Assessment vs. Grades and Evaluation

Evaluation is a method, which may or may not be graded, of eliciting a performance or demonstration of knowledge or skills from a student. Grades are the descriptive faculty evaluation of an individual student's performance in a given course, test, or assignment. Grades oftentimes incorporate participation, attendance and/or extra credit, which are not true components of assessment of learning outcomes. Assessment is the examination of whether students as a whole are achieving the learning outcomes which have been developed by the department for a course or program. Assessment provides the "big picture" of whether students are meeting learning outcomes.

While grades may not be used as assessment data, some scores on projects, tests, or assignments that are given for a grade may be used for assessment purposes provided grades are not referenced and extra credit or attendance points are excluded.