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.


June 2017

Through a combination of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, presentations, and meetings, the NILOA team was busy this past month. NILOA staff and senior scholars attended a meeting by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), Taskstream's Tk20 Interactive Conference, the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) conference, a convening by the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), A Competency-Based Approach to Talent: Connecting Military, Higher Education and Workplace Learning, and the Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) conference.

(Re)imagining Humanities Teaching: Innovations in Course Design took place between June 8-10 in Kansas City, MO. NILOA Senior Scholar Dr. Pat Hutchings was a plenary speaker at a gathering of humanities faculty participating in a three-year initiative on course design—the Collaborative Humanities Redesign Project, or CHRP—funded by the Teagle Foundation. The event brought together scholarly teachers from a diverse set of institutions who have been using evidence to improve student learning, and documenting their process and results in electronic course portfolios. Dr. Hutchings' interactive session engaged participants in discussion of "teaching as inquiry" and the ways that disciplinary identities shape such work.

NILOA staff attended a meeting by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) to explore the potential role of an employer-led job registry for improving how employers organize and signal their competency and credential requirements for their most critical jobs. Due to NILOA’s work with the Degree Qualifications Profile, Tuning, and assignment library efforts, staff were invited to comment on the connections between employer signaling via clear competencies along with demonstrations of meeting the competencies in relation to the work unfolding in higher education. The meeting took place in Washington, DC on June 12, bringing together leading employers, HR technology companies, public and private leaders, data experts, and higher education representatives. A white paper from the event will be released in the next few months.

The Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) took place June 12-14 in Louisville, Kentucky, bringing together assessment professionals from throughout the United States. NILOA Senior Scholar, Dr. David Marshall, and NILOA Director Dr. Natasha Jankowski and Assistant Director Dr. Gianina Baker were in attendance. The AALHE annual conference is a professional development opportunity for assessment practitioners in higher education, pushing the conversation for advanced assessment practitioners and next generation assessment professionals.

NILOA Director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski was a part of a panel discussion on sustainable assessment practices with colleagues Keston Fulcher from James Madison University, and Ross Markle and Javarro Russell from ETS. The panel featured a lively discussion on the role of assessment professionals in advancing the case for quality education and focusing on each of their unique perspectives in the field. The open discussion allowed for active engagement in dialogue to hopefully assist in shifting the work.

NILOA Senior Scholar Dr. David Marshall and Dr. Jankowski ran a workshop on designing assignments in a learning systems paradigm. The early morning group was engaged and thoughtful about how to scale their assignment work within an emerging paradigm, that of the learning system. To learn how to conduct an assignment charrette on your own campus, click here. Please find the PowerPoint presentation here: Designing Assignments in a Learning Systems Paradigm. To find out more about the learning system, pre-order your copy of the book here.

NILOA Director Dr. Natasha Jankowski, along with Assistant Director, Dr. Gianina Baker led a discussion session on possible philosophies of assessment. Participants were quite engaged with the subject with several next steps identified. Please explore the NILOA Perspectives column “Moving Toward a Philosophy of Assessment” in the May/June 2017 Assessment Update article to get the background of this presentation. Please find the PowerPoint presentation here: Philosophies of Assessment: The Narratives of Our Work.

The Art of Assessment was a first time Taskstream-Tk20 Interactive sponsored event, which took place between June 13 – 16 in Austin, TX. NILOA Senior Scholar, Dr. George Kuh keynoted the conference with a talk titled “The Art of Making Assessment Consequential.” He also facilitated a follow-up discussion at the conference around the theme, “Designing for Success after Graduation.” The event’s primary role was to bring educators together to collaborate, share information, learn from each other and improve their teaching skills. It featured a variety of informative sessions and training courses regarding assessment.

“A Competency-Based Approach to Talent: Connecting Military, Higher Education and Workplace Learning” Convening took place June 20-21 in Kansas City, Missouri and was sponsored by the Army University, Competency-Based Education Network, and Lumina Foundation. This meeting brought together educators, employers, military representatives, and other key stakeholders to discuss key elements of competency-based approaches to learning and talent development. NILOA director, Dr. Natasha Jankowski provided framing discussions to start off the session breakouts and presented with several Army University staff working to use competencies as a currency of learning.
For more information, please visit here.
Another article highlighting the event can be found here.

The Assessment in Higher Education Conference (AHE) took place in June 28-29 in Manchester, UK. Dr. Natasha Jankowski and Dr. David Marshall presented “Moving Towards a Learning System: Implications of Assessment for Learning.” The conference was primarily focused on improving understanding of assessment as practice in higher education. It featured educators with expertise in assessment. Dr. Jankowski and Dr. Marshall shared their research and innovative practices enhancing the quality of assessment in higher education from the perspective of the United States. At the same time, it was an opportunity for educators to voice their concerns regarding assessment and participate in debate, sharing experiences and struggles that they face in classrooms. The event brought over 200 delegates from 26 countries, who collaboratively worked on understanding and improving assessment in higher education. Please find the PowerPoint presentation here: Moving Towards a Learning System: Implications of Assessment for Learning.

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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