I'm glad to hear that you're interested in hearing other people's
perceptions of measuring student performance. Here's some information
I've gleaned from the Web...
According to George Mason University's "Creating Student Learning
Goals: A Brief Guide for Faculty" (substantially taken from,
"Assessing Student Learning and Development" by T. Dary Erwin,
Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991.)
"There are different types of learning goals; some are
knowledge-based, others related to skills, and yet others concerned
with attitudes about learning. For example, a knowledge-based goal for
a speech program might be 'Students will identify the major phonemic
and phonetic variants of Eastern American, Appalachian English,
Southern American, and Black English dialects.' A skill-based goal for
a social science program might be, 'Students will be able to identify
a problem, construct hypotheses, identify variables, construct
operational definitions, create a research design, carry out
statistical analyses and write a research report.' An attitude goal
for an art program might be, 'Students will attend art shows and visit
galleries independent of a course assignment and discuss their
experiences in class and outside of class.'
The faculty guide goes on to note, " A useful resource when developing
goals is Bloom's taxonomy..."
According to the "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The
Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain"
(Bloom, et al, the learning behavoirs are as follows:
KNOWLEDGE: "The Student recalls or recognizes information, ideas, and
principles in the approximate form in which they were learned." A
sample behaviour would be, "The student will define the 6 levels of
taxonomy of the cognitive domain."
COMPREHENSION: "The Student translates, comprehends, or interprets
based on prior learning." A sample behaviours would be, "The student
will explain the purpose of Bloom's taxonomy of the cognitive domain."
APPLICATION: "The Student selects, transfers, and uses data and
complete a problem or task with a minimum of direction." A sample
behaviour would be, "The student will write an instructional objective
level of Bloom's taxonomy."
ANALYSIS: "The Student distinguishes, classifies, and relates the
hypotheses, evidence, or structure of a statement or question." A
sample behaviour would be, "The student will compare and contrast the
SYTHESIS/EVALUATION: "The Student originates, integrates, and
combines ideas or the Student appraises, assesses, or critiques."
Sample behaviour would include, "The student will design a
classification scheme for writing educational objectives that combines
the cognitive, affective,
and psychomotor domains" and "The student will judge the effectiveness
of writing objectives using Bloom's taxonomy."
In a somewhat more accessible format, the Department of Economics at
Illinois State University...
... notes its criteria for undergraduate learning objectives as
I. Gaining access to existing knowledge. Measurables: Locate published
research. Locate information on particular topics and issues. Search
out data as well as information about the meaning of the data and how
they are derived.
II. Displaying command of existing knowledge. Measurables: Summarize
(in a 2-minute monologue or a 300-word written statement) on a
particular subject. Summarize the ideas of an expert. Summarize a
current controversy in the literature. State succinctly the dimensions
of a current issue. Explain key concepts and describe how they can be
III. Displaying ability to draw out existing knowledge. Measurables:
Write a précis of a published article. Read and interpret a
theoretical analysis, including simple mathematical derivations,
reported in an article. Read and interpret a quantitative analysis,
including regression results, reported in an article.
IV. Utilizing existing knowledge to explore issues. Prepare a written
analysis a current problem. Prepare a decision memorandum for a
superior that recommends some action.
Creating new knowledge
V. Identify and formulate a question or series of questions about some
economic issue that will facilitate investigation of the issue.
Prepare a proposal for a research project. Complete a research study
whose results are contained in a polished paper.
Based on your comment, I hope that gives you useful feedback.
Sources: "Assessing Student Learning and Development" by T. Dary
Erwin, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991; Taxonomy of Educational
Objectives. Vol. 1: Cognitive Domain. New York: McKay, 1956. Bloom, B.
Assessing student performance
Magers Theory of Behavioral Objectives
Writing Educational Goals and Instructional Objectives