Diagnostic Digital Portfolio Home Page

Alverno Publications

Alverno Workshops

Assessment Essentials:
Definition of Terms



Click on terms or use the scroll bar

Ability | Outcome | Performance | Criteria | Feedback | Externality | Self Assessment|

Return to Assessment Essentials



  • Involves the whole person
  • Is an integration of skills, behaviors, knowledge, values, attitudes, motives or dispositions and self perceptions
  • Is developmental and can be learned
  • Can be assessed
  • Transfers across settings
  • Is continually re-evaluated and re-defined
  • Is important to personal and/or professional situations in life
  • Is appropriate to the mission/aims and educational philosophy of the institution or program


Describes what a student will be able to do with what she knows in personal, professional, and/or academic contexts as a result of a set of learning experiences.



Demonstration of abilities in action in the kind of integrated situation in which students would use them in their life beyond campus




Specific indicators of ability/knowledge as seen in performance.

Criteria provide a picture of ability/knowledge in action:

  • allowing an instructor/assessor to make judgments
  • helping a beginning learner imagine a successful performance
  • incorporating qualitative dimensions of performance



  • Tells a student how well she is doing from a perspective outside herself
  • Like a mirror, provides a student with matter for both reflection and growth
  • Raises questions that enable a student to critique and further develop her abilities and ideas
  • Can assist a student to separate her performance from her judgment of self



Achievement of distance from classroom learning experiences by various degrees




Self Assessment

The ability of a student to observe, analyze, and judge her performance on the basis of criteria and determine how she can improve it


| Home | Self Assessment | Student Responses | External Assessors | Faculty Perspectives |Resources |

Comments or Questions? Contact Jeana Abromeit
All materials copyrighted Alverno College 2001
Last Updated 10/19/06