National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Providing Evidence of Student Learning:
A Transparency Framework


Key Definitions

Transparency
Making meaningful, understandable information about student learning and institutional performance readily available to internal and external audiences. Information is meaningful and understandable when it is contextualized and tied to institutional goals for student learning. Meaningful information may include disaggregated results, by major field, student level, gender, race and ethnicity, and by providing longitudinal analyses and perspectives and/or comparisons with national norms or peer institutions.

Audiences
Institutional websites have different audiences. Some web pages cater primarily to internal audiences such as academic affairs, institutional research, and faculty development, while other web pages are tailored to external audiences such as prospective students and alumni. Institutions may present different information as well as some of the same information on these various sites depending on the intended audience.

Not Transparent
An institutional website or student learning component that is not transparent means that information may be difficult if not impossible to find, even after extensive searching of the entire website (i.e., looking on multiple pages/links and using the website search engine). Some information may be password protected, embedded within large documents or buried within internal web pages. Still other information may be difficult to identify as related to student learning due to unclear placement or vague language.

Transparent
An institutional website that is transparent conveys information of student learning which addresses the six components outlined above. For instance, information on student learning can and should be presented in language that is understandable by specific and multiple audiences, widely available across the website, updated regularly, receptive to feedback,, and accessible by multiple web browsers and in various internet speeds.