Writing Program, Process, and Performance Outcomes

Program/process outcomes - The end result of what a program or process is to do, achieve, or accomplish.

Program outcomes can be as simple as completion of a task or activity, although this is not as meaningful as it could be and does not provide information for improvement. To accomplish the latter, you should try to assess the effectiveness of what you want your program to accomplish. Program outcomes, just like learning outcomes should be measureable, manageable, and meaningful. Examples include:

The program will be able to {action verb to describe what it will do, achieve or accomplish}

Program Outcome - The Department of English will increase the diversity of their application pool by 50%.

Program Outcome - The Department of Residential Life will respond to maintenance requests within 24 hours of receipt.

Program Outcome - The Student Health Service will schedule students for check-ups within 24 hours of request.

Program Outcome - The Financial Aid Office will have full award letters out to the on-time complete applicants by April 15.

Select appropriate Assessment Methods

Use a variety of methods, direct and indirect, quantitative and qualitative, to gather adequate information in order to determine the extent to which the outcome has been achieved.

Direct Methods - Any process employed to gather data which requires subjects to display their knowledge, behavior, or thought processes. 1

Indirect Methods - Any process employed to gather data which asks subjects to reflect upon their knowledge, behaviors, or thought processes


1. Adapted from: Ewell, P.T. (2003). Specific roles of assessment within this larger vision. Presentation given at the Assessment Institute at IUPUI. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.