Website Navigation for Screen Readers

Assessment at JHU

Assessment Guides and Templates

The University Council on Learning Assessment developed a four-step learning assessment model/cycle for Johns Hopkins University programs.

  1. Clearly define program learning goals; post goals on department and program websites.
  2. Link program learning goals to courses, embedded assessment activities, and external program reviews.
  3. Measure student progress against stated learning goals using both direct and indirect assessments.
  4. Develop a plan for continuous improvement in each academic program to systematically.


A learning objective is student centric; it states what the student will learn and be able to accomplish by the end of instruction. It describes a specific behavior which will lead to the desired goal. It is specific and measurable. It has three major components:

  1. What the student will be able to
  2. Conditions needed for the student to accomplish the behavior
  3. Criteria for evaluating the student


Assessment Measures

Indirect assessments measure learners’ values, perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs through course evaluations, surveys, meeting notes, reflections, and feedback.

Direct assessments measure learners’ performance on a specific assignment, standardized tests, and observations. They can be any of the three types mentioned above.

Assessment Types

Assessments include measures that are direct and indirect, course embedded and stand-alone, and diagnostic, formative, and summative. Interpretation of multiple measures from all candidate level assessments guide candidate support and counseling and inform improvements in courses, programs, and unit operations.

Assessment Types

Assessment Methods

Course and program embedded assessment measures are assessments within required courses that expose learners to systematic learning experiences designed to prepare graduates by providing them with the specific knowledge and abilities to address identified learning outcomes. These assessments could be any type, diagnosticformative, and summative. They are always direct assessment measures.

Transition point measures are assessments that are required across programs and the unit. They could be direct or indirect assessments and are mostly summative. These include admission evaluation of potential candidates, evaluation of dispositions, GPA at several points, admission data such as standardized tests, teacher certification and licensure exams, and evaluations of candidates’ readiness before and after internship.

Rubric Templates

Additional Resources

JHU Best Practices

The UCLA and Office of Institutional Assessment offer guidance on best practices in learning assessment based on five tenets:

  1. Assessment ensures that students learn. 
  2. Assessment ensures that courses and programs are effective.
  3. Assessment ensures that professional standards are met.
  4. Assessment ensures that the JHU’s mission, vision, and goals are addressed.
  5. Assessment of student learning should be integrated across all aspects of teaching and learning, owned by the faculty, and nurtured throughout the divisions.


Non-Degree Non-Credit and Co-Curricular Learning Assessment

The University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) at JHU recognizes that assessment in the Non-Degree Non-Credit and co-curricular spaces is not as extensive as in academic spaces. Tracking students’ growth in these spaces is sometimes unrealistic, and the need for evidence of learning using one assessment may be sufficient to collect evidence of mastery of the content. Regardless, assessment of learning still needs to follow the quality and rigor outlined by UCLA’s vision for best practices and quality assessments.


The University’s vision on learning and learners’ progress includes the whole person and their experiences in all spaces academic and experiential. The learning process starts before students matriculate at the University and continues long after they graduate. JHU also recognizes that learning occurs in formal and informal settings and collecting data in all these spaces is crucial in order to shape a holistic and complete picture of our learners. To achieve this objective, the University is implementing the JHU Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) across all divisions, while allowing possible utilization of existing systems within each division. This tool is a dynamic portfolio of the learners’ achievement throughout their lives, establishing a continuum of a lifelong learning journey.

The divisions at Johns Hopkins University have a variety of non-academic credit offerings that could fall under several categories depending on learner, employer, and practice needs. The offerings could range from Continuing Education Units, Executive Education, Continuing Medical Education, Professional Development, Internships, Experiential Education, Research Experiences, Pre-College Programs, and Practicums.


Defining Co-Curricular at JHU

JHU understands the effects of co-curricular learning on student engagement, achievement, and success. Co-curricular activities may within a program or outside the departmental and programmatic structure in divisions such as student affairs, athletics, and life design. To facilitate quality and equity of student access to impactful learning experiences outside the classroom environment, the University Council on Learning Assessment adopted a working definition for co-curricular learning activities that highlights the importance of assessment for improvement and to verify student learning. This definition also helps to inform how learning activities are aligned with institutional outcomes and included as part of the comprehensive learner record.

In addition, JHU provides an impressive offering of extra-curricular experiences that may be part of students’ lifelong learning portfolios. These activities are not required to directly assess student learning or align with institutional learning goals. Students can self-issue artifacts of their learning or accomplishments from extra-curricular engagement to their comprehensive learner record.


Definitions + Executive Summary

Comparison of learning modes. Curricular: Learning, Curriculum Driven, Stated Learning Objectives, Classroom Dependent, Activities Curriculum Driven, Assessed, Required, Assigned Credit. Co-Curricular: Learning Aligned with Curriculum, Stated Learning Objectives, Outside the Classroom, Activities Enhance Curriculum, Assessed, Optional OR Required, No Assigned Credit. Extra-Curricular: Learning Independent of Curriculum, Optional Learning Objectives, Outside the Classroom, Activities Not Part of Curriculum, Often Not Assessed, Optional, No Assigned Credit.

Website Footer Navigation