What Assessment is NOT

Assessment is often confused with similar terms. Assessment is not:

  • Testing. Testing describes only one step in the assessment process, namely gathering and analyzing evidence of achievement of student learning outcomes.
  • Evaluation. Evaluation uses assessment information to make informed judgment. Evaluation describes step three and four in the assessment cycle (interpreting evidence and using the results).
  • Grading. Grades alone are insufficient evidence of student learning. Grades and assessment criteria may differ and grading standards may be vague or inconsistent.
  • Research. Traditional research is conducted to test theories, while assessment is conducted to inform practice.

Page last modified October 20, 2010