Planning Module: The Planning Module is the online platform onto which annual program assessment reports are posted and archived. Log in to submit or to view annual program assessment reports.

Course-Level Assessment: This webpage provides an overview of formative and summative assessments that measure student learning.

Writing Clear Learning Outcomes: This webpage provides an overview of clear learning outcomes, which are  are statements describing what students should be able to demonstrate, know (knowledge), think (attitudes, values), or do (skill) by the end of the program/course.

Top 10 Considerations When Reviewing An Assessment Report: This list of considerations may be used in several ways. You may reference the list while reviewing reports, copy and/or paste items that are missing or need attention, and/or check of items as you fnd them and then share the document with the report writer.

Top 12 Considerations When Writing the Annual Assessment ReportThis list of considerations includes information to write an effective annual assessment report.

Assessment Toolbox: This document provides explanations for formative and summative assessment, and tools in order to complete either type of assessment. 

Experiential Learning Assessment

Faculty Assessment GuidesThese guides give a breakdown of what assessments are expected from the instructor and students in experiential learning contexts, when the assessments will be disseminated to the instructor/student, and the purpose of each assessment.

Experience Learning Assessment Toolbox: This webpage provides multiple resources to meet various assessment needs, including a direct vs. indirect assessment guide, guided reflections for service-learning, collaboration rubric, ways to choose the right assessment tools, and rubrics for experiential learning.

Direct Assessment: This webpage provides information on direct assessment, which is critical for evaluating Experience Learning’s impact on student learning at UT. This assessment will use a series of rubrics designed around each of the student learning outcomes and associated benchmarks.

How to Assess Lifelong Learning in One Semester: This webpage covers some of the key attributes of lifelong learning, how to measure attainment of lifelong learning outcomes, and how to determine the best methods to assess lifelong learning in your experiential course.

Indirect Assessment: This webpage provides information on indirect assessments, which complement direct assessments by measuring changes in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors resulting from experiential learning.

Student Learning Outcomes: This webpage provides information on the core Student Learning Outcomes of the Experiential Learning QEP initiative.


Teaching Evaluation Toolbox: This tool was created with both the reviewer and the person reviewed in mind. To this end, this guide is divided into two sections – one containing helpful tips for evaluators and the other with advice for those being evaluated. The latter includes faculty up for tenure and lecturers up for review and promotion.

Designing Effective Exam & Test QuestionsThis webpage provides an overview of the different types of exam questions that instructors can utilize, things to consider before creating the exam, and “after test” checks an instructor can use to determine that a good test was constructed and used.

An Introduction to Rubrics: This webpage provides an introduction to rubrics, highlighting why rubrics should be used for certain assessments, the necessary components of a rubric, and the types of rubrics that can be used.


Huba, M. E., & Freed, J. E. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Assessment Reform Group. (2002). Assessment for Learning: 10 Principles. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from