National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Providing Evidence of Student Learning:
A Transparency Framework


Student learning outcomes statements clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire at an institution of higher education. Transparent student learning outcomes statements are:

• Specific to institutional level and/or program level
• Clearly expressed and understandable by multiple audiences
• Prominently posted at or linked to multiple places across the website
• Updated regularly to reflect current outcomes
• Receptive to feedback or comments on the quality and utility of the information provided

Click here to see a list of resources on writing student learning outcomes statements.

Institutional Examples

Website Examples
Policies/Expectations for Students Regarding the Assessment of Student Learning Examples

Website Examples

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University’s website provides a host of information about the university's assessment practices. Viewers can read about institutional learning outcomes and program learning outcomes in addition to assessment reports. There is also content about the university’s educational effectiveness regarding direct and indirect effectiveness indicators. The website has facts and figures to further understand the effectiveness of university programs.

Kent State

Kent State University’s Web Page provides a creative twist in the making of learning outcomes. The page features videos on the following topics concerning student learning outcome statements: overview of the process, creating learning outcomes at the course and program level, writing quality learning outcome statements, and evaluating learning outcomes. The page also provides sample learning outcomes statements as well as a sample rubric for evaluating learning outcomes.

Portland State University

Portland State University’s Web Page provides a list of its Campus-wide Learning Outcomes. Each outcome expands to show more information including its rationale and more specific outcomes developed by a Subcommittee. In addition, a downloadable poster featuring the definition, rationale, and specific outcomes of each campus-wide learning outcome is posted.

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati clearly indicates the expected learning outcomes for their general education core competencies on their assessment website. In addition to the competencies, the rubrics used to evaluate the competencies and data gathering process are posted on the site.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College clearly states their learning outcome statements in a fun format for multiple audiences.

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University provides expected learning outcomes that are searchable by college, department, and program on their Center for Teaching and Learning page.

University of the Fraser Valley (in Canada)

University of Fraser Valley is currently undergoing a learning outcomes project with the final document revealed on May 1, 2012. Track the progress and conversation on their website.

Alverno College

Alverno college

Alverno College

Alverno College is a leader in student learning outcomes assessment. Featured pages include its Learning Outcomes Studies which explains its position on educational research and evaluation and what they do at Alverno. Also included is its Student Assessment -as- Learning page which lists requirements for students regarding assessment for graduation.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis



IUPUI's Office Planning and Institutional Improvement page lists its assessment resources. Its Principles of Undergraduate Learning serve as its student learning outcomes.



Ohio University

Ohio University

Ohio University's Office of Institutional Research page states its student learning assessment and outcomes.

Pennsylvania State University


Pennsylvania State University

Assessment of Student Learning at Penn State uses a process that assesses five spheres: academic program, course level, general education, institutional level, and cocurricular programs.

The State University of New York


State University of New York

The SUNY Assessment Initiative: Resources for Campuses showcases assessment resources including student learning outcomes in all 12 of SUNY’s General Education areas.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

A main resource site for assessment on its campus, the Operational Excellence and Assessment Support page provides information on assessment plans to accreditation to Academic Learning Compacts.

Policies or Expectations for Students Regarding the Assessment of Student Learning Examples

Not only do institutions need to inform students of the student learning outcomes statements adopted by the college/university but it also important to then tell them the institution's expectations or policies on assessment. Below are some examples of statements on policies regarding assessment at a few colleges/universities. These expectations/policies can be found on the institution's website and/or catalog.

Harford Community College

Assessment of Student Learning Statement:

Harford Community College is committed to excellent educational experiences and high-quality programs for its students. In order to ensure that students are gaining the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to be successful, the College routinely engages in evaluation and assessment of course-level, program-level, and institution-level learning outcomes. Students may be asked to directly participate in assessment activities such as focus groups, surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. In addition, student coursework, including but not limited to, exams, papers, written assignments, and presentations, may be retained for the purpose of assessment and improvement. 

Eastern New Mexico University

Student Learning Assessment Statement:

Eastern New Mexico University is an institution centered on student learning and student development. To assess and improve its academic programs the University must obtain periodic measurements of student perceptions and intellectual growth. The University routinely conducts campus-based studies of student attitudes, student academic achievement, student satisfaction, and personal, professional and career development. As a requirement for graduation, students must participate in academic assessment. Students will be notified of their required participation. Questions about the Student Learning Assessment Program can be directed to the Assessment Resource Office at 575-562-2732 or

University of Northern Iowa

Assessment of Student Learning Catalog Statement:

UNI is committed to the assessment of student learning for purposes of the ongoing improvement of curriculum, programs, and services offered by the university and for accreditation processes. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators all play a role in student learning and all benefit from the creation of useful and meaningful assessment strategies and information.

Assessment activities at UNI are conducted by academic, administrative, and student affairs departments and units and may take the form of surveys, standardized tests, program evaluation forms, focus groups, student projects, student reflective activities, or any of a variety of other mechanisms. Some assessment instruments are given to specific groups of students; others are given to students randomly selected from a group or groups of students. Assessments may be administered both inside and outside of the classroom. Some assessments may be voluntary; others may be required.

Assessment-related data are kept confidential for individual students and are released only in aggregate form. Unless the assessment tool is also part of the assignments for a course, student performance in the assessment activity does not affect course grades or progress toward graduation.

Additional information about assessment policies and processes at UNI can be found on the Web site for the Office of Academic Assessment: Questions about assessment at UNI can be directed to the Office of Academic Assessment and the Office of Institutional Research.

"A new tool aims to help colleges catalog and present to their constituents the various steps they are undertaking to assess how (and how much) their students are learning. The "Transparency Framework" released this week by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment is designed to bring together in one place the various plans, assessment activities and evidence that a particular college or university is using to gauge student learning."

Inside Higher Education