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The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment makes learning outcomes visible and useful to the public.
New Occasional Paper
The Need for Program Theory and Implementation Fidelity in Assessment Practice and Standards
Sara J. Finney, Jennifer B. Wells, & Gavin W. Henning
With the creation of unjustified programming and curriculum, coupled with the collection of outcomes data not used for improvement efforts, the authors of this occasional paper posit that outcomes data should not be collected until two fundamental questions can be answered: “Why should this programming result in the desired outcome?” (i.e., program theory) and “Was the intended programming actually experienced by students?” (i.e., implementation fidelity). This occasional paper calls for professional standards and professionals themselves to integrate program theory and implementation fidelity into its learning outcomes assessment practice. Read more…
In this highly anticipated occasional paper, Natasha Jankowski helps conceptualize what is meant by Evidence-Based Storytelling (EBST)—an approach used at NILOA to refine and encourage evidence-based stories in assessment. According to Jankowski, two purposes are served within this paper “to re-examine what is meant by use of assessment results and to unpack evidence-based storytelling and its connection to assessment.” Here at NILOA we’ve done tons of workshops, presentations, webinars on EBST and hope that when you read this paper, you’ll be reminded of such and have been working on your institutional assessment stories in the meantime. Read more.
Jerry Daday, Thomas W. Hahn, & Erica Morrical
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) was invited to write a case study because of its strong and rich history of using numerous forms of applied and experiential learning to promote student engagement along with its ongoing Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) work. Read more…
Assessment in Practice
Allison BrckaLorenz & Thomas Kirnbauer
Indiana University Bloomington
This Assessment in Practice outlines three typical challenges assessment professionals face when starting to use an intersectional lens to quantitatively understand higher education experiences. Read more…
New Assessment in Practice
Andrea A. Curcio & Alexis Martinez
Georgia State University College of Law
This Assessment in Practice highlights a law school’s journey into the world of learning outcomes assessment and the way it sought to leverage accreditation requirements to engage faculty more deeply with student learning. Read more…
Collective Wisdom: Themes from Inaugural Episodes of the Leading Improvements in Higher Education Podcast
Stephen P. Hundley & Caleb J. Keith
The Leading Improvements in Higher Education podcast is a new service of the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, the oldest and largest higher education event in the United States devoted to assessment and improvement. While each episode delved into specific topics of interest related to a particular association, organization, or stakeholder group, the collective wisdom shared by all of the guests provides a mosaic of issues and opportunities to consider as we conclude a challenging, dynamic year. This Viewpoint provides seven crosscutting themes from the podcasts’ inaugural episodes. Read more…
Occasional Paper 47
This paper shares ten grand challenges identified through an examination of the assessment literature and a national survey. To Resource Occasional Paper read more about how the Grand Challenges were identified, please the recently released Research and Practice in Assessment article. Each of the grand challenges are described, of which four were identified as of greatest concern to the assessment community. Those four are being addressed by the Grand Challenges in Assessment Project for possible collective solutions.
Marsha C. Lovett
This case study on Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is an update of the original case study from 2012. The first case study described CMU’s approach to addressing the challenges of assessment, exploring the salient elements of CMU’s culture for assessment and improvement, and focused on the positioning and role of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence in student learning outcomes assessment at CMU. In this updated case, Building an Infrastructure for Data-Informed Learning Improvement, Marsha C. Lovett writes about the evolving relationship between assessment and faculty development and how the renamed Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation serves as the hub of such work.
NILOA Webinar Series
Beyond the Looking Glass:
Tenets of Meaningful Transparency
April 30, 2020
In the final episode of NILOA’s six-part webinar series, Natasha Jankowski, Ruth Slotnick, and Christina Ouellette discuss the role of transparency in student learning (view presentation slides). This includes communication about programmatic design, and the processes and practices at institutions working to convey information of student learning in a clear and coherent manner to different audience(s). The importance of transparency to students and student voice in the process are explored through the example of the transparency project at Bridgewater State University. The webinar concludes with institutional strategies and considerations for transparency in a time of Covid-19. We encourage you to participate in the BSU National Learning Outcomes Transparency survey! We also invite you continue the conversation on social media using the tags #NILOAwebinar, #AssessmentBook, and #AssessmentMusic.
The Evidence-Based Storytelling Toolkit:
Using Assessment Data to Write
Your Learning Narrative
April 23, 2020
Natasha Jankowski, Brad Mello, and Joe Levy provide resources on how to think about and plan for telling a story of learning to specific target audience (view presentation slides). Presenters will provide institutional examples of evidence-based storytelling, as well as guidance on communicating in a time of crisis and tips on messaging assessment efforts to faculty and staff. A new resource from NILOA, Planning for Effective Communication of Assessment: A Toolkit for Practice, was also introduced during the webinar. We invite you continue the conversation on social media using the tags #NILOAwebinar, #AssessmentBook, and #AssessmentMusic. NILOA will host the final webinar of this series April 30, 2020 at 3pm EST.
Outcomes, Alignment and Mapping, Oh My!:
Curriculum Mapping as Educational Design
April 16, 2020
Natasha Jankowski, Dan McInerney, and Errin Heyman present considerations for planning ahead to the summer and fall semester for supporting and advancing learning, especially in light of any learning outcomes that may need to be re-emphasized for returning students within programs. Presenters discussed alignment, levels of mapping, what is feasible now, and where to place our attention as we plan for the future (view presentation slides). NILOA has developed a guiding document for Program Planning in a Time of COVID-19. We encourage you continue the conversation on social media using the hashtags #NILOAwebinar, #AssessmentBook, and #AssessmentMusic. NILOA will continue to host weekly webinars every Thursday at 3:00pm EST through the end of April.
Assignment Design: Charrettes to Build Community in a Time of Physical Distance
April 9, 2020
NILOA will host weekly webinars every Thursday at 3:00pm EST through the end of April. This recording is of the 3rd webinar in the series, presented by Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Executive Director, Pat Hutchings, NILOA Senior Scholar, Tami Eggleston, McKendree University, and Shontell Stanford, Morehouse School of Medicine. The webinar discusses best practices for designing assignments for online learning, including tips for maintaining equity, quality, and applicability (view presentation slides). NILOA also developed a guiding document to conduct Assignment Charrettes in a Time of COVID-19. We encourage you continue the conversation on social media using the hashtags #NILOAwebinar, #AssessmentBook, and #AssessmentMusic.
Second Community Check-in and Updates
April 2, 2020
NILOA will host weekly webinars every Thursday at 3:00pm EST through the end of April. This recording is of the 2nd webinar from April 2, 2020, led by Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Executive Director. She discusses faculty evaluations, student surveys, messaging assessment reports, and assessing online in the time of COVID19 (view presentation slides). A new NILOA Viewpoint, discusses some of the issues that should be considered in making changes to how we grade students and using pass/fail. We encourage you continue the conversation on social media using the hashtags #NILOAwebinar, #AssessmentBook, and #AssessmentMusic. More information on the webinar series.
First Community Check-in and Updates
March 26, 2020
NILOA will host weekly webinars every Thursday at 3:00pm EST through the end of April. This recording is of the first webinar from March 26, 2020, led by Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Executive Director. She introduces a handful of resources, as well as advice, to help the field of assessment, and higher education writ large, to navigate the current transition to online as the field responds to the COVID19 pandemic (see presentation slides). The webinar focuses on providing a space for people to come together and decompress, share concerns, and experiences. We encourage you continue the conversation on social media using the hashtags #NILOAwebinar and #AssessmentMusic. More information on the webinar series.
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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.