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Scaffolding – Organizing a course or curriculum to gradually build knowledge, skills, or values.

Scoring rubric – See Rubric

Seven principles for good practice in higher education – Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) summary of how to help adult students learn.

Showcase portfolio – A portfolio that documents the extent of learning by featuring the student’s best work.

Specimen set – Test questions, instructions, score reports, and other materials that are provided to help professionals decide if a test is appropriate for their intended use.

Standardized test – A test that is administered to all test takers under identical conditions.

Structured group interview – A type of focus group with less interaction than traditional focus groups. Facilitation of such groups requires fewer skills than for tradition focus group.

Summative assessment – Assessment designed to provide an evaluative summary, or assessment that occurs as students are about to complete the program being assessed.

Surface learning – Learning based on memorization of facts without deep understanding of what is learned.

Survey – A questionnaire that collects information about beliefs, experiences, or attitudes.

Test blueprint – A plan for the creation of an exam that specifies what is being assessed, at what level the assessment should be, and the relative weighting of test components.

Test-retest reliability – A reliability estimate based on assessing a group of people twice and correlating the two scores.

The fives – Gaff’s (2004) exercise for stimulating discussion of general education goals and outcomes.

Think aloud – Students reflect on their thinking as they do tasks, and reviewers assess the sophistication of the thinking process.

Traditional focus group – Free-flowing discussions among participants, guided by a skilled facilitator who subtly directs the discussion in accordance with predetermined outcomes.

Triangulation – Multiple lines of evidence lead to the same conclusion.

Validity – How well a procedure assesses what it is supposed to be assessing.

Value-added assessment – Student learning is demonstrated by determining how much students have gained through participation in the program.

Warm-up question - A non-threatening question asked near the beginning of an interview or focus group.

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