Assessing Learning Outcomes & Skills

Skills measurement tools and resources to inform the selection and implementation of appropriate assessments​

Back to Learning Outcomes Resource Room

How to Assess Learning Outcomes and Use Assessment Results

HEQCO’s Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook

A plan for learning outcomes assessment and data collection to improve programs and student learning.

American Association for Higher Education’s Program-Based Review and Assessment: Tools and Techniques for Program Improvement

Stassen, Doherty and Poe, 2004
A step-by-step guide on the different stages of assessment—from introduction to program improvement.

Assessment for learning

Brown, 2004
Tips on ensuring that assessment practices help rather than hinder learning.

NILOA’s Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters

How to use multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement and mitigate poorly designed assessment efforts.

NILOA’s Learning Outcomes Assessment in Community Colleges

Nunley, Bers & Manning, 2011
Current assessment practices at American community colleges and guidelines/good practices for colleges seeking to advance their assessment agenda.

Tools for Assessing Learning Outcomes

Building Your Assessment Toolkit: Strategies for Gathering Actionable Evidence of Student Learning

Beld, 2015
An analysis of different types of assessment tools and their strengths and weaknesses.

NILOA & Lumina Foundation’s DQP Assignment Library

An online library of peer-reviewed assignments from a variety of institutions and fields that are linked to learning outcomes from the Degree Qualifications Framework

Learning from the Queen’s University Assessment Experience: Considerations for selecting an appropriate skills measurement tool

A case study of staff, faculty and administrators’ perceptions of five assessment tools administered at the university (namely CLA+, CAT, HEIghten, the ESO and VALUE rurbics).


HEQCO’s Guide to Developing Valid and Reliable Rubrics

Important considerations and suggested process for developing valid and reliable rubrics.​

American Association of Colleges and Universities’ VALUE Rubrics

A collection of 16 validated rubrics for use in wide-scale assessment of essential learning outcomes

Queen’s Basics Rubric builder

A guide for creating authentic assessments to support students’ development of cognitive skills.

George Brown’s Critical Thinking Assessment Rubric and Teacher’s Handbook

A demonstration of how to incorporate Ontario’s Essential Employability Skills into college curriculum

University of Toronto’s Analytic Rubrics (Teamwork, Communication, and Design) and Instructor Guide for using the rubrics.

Assessment tools for teamwork, communication and design in undergraduate engineering.

Engaging Faculty in Learning Outcomes Assessment

NILOA’s Opening Doors to Faculty Involvement in Assessment

Hutchings, 2010
Six ways to integrate the purposes of assessment and the regular work of faculty.

NILOA’s Assessment Brief What New Faculty Need to Know About Assessment

Hutchings, 2011
Defining features, practices, and significance of assessment for faculty

Relevant Findings from HEQCO’s Learning Outcomes Assessment Consortium (LOAC)

University of Toronto Final Report – Development of Analytic Rubrics for Learning Outcomes Assessment

The University of Toronto’s project on using rubrics to assess communication, design, investigations, problem solving and teamwork in undergraduate engineering.

George Brown College Final Report – Building Capacity to Measure Critical Thinking

George Brown College’s multi-year study to measure students’ critical thinking skills, as part of the Essential Employability Skills.

Humber College Final Report – Assessing Critical Thinking Using a Scorecard

The development of a scorecard for instructors that captures critical thinking and written communication skills across several courses at Humber College.

Durham College Final Report – ePortfolios: A tool for capturing Essential Employability Skills

The benefits and challenges of using ePortfolios as an assessment tool at Durham College.

Queen’s University Project Summary – Using Learning Outcomes Assessment for Program Improvement

Queen’s University’s four-year study to assess critical thinking, problem solving and written communication using standardized tests and rubrics.

Integrating Pedagogy and Technology to Measure Program and Institutional Learning Outcomes at the University of Guelph​

The University of Guelph’s use of their learning management system, Desire2Learn, to develop a tool that capture skills, such as critical thinking, literacy and communication.

Confederation College Project Summary – Using Indigenous Learning Outcomes to Assess Critical Thinking

Confederation College’s project to utilize Indigenous Learning Outcomes to develop a culturally-relevant critical thinking assessment tool.

Relevant Assessment Libraries

Assessment Commons

An open learning space that curates resources and tools for student learning outcomes assessment, teaching and learning, program review and accreditation.

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment’s collection of assessment research and resources for practitioners.