Assessments are methods that an institution employs to gather evidence and evaluate quality.
-- ACCJC Standards Glossary
Assessment is the systematic collection of information about student learning and the use of that information to improve the learning and teaching process in the classroom, department and general education programs.
-- Janice Denton (Effective Grading by Walvoord & Anderson)
Direct vs. Indirect Assessment:
Direct Assessment collects student products and information on their behaviors.
Indirect Assessment collects opinions and surveys.
Direct assessment is a must for examining student learning outcomes. Indirect assessment may produce inaccurate results, but can be used as a supplement.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Assessment:
Quantitative deals with numbers.
Qualitative deals with verbal summaries of what was found.
Both types of assessments are highly effective and can be used to compliment each other.
Formative vs. Summative Assessment:
Formative Assessment can be used for improving learning.
Summative Assessment is an end-result performance (no chance for improvement).
Formative Assessment can (should) be used in the classroom environment where an instructor can check on student progress, while summative assessments evaluate final products such as exams, final exams, term papers, comprehensive exams, portfolios, etc
Embedded Assessment: These are types of assessments that make use of what the students are already doing. Usually, this can be thought of as fine-tuning assessments already done in classrooms to make sure they assess student outcomes.
Developmental Assessment: This type of assessment usually tracks students over a period of time. It is mostly applied in 4-year universities, but would be very useful for tracking ESL students in the community college setting.
Authentic Assessment: Also known as Performance-Based Assessment, these would be items or tasks that require students to apply knowledge in real-world situations.