Discover, Assess, Distribute.

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment makes learning outcomes visible and useful to the public.

Invitation to Complete NILOA COVID-19 Survey

We invite you to complete the short 3-5 minute survey today! This survey is designed to capture a snapshot of assessment-related changes made during Spring 2020 in response to the sudden shift to remote instruction and to inform future professional development needs. Thank you for your input!

Making the Move to Online Courses:
Resources to Inform Teaching and Learning

The NILOA Team has compiled and will continue to update a resource list to assist the field as we make the move to online courses.

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. Register today!

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.

New Resources

Bringing the Student Voice to Transparency:
One Model and Three Tools

Joanna Boeing Bratton, Ruth C. Slotnick, Christina Ouellette
Bridgewater State University

While working in the Bridgewater State University (BSU) Office of Assessment, a graduate assistant realized that one of the learning outcomes in her master’s program was not applicable for her area of concentration within her program of study. This realization helped her discover the importance and urgency of program learning outcomes transparency in empowering the student to take charge of their own learning and success. The BSU Transparency Project started in 2017 with the purpose of promoting and enhancing transparency of program learning outcomes for current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Three tools have been developed and are shared here for other campuses to use and adapt. We encourage you to also participate in BSU’s short survey on the perceptions of the visibility and understandability of learning outcomes on higher education campuses and organizations. Read more…

Direct Instruction in Learning Outcomes for More Meaningful Assessment of Students of the Environment

Jennifer Pontius & Alan McIntosh

Assessment best practices suggest that the most effective way to engage and include students in mastering learning outcomes is to directly teach frameworks for applying learning outcomes and then practice these skills with clear guidelines about what differentiates competency from novice to mastery levels. A new text published by Springer provides such a tool for direct instruction and assessment of common learning outcomes for environmental programs. Critical Skills for Environmental Professionals: Putting Knowledge into Practice is designed to provide direct instruction and assessment tools for environmental majors. Selection of content for this book was based on a review of learning outcomes published by leading environmental programs across the United States. Several common themes emerged that were focused on training students to apply their disciplinary knowledge base, with an emphasis on environmental problem solving. Read more…

Featured Website:
College of San Mateo

The College of San Mateo’s Student Learning Outcomes webpage is our Featured Website in the category of Centralized Assessment Repository aligning with the Transparency Framework’s component of  Assessment Resources and Assessment Plans. CSM provides an overview page discussing responsibilities for assessing, where assessment happens, and frequently asked questions about assessment. Website visitors can explore the learning outcomes statements and assessment measures for both the institution and student services departments, including the Assessment Services/Welcome CenterCareer Services, and the Disability Resource Center. Their Assessment Toolkit walks users through the development of learning outcomes, assessing outcomes, and documenting/reporting. Read more… 

New to Assessment?

Assignment Library

Browse our interactive, online library of high-quality, peer-reviewed assignments.

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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