Glossary of Assessment Terms

Each Term is followed by a brief definition, click on the term for additional information

  • Formative Assessment – Informs teaching and student learning during instruction
  • Whole Interval – If a behavior occurs for the entire duration of an interval of time
  • Summative Assessment – Evaluates teaching and student learning at the end of a lesson, unit, or course
  • Momentary Time Sampling – Data is recorded only at the end of a specified time interval
  • Benchmark – Targeted goal or objective derived from large sample of data
  • CBM – General outcome measurement that provides ongoing performance feedback that is used to evaluate instruction
  • Screening – Identifies individuals that are at-risk
  • CBA – Test stimuli taken from curriculum, tested repeatedly over time, and information is used to inform instruction
  • Diagnostic – Provides detailed information regarding a student’s current skills and knowledge
  • Antecedent – The environmental condition in which a behavior occurs
  • Adequate Yearly Progress – Continuous and substantial yearly progress toward state academic standards
  • Anecdotal Observation – Creating a narrative of events
  • Validity – Warranted conclusions about relationships between variables
  • Functional Analysis – Systematic manipulation of a potential variables maintaining a behavior
  • Reliability – Consistently having the same or similar scores
  • Task Analysis – Breaking down an academic or behavioral task into component steps
  • Sensitivity to Change – Smallest level of learning needed to impact measurement
  • Accommodation – Alterations that allow access to content
  • Event Recording – Recording each occurrence of a behavior
  • Modification – Alterations that modify content in order to be appropriate
  • Partial Interval – If a behavior occurs at any time during an interval of time

Thanks to Alex Smith (Univeristy of Missouri) and Alisa Baroffio, Nicole Bobrzynski, Katelyn Emigh, Lucia Gugliotta-Kremer, Ciarra Lewis, Michelle Mannella and Emily Zeh (Duquesne University) for the development of this glossary!