National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

NILOA In the Field

Select NILOA news reports listed below. For additional NILOA Newsletters, please see the NILOA Newsletters.


April 2017

This month, NILOA staff attended WASC Senior College and University Commission Community of Practice for Advancing Learning Outcomes Visibility Pre-Conference Workshop, WASC’s Academic Resource Conference, WICHE’s Academic Leadership Forum, University System of Maryland’s Convening on Student Learning Outcomes, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Advancing a Massachusetts Culture of Assessment (AMCOA), and the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

George Kuh, NILOA Senior Scholar and Co-Principal Investigator, presented the keynote address to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine summit, “Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies,” in Washington D.C. on April 13.  His presentation was titled, Assessing Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competence: Fragments from the Field.

The WSCUC Community of Practice for Advancing Learning Outcomes Visibility Meeting, April 18, took place in San Diego, CA. with 30 participants from current “communities of practice” gathered for a pre-conference session led by Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, who worked to frame the current state of the assessment field and assist communities in navigating through their current barriers involving student learning outcomes. According to WSCUC’s web page, these CoP’s will “lend support, guidance, and consulting around projects related to assessing student learning and demonstrating visibility of that learning.” NILOA is pleased to work in partnership with WASC on the Community of Practice effort and provide support and guidance to the participating institutions. Please find the PowerPoint presentation here: Communicating about Learning: A National View of Transparency.

Drs. Jillian Kinzie and Pat Hutchings, NILOA Senior Scholars, also presented during the WASC Academic Resource Conference on NILOA’s five principles for learning outcomes assessment in their session titled, From Compliance to Improvement: Documenting Student Learning to Strengthen Educational Mission and Effectiveness. Dr. Kinzie also highlighted the work of Mills College, an inaugural Excellence in Assessment Designee, in her session titled, Excellence in Assessment Designations: Lessons from the Field.

The Taking Student Learning Outcomes Assessment to the Next Level Conference, April 19, took place in Bowie, MD, and was sponsored by the University System of Maryland. Dr. Natasha Jankowski and Dr. Daniel Denecke, Vice President of Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives at the Council of Graduate Schools, served as the plenary speakers on the topic of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: Past, Present, and Future. The speakers drew from lessons learned from their own work with national initiatives “to consider learning outcomes assessment as a field, with its own history, conceptual frameworks, research bases, and best practices.” Dr. Jankowski also hosted a round table discussion on the EIA designation and conducted a workshop on assignment design efforts in the afternoon. Please find the PowerPoint presentations here:
1. Assignment Design: A Faculty-Centered Approach To Improving Teaching, Learning, And Assessment.
2. Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: Past, Present, and Future.

The Sixth Annual AMCOA Conference, April 21, took place in Westborough, MA. The conference, Advancing the Work of Assessment: Best Practices, Tools and Resources, was sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski presented two sessions. Her first presentation, Excellence in Assessment: A National Institute for Learning Outcomes (NILOA) Assessment Initiative, shared lessons learned from the Excellence in Assessment Designation process from both the institution’s and NILOA’s perspective. Her second presentation, Signature Assignment Design and Assessment, elaborated on NILOA’s Assignment Design work, including tips for excellent assignments and exploration of the DQP Assignment Library. Please find the PowerPoint presentations here:
1. Excellence in Assessment Designation.

2. Signature Assignment Design and Assessment

George Kuh, NILOA Senior Scholar and Co-Principal Investigator, was one of eight members of the Association of Governing Boards advisory group that met April 24, in Washington D.C. to frame the context and flesh out guiding principles for AGB’s planned revision of its statement on shared governance last updated in 2010.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s (WICHE) Academic Leadership Forum, April 26-28, took place in Salt Lake City, UT. The Forum’s theme, Designing Quality in Higher Education Facet by Facet, included a keynote speaker from WICHE’s President, Joseph A. Garcia, J.D. Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, and Dr. Pat Hutchings, NILOA senior scholar, presented, Making Assessment Matter to Faculty and Students: Supporting the Design and Use of Effective Assignments. Jankowski and Hutchings expounded on NILOA’s current assignment design work with faculty “to develop and use more intentionally designed assignments as a way to make assessment a more powerful engine for improvement.” Please find the PowerPoint presentation here: Assessment Matter To Faculty and Students.

The American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 27-May 1, took place in San Antonio, TX. Hundreds of presenters gathered to discuss research pertaining to this year’s theme, Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity. Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, and Dr. Keston H. Fulcher, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Assessment and Research Studies at James Madison University, participated as discussants on the Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities in Higher Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment session. In addition, Dr. Jankowski and Dr. Ruth Slotnick, Director for Learning Outcomes Assessment at Bridgewater State University and DQP Coach, serve as chair and program chair respectively of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Measurement Assessment in Higher Education.

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"The complex, diverse learning goals, of postsecondary education do not justify a passive approach to student achievement. It is heartening to see state policy and institutional leaders working together to collect evidence of student learning and pursue continuous improvement."

Paul Lingenfelter

Paul E. Lingenfelter
President Emeritus
State Higher Education Executive Officers