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Explore Assessment Planning

Assessment and Other Types of Research

Assessment is a form of action research and is different from empirical research. While the main goal of empirical research is to satisfy curiosity and contribute to the larger knowledge base of a discipline, assessment is oriented towards decision-making and program improvement. Like empirical research, assessment should be systematic and disciplined. Additionally, it is appropriate the use the results of empirical research in improvement, but the goals, processes, and nature of empirical research and action research are very different. See this document for more information and references.

Differences Between Assessment and Program Review

Assessment focuses exclusively on student learning outcomes. Program review is more broad and operational in nature, focusing on not only assessment results, but also program budgets, staffing, and space, to name a few. At ISU, assessment leads and is an integral part of program review (through the PRAAP process), but assessment and program review are two different types of evaluation.