Choosing Your Evidence

Assessments can include two types of evidence: direct evidence and indirect evidence. All PLO assessment projects must include direct evidence and may include indirect evidence.

Direct Evidence

Direct evidence is required in all assessment plans. It is produced by learners as part of their work with the PLO(s). Some examples of types of direct evidence are a final paper in an advanced course, a performance in a capstone course scored on a rubric, or a subset of exam questions in a particular course that are aligned with the PLO. Examples of a source of direct evidence are a course, set of courses, or experience.

Indirect Evidence

Indirect evidence is optional but can be highly informative in combination with direct evidence. Indirect evidence is reported by learners as a result of their work with the PLOs. Some examples of types of indirect evidence are survey questions in which students self-report abilities, or focus groups/interviews where students discuss experiences in courses. Examples of sources of indirect evidence include those for direct evidence, but also may include senior exit surveys.

As an example, direct evidence may help identify that students are not receiving enough preparation in developing their oral communication skills, and indirect evidence can help identify why this problem exists or ways the program can better support students with this preparation.

Indirect evidence is often best collected by someone external to your program so that students feel comfortable providing critical feedback. If you would like support with conducting focus groups or creating and administering surveys, please contact the A-Team.