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There are two possible outcomes:  if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement.
If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.
~Enrico Fermi

Assessment is a critical tool for improving teaching and learning practices by enabling better understanding of and responsiveness to the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. Assessment at the institutional, program or course level provides evidence that students are achieving the competencies and skills identified as key to stated learning objectives. Assessment provides a means of gathering, analyzing and using information that can affect the ongoing quality and effectiveness of a program or course.

Assessment can be delivered via formative and summative instruments, as well as through peer review, constructive feedback and electronic portfolios. Rubrics serve as effective tools for defining the standards by which student performance will be evaluated. Here at the University of Maryland, outcomes and rubrics have been developed by the General Education Faculty Boards, supported by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment for each General Education category. These tools can be made available within ELMS. Instructional designers with the Learning Technology Design staff can help instructors identify useful assessment strategies and tools to be incorporated in their courses, and can help faculty develop and integrate rubrics.


The combination of Outcomes and Rubrics enable instructors and administrators to track student progress with and mastery of pedagogical goals. Assessments can be created to align with learning outcomes and evaluated with rubrics.

Outcomes: How to Create an Outcome in ELMS  |  Implementing UMD Outcomes in ELMS
Rubrics: University of Maryland GenEd Assessment Rubrics  | Other Recommended Rubrics


There are numerous instruments for designing and deploying assessments for students, many of them available from within ELMS.

Quizzes: How To Create a Quiz in ELMS  |  Best Practices   
Surveys: How To Create a Survey in ELMS  |  Best Practices  
Assignments: How To Create Assignments in ELMS  |  How to Create a Peer Assessed Assignment  |  Options for Giving Extra Credit |  Best Practices


Analytics help instructors and administrators understand how instructional resources are being used, when, and by whom, as well as how student responses to assessment prompts are contributing to the overall mastery of course objectives.

How To Analyze Quiz Statistics  |  How To Interpret Course Use Analytics  |  User Activity (How To)  |  How To Export Gradebook Data for Analysis

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