Assessment Cycle

In an academic program or for a specific subject, the assessment of the learning outcomes is an iterative process. It aims to provide valuable information about what and how well students are learning. When developing the program, it is important to think through all four steps of the cycle – Plan-Do-Check-Act.

The first step in developing a program is to PLAN. In planning, the objectives and the desired outcomes are carefully identified. The decision must base on what the students should know and/or be able to do when they complete the program. The DO step comes next. It is the development and implementation of the learning or assessment tools, strategies and tasks as to gather assessment data or evidence. The direct and indirect methods of gathering evidence are being applied in this step. Then, the data gathered are interpreted or evaluated, the CHECK step, which will reveal about students’ learning. Lastly, an ACT to improve students’ learning must be done to address concerns emerged from the implementation of the above steps.




The following are the equally important components of assessment:

  1. MISSION is a general, concise statement indicating the purpose guiding the practices of an institution or school/college.
  2. GOAL describes the broad learning outcomes and concepts of what the program, course, or activity intends to accomplish. It should be in harmony with the mission. A single goal may have many specific subordinate learning objectives.
  3. OBJECTIVE is a brief, clear statements that describe the desired learning outcomes of instruction. For example, the specific skills (cognitive), values (affective), and attitudes (behavioral) students should exhibit that reflect the broader goals. An objective may have specific subordinate learning outcomes.
  4. OUTCOME describes what a student should know, think, or be able to do as a result of exposure to content in some form (e.g., academic program, workshops or processes, etc.).
  5. MEASURE METHOD is the assessment instrument used (direct or indirect) to assess the outcome and determine that the benchmark or criterion has been achieved.
  6. ASSESSMENT CRITERIA is a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based. This statement indicates the target that determines the outcome has been achieved in reference to the rubric.
  8. DATA/RESULT AND INTERPRETATION indicates if the program met the desired criterion and delineates the results achieved on the assessment instrument. The narrative should be inclusive of how many students or items were assessed, when it was assessed, and the complete results of the assessment. In addition, where applicable, trend data should also be included.
  9. DECISION/ACTION describes how the unit/department will improve its program based on the assessment results.
  10. PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT OR CLOSING THE LOOP refers to a wide variety of outcomes and actions that result from an institution’s review and consideration of outcomes assessment data.



There are two ways or sources of evidence that may be used for assessment, namely:

A. Direct Method

Direct methods provide solid proof of students’ performance that can be evaluated. This answers the question, “What did the students learn?”


  1. Students’ works
  • examinations (comprehensive, standardized, certificate/licensure)
  • essays
  • in-class writings, papers
  • laboratory activities and reports, field works
  • quizzes (long, short)
  • portfolios
  • exhibits
  • online assignments
  • research projects
  • case studies
  • class recitation
  • internships/on-the-job training
  1. Observations of students
  • in person
  • videotape
  • audiotape
  • online discussions
  1. Students’ reflections on their own values, attitudes, and beliefs

B. Indirect Method

Indirect methods show characteristics related to learning, however these only indicate the learning experience. This method answers the question, “What do students report they’ve learned?”


  • Course evaluations
  • Outlines of concepts and skills covered on tests
  • Percent of class time spent in active learning
  • Number of student hours spent on service class work and other course-related activities
  • Grade point averages or course grade distribution
  • Teacher-student one-on-one consultation
  • Responses to survey or interview questions asking students what help the learned
  • Responses to survey or interview questions asking students to rate their satisfaction with a learning experience
  • Reflections by instructors on student learning and teaching methodologies
  • End-of-course grades

Both are significant, but the indirect method alone in the assessment is not sufficient. On the hand, the direct method needs to be implemented. What students have learned and to what degree can be shown through direct method, however it does not reveal evidence as to why the student learned or did not learn. The why guides the teachers in the interpretation of results and enhancement of the curriculum, thus indirect evidence should always be accompanied by direct evidence.


My Blogsite’s Objective

Welcome to my e-Journal blogsite. My name is Catherine E. Bolido. I preferred to be called just “Cat” for short. This blogsite is being created as a requirement to my University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) 2nd trimester course EDS 113. Please follow and accompany me on my learning explorations.