Achievement Targets

How to Determine Where to Place the Bar


When we ask about achievement targets we are wanting to know what the criteria are for meeting the departments preferred student achievement levels (refrigerator good).  Aspirational targets are the best art on the refrigerator.  

Achievement Target  
An achievement target should be aspirational, set the skill/knowledge achievement target where you would like each student to be.  Aspirational student achievement/student learning level. There is no penalty for not meeting an achievement target - it is a goal.  (Calhoun & Moon, 2010)

Where your students are currently performing or where they were performing when you began the data collection for your assessment project. You may reset your benchmark at reasonable intervals (e.g. every five years) or when you change your assessment instruments or assessment project.  You use the benchmark/baseline to compare progress longitudinally.  (Calhoun & Moon, 2010)

Cutpoint/Minimal Acceptable Competency Level 
The minimal acceptable performance level for a student to achieve to be considered competent in specific skills, knowledge set, or program. The performance/skill/knowledge you are assessing is related to your student learning outcomes. (Calhoun & Moon, 2010)

Student Competency Criteria/Student Performance Criteria
A scale that is developed to identify unacceptable, minimally acceptable, acceptable, above average and exemplary student learning/achievement levels.  Your scale levels may be labeled to your preference or needs.  Sample Scales are available in the "Measures/Instruments" section of the assessment webpage.

Performance criteria help assessors maintain objectivity and provide students wtih important information about expectations, giving them a target or goal to strive for.


Updated Summer, 2016