Click here to see this online
NILOA April 2017 Newsletter

This month’s NILOA Newsletter announces the launch of the 2017 NILOA Provost Survey, a NILOA Viewpoint, Taking Stock of the Assessment Movement, from NILOA Senior Scholars, and a NILOA Assessment in Practice from an EIA Inaugural Designee, The PLAIR Pilot Project: Perspectives from BSc in Public Health and Nutrition, from Dr. Malin Garemo, Scott Benson, and Dr. Kevin Schoepp, all of Zayed University. Also included is the extension announcement for the Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation, a Featured Website from Washington State University, an update on NILOA In the Field, News Items, and information on relevant Upcoming Conferences and Programs. 

We also extend an invitation to apply for the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI). The theme for the Institute is Using Evidence for Improvement, and will feature Dr. Quaylan Allen speaking about factors contributing to academic success such as race, culture and agency, and Dr. Charles Blaich and Dr. Kathy Wise focusing on gathering and using assessment results. TLNI brings together campus teams committed to using evidence to identify areas of the student experience to strengthen and then, drawing from known successful practices, to construct more effective approaches both in and outside the classroom. Participating teams leave with an action plan in hand. NILOA is proud to be one of the sponsors of this Institute.

2017 NILOA Provost Survey Launch

NILOA is pleased to announce that we have launched our third National NILOA Provost Survey. The aim of the survey is to gain a clearer picture of the current state of assessing student learning in the United States. It builds on and updates NILOA’s first national survey conducted in 2009 and second survey in 2013. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. With foundation support and assistance from several higher education associations, NILOA is sending the survey to all accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States to gain a current picture of outcomes assessment practices nationwide. Please feel free to review the survey, along with previous survey reports, on the NILOA website.


New NILOA Viewpoint

Taking Stock of the Assessment Movement
NILOA Senior Scholars - Peter Ewell, Pat Hutchings, Jillian Kinzie, George Kuh & Paul Lingenfelter 

Sound assessment of student learning is required to assure that colleges and universities have evidence to guide their continuous improvement efforts.  We are grateful to AAC&U for helping the field “take stock” of the assessment movement in the most recent issue of Liberal Education. The first three essays - Charting the Future of US Higher Education: A Look at the Spellings Report Ten Years Later by W. Russell Neuman, Toward an Improvement Paradigm for Academic Quality by Douglas D. Roscoe, and The VALUE of Learning: Meaningful Assessment on the Rise by Terrell Rhodes- in the Winter, 2017 issue of Liberal Education are instructive for reviewing the challenges facing higher education, the achievements of the assessment movement, and the work that remains. As we conclude in our NILOA Policy Statement, “it is no longer beyond the capacity of a college or university to articulate expectations for learning, to document student progress toward these expectations, and to use the resulting evidence to improve student success...doing this job, and doing it well, is within our grasp…failing to do so shortchanges our students and the many others who have a major stake in the quality of higher education.” Read more…

New NILOA Assessment in Practice
AiP cover 

The PLAIR Pilot Project:
Perspectives from BSc in Public Health and Nutrition, Zayed University
Dr. Malin Garemo and Scott Benson, Zayed University
Dr. Kevin Schoepp, Jumeira University

In December 2014, NILOA published Occasional Paper No. 23, A Simple Model for Learning Improvement: Weigh Pig, Feed Pig, Weigh Pig (Fulcher, Good, Coleman, & Smith). That paper presented an accurate portrayal of the current state of assessment, concluding that programs rarely complete all three phases of the assessment process: assess- implement changes- re-assess. This often results in an inability to accurately determine whether the assessment process has led to improvements in student learning. As a solution, the Program Learning Assessment- Intervention- Reassessment (PLAIR) was introduced as a framework for a complete assessment process. The PLAIR process is a strategy to facilitate and evidence improvement in student learning. Our experiences in piloting PLAIR and the PLAIR Consultation Tool (PCT) within Zayed University’s (ZU) BSc in Public Health and Nutrition (PHN) are the focus of this article. Read more...

Excellence in Assessment (EIA)
 EIA Designation Logo

Application materials for the 2017
Excellence in Assessment (EIA)
are due now due May 1!

The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), along with partners at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), encourage college and universities with a strong commitment to assessment to consider applying for the 2017 Excellence in Assessment (EIA) Designations. Campuses should submit their application materials by the May 1, 2017, deadline. The Excellence in Assessment program recognizes exemplary colleges and universities that successfully integrate assessment practices across campus, provide evidence of student learning outcomes to stakeholders, and utilize assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance. Application materials can be found here. Read more...

NILOA In the Field

Through a combination of keynotes, presentations, workshops, and panels, the NILOA team was busy during the last thirty days. This month, NILOA staff and senior scholars attended the Learning Improvement Summit, the Assessment Network of New York 5th Annual Conference, and the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference. Please feel free to view commentary, opinions, and participants’ perception of these events through this NILOA In the Field update. Read more…

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

Washington State University’s Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) website offers visitors an insight into how the university approaches its student learning assessment initiatives. The website features links to a host of assessment related content, such as key assessment elements including content about writing student learning outcomes and using assessments. Also, there are links to curriculum maps, direct measures, indirect measures, and assessment plans. Equally useful, there is content about assessment-related workshops, assessment data analysis toolkits, using focus groups for program assessment, and designing student surveys. Read more...


AIR Webinar Recording Now Available!
The recording of a webinar, Making the Case for Competency-Based Education, hosted by Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, Kelle Parsons, American Institutes for Research, and Matt Soldner, American Institutes for Research, is now available. 

Exploring the HBCU Faculty Experience
We invite you to participate in a study examining the experiences of faculty related to workload (teaching, assessment, service) with an emphasis on faculty who teach at historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The insights you provide will serve to increase awareness and understanding of the roles of HBCUs in higher education.

A Partnership between Evidence-Based Policy and Practice-Based Evidence 
We invite you to read one of the most read blog posts in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s blog archive Partnership Between Evidence-Based Policy and Practice-Based Evidence from NILOA senior scholar Dr. Paul Lingenfelter.

The Quest to Define ‘Quality’
How should “quality” be defined in higher education, specifically within digital learning? Eleven experts in the field – including Peter Ewell, Robert Shireman, and Debra Humphreys – were asked this question, and they provided useful insights as to what a definition of “quality” should include.

How Colleges Can Open Powerful Educational Experiences to Everyone
As a high-impact practice, experiential learning may increase student success within colleges and universities, especially for underrepresented students. 

Pathways 2.0
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) started AACC Pathways 2.0, which is an initiative that aims to help community colleges design and implement academic /career pathways for students. 

Achieving the Dream Promotes 7 Principles to Help Students Succeed
During the 2017 Annual Dream Conference, 265 community colleges came together to discuss best ways to improve student learning at their institutions.

Professors Can Help Make a Project Fly
Highlighting the importance of faculty involvement in new projects, Lee Gardner shares insights from administrators about how teaching and learning can facilitate faculty involvement.

Equipped for Workplace Success?
Based on data from Gallup, college graduates that participate in "Big Six" experiences during their studies are more likely to be engaged employees in the workplace after college. Click on the link to learn more about these "Big Six" experiences. ​

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

April 19. Taking Student Learning Outcomes Assessment to the Next Level 
Bowie, MD. Bowie State University.
**Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, and Dr. Daniel Denecke will co-present the plenary session. 

April 19-21. 2017 Academic Resource Conference (ARC)
San Diego, CA. WASC Senior College and University Commission.
**Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, will lead a pre-ARC session.

April 21. 2017 Annual AMCOA Conference
Westborough, MA. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.
** Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, will present two sessions at AMCOA: Excellence in Assessment: A National Institute for Learning Outcomes (NILOA) Assessment Initiative; and Signature Assignment Design and Assessment.

April 26-28. 2017 WICHE Forum Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, UT. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
**Thursday, April 27, at 9:45 to 10:45 am. Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, and Dr. Pat Hutchings, NILOA senior scholar, will present Making Assessment Matter to Faculty and Students: Supporting the Design and Use of Effective Assignments.

April 27-May 1. 2017 AERA Annual Meeting
San Antonio, TX. American Educational Research Association (AERA).
**Sunday, April 30, at 10:35am to 12:05pm. Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director, and Keston H. Fulcher, James Madison University, will be discussants on the Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities in Higher Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment session.
**We invite you to attend SIG 64 on Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education sessions. This SIG is chaired by Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director.

May 5. 2017 Assessment Matters Regional Conference
Overland Park, KS. Johnson County Community College. 

May 5. Call for Proposals- 2017 ASHE Annual Meeting
Houston, TX. Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). 

May 8. Call for Proposals - 2017 Annual Summer Assessment Symposium
Houston, TX. University of Houston Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services.

May 8-11. 2017 International Summer Institute on ‘Students as Partners' 
Hamilton, ON, Canada. McMaster University.

May 15. Proposals Due: 2017 AGLS Conference
Memphis, TN. Association for General and Liberal Studies.

May 17. Assessment in Higher Education Conference
Henniker, NH. New England College.

Follow us on social media