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.


February 2018

The month of February had the NILOA staff involved in various presentations and meetings throughout the U.S. NILOA’s Director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski facilitated a dialogue on meaningful assessment for faculty and staff at Bergen Community College on February 1st, 2018 in Paramus, New Jersey. A copy of the presentation is located here. The presentation was well received, with a participant stating that “Natasha clearly explained the connection between teaching, learning, and assessment. As importantly, she discussed how we share our work within the college and to external stakeholders. This information will help deepen our assessment activities.”

Additionally, Dr. Jankowski, participated in the American Institutes for Research (AIR) meeting on Competency-Based Education (CBE) on February 8th, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Competency-based education is a flexible model of instruction that focuses on what students know and can do, rather than on how much time they spend in the classroom. Competency-based programs could reduce barriers many face to getting a college degree, whether adult learners who struggle to balance an academic calendar with work and family, or workers who want to get the credentials verifying skills they’ve acquired on the job. The diverse stakeholder group discussed the development of a research agenda to broaden the education community’s understanding of CBE.

2018 Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Symposium took place in Costa Mesa, CA on February 9th 2018. NILOA’s Assistant Director, Dr. Gianina Baker, delivered a keynote titled Making Assessment Consequential. Dr. Baker’s presentation is accessible here.

It was the 5th SLO Symposium, with over 200 attendees visiting. NILOA is proud to have been a regular fixture of the SLO Symposium. Faculty, SLO coordinators, researchers, administrators and research analysts traditionally attend the event. This year, the symposium hosted sessions on topics such as: ACCJC and what’s new with SLO assessment, SLO assessment data disaggregation, building teams and focus groups around SLOs and how to engage students and faculty in meaningful SLO assessment processes.

2018 AAC&U General Education and Assessment: Foundations for Democracy took place in Philadelphia, PA between February 15th – 17th, 2018. NILOA’s Senior Scholar, Dr. David Marshall, along with NILOA’s Coach Dr. Sandra Bailey, conducted a workshop Integration of General Education and the Major: Mapping Integrative Learning. Furthermore, NILOA’s Director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski, along with Assistant Director, Dr. Gianina Baker, presented Assignments on the Road to Learning in All Spaces. Presentation from this session is available here. Finally, NILOA’s Senior Scholar, Dr. Jillian Kinzie, Vice President of the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U, Dr. Terry Rhodes and Senior Director for Research & Assessment, AAC&U, Dr. Kate McConnell, conducted a workshop VALUE Institute: Learning Outcomes Assessment at its Best.

Building on the 2017 General Education and Assessment conference program’s examination of design thinking, the conference challenged participants to envision and take steps toward generating creative high-quality teaching and learning models that explicitly span traditional structural, curricular, and co-curricular boundaries and connect to preparation for work, citizenship, and life in a complex world. NILOA is pleased to be an ongoing partner with AAC&U and enjoyed participating in the conference again this year.

National Student Success Conference: Innovators and Innovations took place in Tampa, FL between February 21st – 23rd, 2018 and was hosted by the University of South Florida in partnership with the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities. NILOA Senior Scholar, Dr. George Kuh was the opening plenary speaker with Next Generation HIPs: Accentuating the Ineffable. Dr. Kuh’s session briefly reviewed what we’ve learned about how and why HIPs are educationally effective and what the future holds in terms of expanding the kinds of activities with HIP-like qualities so that more students benefit, especially those from historically underrepresented groups. Special attention was given to ensuring that students realize the often underemphasized outcomes associated with a HIP experience that are foundational to strong performance during and after college. A video from the opening panel can be found here.

The latest paper on HIPs, Using ePortfolio to document and deepen the impact of HIPs on learning dispositions, authored by Dr. Kuh, Dr. Gambino, Dr. Bresciani Ludvik and Dr. O’Donnell, was announced during the conference and is available here. The National Student Success Conference brings together the innovators and innovations that are transforming student success programs, policies, and practices across the country.

New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention Conference took place in Albuquerque, NM between February 21st – 22nd, 2018. NILOA’s Director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski, participated in the event by facilitating a Pre-Conference Workshop Building Sustainable Assessment Processes: Mapping Student Learning. She then delivered a keynote Equitable Assessment Processes: Unpacking Implicit Design. At the end of the conference, Dr. Jankowski hosted a town hall discussion session with participants.

The conference was hosted by New Mexico Higher Education Assessment Association, which was established to promote improvement in New Mexico higher education through outcomes assessment; to increase communication, cooperation, and sharing of resources and ideas on outcomes assessment in higher education; and to advance the efficiency of outcomes assessment in higher education in the State of New Mexico.

High Impact Practices in the States Conference was hosted by California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA between February 22nd – 24th, 2018. Two of NILOA’s Senior Scholars attended and presented at the conference. Dr. George Kuh participated in a Breakfast Plenary Panel, along with Dr. Elizabeth Nuńez, Dr. Susan Albertine and Dr. William Franklin, HIPs in their Next Decade, focusing on rapid adoption of High-Impact Practices as a framework for organizing the most engaging experiences in college: undergraduate research, first-year programs, service learning, learning communities, internships. However widely promoted, high-quality HIPs remain out of reach for many, suggesting the next decade’s work must expand their availability to new students, new demographic groups, and new parts of the world.

Dr. Jillian Kinzie co-presented with Dr. Robert Gonyea, The HIP Landscape at Public Institutions: Exploring Variation in Intention and Participation by Student Characteristics. This session explored 2016 and 2017 public institution results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to highlight student participation in HIPs by key demographics, including first-generation status and racial-ethnic groups. Presenters focused on first-year student expectations for HIPs, and then discussed how results inform institutional policy and practice regarding student expectations, approaches to closing equity gaps, and benchmarking institutional performance.

HIPs in the States is an informal association of college and university educators working to improve the definitions, tracking, and assessment of high¬-impact educational practices. The organization welcomes participation from anyone interested, but the focus is primarily on public postsecondary institutions, where delivery of HIPs can face particular challenges of scale, affordability, access, and equity.

The 22nd Illinois Annual Assessment Fair was held at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, IL on February 23rd, 2018. NILOA’s Assistant Director, Dr. Gianina Baker keynoted the event, addressing the conference theme: Origins, Outcomes, and Overhauls: What Is Your Assessment Story and Identity? Dr. Baker’s presentation can be found here.

The Assessment Group of Illinois Community Colleges was created in 2009 by community college assessment professionals as a network for the exchange of information and ideas.

IMS Global Quarterly Meeting & Digital Credentials Summit 2018 took place in Scottsdale, AZ on February 26-27, 2018. NILOA’s Director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski, participated in the event which focused on Building Educator-Employer Partnerships.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium annual Summit on Digital Credentials and Open Badges brings education, business, and policy leaders together to discuss and share their experience building skills-based partnerships for learner's success. The mission of the IMS Global Learning Consortium is to advance technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment.

Concluding NILOA’s activities in February, Senior Scholar, Dr. Pat Hutchings meet with the advisory committee of the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education to continue planning for "Using Evidence for Improvement: The Third Annual Teaching and Learning National Institute," scheduled for July 29-Aug 1, 2018. NILOA is a co-sponsor of that event and information on participating in the event can be found here. Additionally, Dr. Hutchings facilitated an online workshop on assignment design for Palo Alto University faculty.

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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