Cleveland State University

Office of Student Learning Assessment

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between goals and outcomes?

Goals are clear, meaningful statements of purpose or aspirations for the program. Programs typically have several goals.

Outcomes (also called objectives) are more detailed statements than goals written in terms capable of being measured. They include knowledge, skills, habits of mind, modes of inquiry, dispositions, attitudes or values and there are typically several outcomes associated with each goal.

Example, Art Program
  • Goal:
    Students will develop the knowledge, tools and experience necessary to work in art-related fields and/or apply these in multiple other professions.
  • Outcomes:
    Students will:
    • Develop job-seeking skills (resume, interviewing, networking, etc.).
    • Develop an artist’s statement.
    • Prepare professional photo documentation or portfolio.

What are checklists and scoring rubrics?

A Scoring Check List is a detailed list of the components of required in a paper, assignment project, performance etc.

A Scoring Rubric is a matrix that explicitly states the criteria and standards for student work.

Are grades a form of assessment?

It depends!

Evaluation of students' learning should be

  • Based on explicit criteria
  • Systematic (e.g., scoring checklists & rubrics – see previous FAQ)
  • Public – shared with colleagues and preferably with students

Unless grades are based on explicit, systematic and public criteria they are not adequate evidence of assessment of student learning.

engaged learning
Mailing Address
Office of Student Learning Assessment
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, AC225
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214

Campus Location
Parker Hannifin Admin. Center 225
2300 Euclid Avenue

Phone 216.687.4700

Dr. Joshua G Bagaka's, Director

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