Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Administration Building

Assessment Glossary

The definitions below have been adopted by the Bakersfield College Assessment Committee as a basis for decision-making.

Assessment
Assessment requires making expectations and standards for quality explicit and public; systematically gathering evidence on how well performance matches those expectations and standards; analyzing and interpreting the evidence; and using resulting information to document, explain , and improve performance. Assessment is a means to focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared culture dedicated to continuously improve the quality of higher education. (Thomas Angelo)
Dialogue
Self-reflective exchanges engaged in by the college community, characterized by a free exchange of ideas without the purpose of defending or deciding on a course of action. (ACCJC Standards Glossary)
Norm
To collaboratively and collectively accept standards and expectations for student learning outcomes. (Peggy Maki)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  • Student learning outcomes refer to overarching specific observable characteristics developed by local faculty that allow them to determine or demonstrate evidence that learning has occurred as a result of a specific course, program, activity, or process. (CA Academic Senate)
  • An effective SLO refers to what the student will be able to do out there upon completion of the course, program, activity, or process. “Out there” may include the next course in sequence, the next step in the educational process, or the real world environment. (Ruth Stiehl)
Administrative Unit Outcomes (AUO)
Administrative Unit Outcomes are statements of the ability or learning outcome of a the client or student after receipt of the services, the clients’ or students’ satisfaction following receipt of service, or the volume or efficiency of the processes conducted by the Unit. (James Nichols)
Goals
The overall target for the course or program. A goal is where you want to go eventually, but is not necessarily measurable.
Objectives
The overarching product for the course that represents higher level thinking skills and can be observed or measured against criteria. An outcome integrates the content and activities of the course or program
Outcomes
The building blocks that make up an outcome. Objectives represent valuable skills, tools, or content (nuts and bolts) that enables a student to engage in a particular subject or program. Objectives can often be numerous, specific, and detailed, and assessing and reporting on each objective may be impossible. (Adapted from the Fulks, Pluta, Romanowich & Granger-Dickson SLO workshops)
Kern Community College District