Our NILOA Viewpoints are guest-authored, thought-provoking pieces aimed at moving the field toward practices, initiatives, and questions that can inform assessment for improvement. Viewpoints cover myriad topics of interest to different audiences. To help facilitate how you navigate through these pieces, we have grouped them by topic area.

Latest NILOA Viewpoint

Meta-Themes & Meta-Trends in Assessment:
Enduring Issues, Emerging Ideas

Stephen P. Hundley & Susan Kahn
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

After 35 years of the assessment movement in the U.S., how are we approaching assessment today? What have we learned? What has changed? And what do the answers to these questions imply for designing teaching, learning, and curricula, and for the kinds of learning we value? These are the questions we set out to address in our new edited volume, Trends in Assessment: Ideas, Opportunities, and Issues for Higher Education (2019). As organizers of the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, now the nation’s oldest and largest assessment conference, we were uniquely positioned to comment on changes over time. Further, the contributors to the book were composed of the Institute’s past and current track leaders, in addition to the representatives of the many higher education organizations who partner with the Institute and offered their own perspectives on current and future assessment trends in the book’s concluding chapter. This Viewpoint offers a summary of the “meta-themes” and “meta-trends” identified in Trends in Assessment.

The Assessment Landscape

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Viewpoints in this section discuss contemporary and possible future challenges and opportunities for the field of assessment, how assessment contributes to conversations surrounding the value and worth of higher education, what principles of good assessment practice we should follow, and how we can use assessment data to improve teaching and learning. 

Strengths-based Assessment Practice: Constructing Our Professional Identities through Reflection by Gina B. Polychronopoulos Emilie Clucas Leaderman
Promoting an Improvement Culture by Claudia J. Stanny
Improvement Matters by Peter Felten
Responses to “The Misguided Drive to Measure” Learning Outcomes by Natasha Jankowski
AAHE Principles of Good Practice: Aging Nicely by Pat Hutchings, Peter Ewell, and Trudy Banta
Guidelines to Consider in Being Strategic about Assessment by Larry A. Braskamp and Mark E. Engberg
Why Are We Assessing? By Higher Education Assessment Practitioners

Institution & Program-Level

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What do institutions and programs need to consider when it comes to assessment work? The Viewpoints in this section provide thoughts on implementation of assessment at various levels within institutions of higher education.

Tools & Resources

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There are various tools and resources available to us in our assessment efforts. In fact, the use of multiple measures of student learning and the implementation of different tools is recommended. The Viewpoints in this section discuss processes, tools, and related concepts to consider when engaging in assessment.

Stakeholder Roles

Assessment is done by groups of individuals committed to using evidence to improve teaching and learning. To see the collective impact to which we are striving, partnerships and role differentiation are crucial. The Viewpoints in this section provide insight and reflection on stakeholder roles and partnerships in assessment.

Equity & Diversity

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How can assessment be more equitable? How can we assess learners aptitude to understand diverse others? How can assessment support equity initiatives at our institutions? The Viewpoints in this section tackle these questions and many more as thought leaders and experts in the field offer insight on issues of equity and diversity as they relate to assessment. 

In Remembrance

Many pioneers have impacted the landscape of assessment in higher education for the better to advance the conversation toward one that situates student learning at the center of what we do. As such, these Viewpoints invite you to remember, celebrate, and reflect on the careers and lessons learned from colleagues who may have passed, but their legacies continue to teach and inspire us all.