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NILOA Updates

New Occasional Paper:

Using CAS as a Framework to Assess Holistic Learning

We are happy to co-release our 43rd Occasional Paper “Using CAS as a Framework to Assess Holistic Learning” with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). CAS provides tools and resources to guide the development of holistic learning and development outcomes that employers and higher education professionals wish to see in college graduates. CAS consists of a consortium of experts from various areas of higher education engaged in developing standards for professional practice as well as resources for self-assessment for functional areas of student support in higher education. Based in holistic learning and incorporating 47 functional areas involved in student learning and development, the CAS Standards serve as a validated, reliable resource in this data-driven, accountability-focused higher education environment. This paper explores how the CAS learning domains and dimensions can be used to identify and achieve various division-level or functional unit goals, to advance self-assessment, and to inform institutional effectiveness. Read more…

Occasional Paper:

A New Decade for Assessment: Embedding Equity into Assessment Praxis

NILOA’s 42nd Occasional Paper “A New Decade For Assessment: Embedding Equity into Assessment Praxis” posits that assessment is entering a new decade with an even more diversified college student population which will not only require more assessment models involving students but also deeper professional development of institutional representatives key to student learning. Reflecting upon and building from the conversations over the last three years around culturally responsive assessment and related equity and assessment discussions, this occasional paper highlights questions, insights, and future directions for the decade ahead by exploring what equitable assessment is and is not; the challenges and barriers to equitable assessment work; where the decade ahead may lead; and next steps in the conversation on equity and assessment. Read More…

Excellence in Assessment (EIA):

Apply Today for the Excellence in Assessment Class of 2020 

The application process for the 2020 Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation is now open! EIA recognizes institutions for their efforts in intentional integration of institution-level learning outcomes assessment. Over the past four years, we have recognized 27 institutions for their Excellence in Assessment. If your institution is involved in exemplary assessment practice, please consider applying. In preparation, we encourage you to review the application packet, evaluation rubric, and checklist. To learn more about the EIA, including the application and review process, please watch this recording of our January 21, 2020 informational webinar. Read more…

New Equity Response:

Culturally Responsive Assessment:
A Missed Call for Italy?

This equity response by Dr. Pastore from the University of Bari explores questions regarding “Does assessment really assure diversity, equity, and inclusion? How is it possible to implement a responsive assessment?” Dr. Pastore discusses the challenges of translating in vivo to an equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive assessment in the context of Italy, which can be “allergic to changes.” Moving from Montenegro & Jankowski’s (2017) framework, this Equity Response explores the reasons why the proposal of culturally responsive assessment is so far away to becoming a reality in Italy. Building on previous studies realized at the University of Bari, the author concludes by highlighting the main improvement areas in order to assure a meaningful innovation process within the Italian higher education system; some of which may resonate with readers for their own contexts. Read more…

New Evidence-Based Storytelling Example:

The Virginia Assessment Group and
James Madison University

The Evidence-Based Storytelling Toolkit is designed to help explore the various elements in the creation of a compelling, evidence-based story. It was developed through document and narrative analysis review of accreditation reports, program reviews, and annual assessment reports. To support and broaden the use of the Toolkit, we continually seek examples of practice that can help inform other institutions and organizations. One such example comes from a telepresence conference hosted by the Virginia Assessment Group, entitled “Telling Our Stories: Using Assessment Data for Learning and Improvement.” This addition to the Evidence-Based Storytelling Toolkit offers valuable lessons learned from this workshop, including sample grant applications, sample recruitment emails and communications materials, assessment surveys and results, presentation slides, and various handouts and facilitator guides for the day’s activities. We hope this addition to the Evidence-Based Storytelling Toolkit proves useful as you seek ways to tell your institutional assessment story! Read more…

New Assessment in Practice:

Designing & Aligning Learning Outcome Assessments for Academic Programs

Learning Outcomes are used to succinctly communicate the knowledge or abilities a student should possess after having completed a specified curriculum or academic program. Accredited learning institutions are typically required to identify expected learning outcomes for their degree programs as well as provide evidence that the students who complete the program are genuinely achieving those outcomes. The purpose of assessing these student learning outcomes is, then, to determine if students are achieving the desired outcomes, and to subsequently use assessment findings and results to improve instruction. Institutions, however, go about this assessment process in a variety of ways, yet there are some common principles to uphold and pitfalls to watch out for. This Assessment in Practice aims to focus on how Liberty University assesses their Program Learning Outcomes, with specific attention on the importance of designing properly aligned assessments. Read more…

New Featured Website:

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is the February 2020 NILOA Featured Website! The OIRA helps University of Tennessee fulfill its mission by providing “accurate and reliable data to university administrators, departments, and faculty to illuminate and inform their decision-making.” Website visitors can find useful tips on course-level assessmentwriting clear outcomes, an Assessment Toolbox with tips for formative and summative assessment. There are also resources to inform inclusive teachingsyllabus design, and much more. For these reasons, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at the University of Tennessee is an institutional example for the NILOA Transparency Framework in the Assessment Resources component, and a Featured Website in the category of Centralized Assessment Repository. Read More…

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Assignment Library

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Transparency Framework

The NILOA Transparency Framework helps institutions evaluate the extent to which they are making evidence of student accomplishment discoverable and  meaningful to various audiences in an online format.

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