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Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

Anticipated or achieved results of programmes or the accomplishment of institutional objectives, as demonstrated by a wide range of indicators (such as student knowledge, cognitive skills, and attitudes). Outcomes are direct results of the instructional programme, planned in terms of student/learner growth in all areas. An outcome must be distinguished from an objective, which is a sought-after result. Generally, each outcome statement should describe one effect of the instructional programme, and not accumulate several into one statement. Also, the statements should be clearly detailed and easily understandable by all teaching staff and students in the given area or department. 


The process of evaluation and improvement of specific results of a higher education institution in order to demonstrate its institutional effectiveness. Assessment may concern the performance of teaching staff, the effectiveness of institutional practices, and/or the functioning of departments or programmes (e.g., programme reviews, budget reviews, etc.). It is a formative procedure used for institutional self-study, financial retrenchment, programme evaluation, and better understanding of the current needs of students. 

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