Glossary of Terms


A systematic and ongoing method of gathering, analyzing and utilizing information from measured outcomes for the purpose of improving student performance.

Compliance Assessment

A compliance approach to assessment is widespread among educational institutions. It is forced activity often viewed as unconnected to the real work of the academicians and managers alike. The standards are set outside the institutions and due to the external locus of control, those within the institution are often unmotivated in advocating them. Compliance is for the purpose of appeasement. Mission and vision statements are brought out, dusted off and reviewed by committees. Strategic plans are initiated or revised. On the academic side, student achievement based on established (or conjured up) educational objectives is examined. The manufactured enthusiasm for the process wanes when the reports have been submitted.

Continuous Assessment

A system-wide culture of assessment is driven by a need to know what students are learning, how well they are learning it, and what teaching methods and conditions are most effective for which students. These questions are asked by every member of the institutional community and collaborations arise to answer them. The connections among classroom, course, program and institutional assessment become evident and interdependent. The common element of all levels of effective assessment at universities is that it must be internally motivated by faculty.

We invite you to work with the UCF Faculty Center and Office for Operational Excellence and Assessment Support to join the continuous assessment efforts that lead to our joint goal of providing our students with opportunities for optimal learning.


When assessment is used to monitor progress and provide corrective feedback toward meeting an objective, it is formative in nature. Faculty interventions are non-threatening, provided throughout the learning process to indicate how well students are doing and include providing alternative learning methods as needed prior to final evaluation.


When assessment is used to validate or certify an objective has or has not been met by using a final evaluation instrument, it is summative in nature.


Institution or program purpose and commitment to students and professional community.


Statements that provide philosophical and conceptual aims or directions for the institution, program, course or class.

Student Learning Outcomes

Statements that indicate specific, observable and measurable performance expectations for students. (See the Student Learning Outcomes page for more information.)

In addition to the information included here, we invite you to participate in events focused on Assessment listed in our calendar and to contact the Faculty Center for additional assistance.


Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Melissa B. Frye
College of Business Administration Melissa     B. Frye Today's workplace offers new challenges to students--the options are wider, the demands are greater, and the workplace is less structured. To be successful, students will need to meet the challenges of this type of working environment. A teacher is the guide who helps them prepare to meet these challenges by armin...

Ann Marie Whyte
College of Business Administration Ann Marie   Whyte Consistent with my goal of becoming a more effective educator, my teaching style has evolved considerably over the years. I recognize that students learn in a variety of ways, and I seek to create a rich environment that is conducive to student learning. During the spring and summer semesters, I typically t...

Christopher Parkinson
College of Sciences Christopher   Parkinson As a hyperactive, quickly bored child, I presented a sizable challenge to my teachers. Conventional teaching methods did not work with me, but if given a problem to solve, I spent many hours and tried many strategies in my attempts to figure it out. My reluctance to use conventional learning styles then became an ...