Measures of student learning

Measures of student learning can be either direct or indirect. Details and examples of both types of measures are given in turn given below. When including measures of student learning in, for example, a teaching portfolio or an appointment/promotion case, candidates should include an analysis of the approach taken and results achieved, as well as a self-reflection on how the outcomes have informed their educational approach.

Direct measures of student learning

Direct measures of student learning capture the knowledge/skills/attitudes of the student cohort, enabling evaluation of student performance, either against a defined benchmark or through changes over time. While ‘direct measures’ can provide robust evidence of teaching achievement within particular courses or programmes, they are typically resource intensive, requiring time and expertise to design and collect.

Indirect measures of student learning

While direct measures provide explicit evidence of student learning, indirect measures provide evidence that suggests or implies that student learning has taken place. Typically relating to either institutional indicators of student progression or to the perspectives of students and other stakeholders, most indirect measures are relatively straightforward to collect in a standardised form that can enable comparisons between cohorts.

Career Framework for University Teaching, 2020