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NILOA December 2017 Newsletter

Please take a moment to read our 2017 Year-End Note reflecting on NILOA's activities over the past 12 months.

Of special interest in this year's final newsletter is an invitation to apply for the 2018 Excellence in Assessment Designations. We also feature the Tuning impact study: Developing faculty consensus to strengthen student learning, written by David W. Marshall, Natasha A. Jankowski, and Terry Vaughan III, an Assessment in Practice, Achieving Excellence in Data Visualization, by Martha J. Larkin and George R. Larkin, responses to the equity and assessment conversation by Jodi Fisler and Jan McArthur, and a summary of NILOA's activities in the field during November. We are also pleased to announce Pennsylvania State University as this month's Featured Website. Finally, please note relevant News Items, announcements, and information on Upcoming Conferences and Programs.

NILOA Tuning Impact Study

Tuning impact study: Developing faculty consensus to strengthen student learning
David W. Marshall, Natasha A. Jankowski, & Terry Vaughan III

The Tuning impact study discusses the intended outcomes of Tuning as well as the assumptions undergirding the benefits of engaging in a Tuning process. In this report, Drs. Marshall, Jankowski, and Vaughan III present outcomes from the work of Tuning in the United States from 2009-2016. Findings address the process of reaching consensus, faculty cross-institution collaborations, implications for transfer and pathways, educational redesign and assessment, and student and employer engagement. Read more...

New NILOA Assessment in Practice

Achieving Excellence in Data Visualization
Dr. Martha J. Larkin & Dr. George R. Larkin 
Walden University 

Student learning outcomes assessment has produced a dramatic increase in the amount of data available for analysis. The data deluge and demands from the public for educational accountability require that educational assessment professionals develop new ways to analyze and present assessment results. Technological advancements over the past few decades have revolutionized the way we gather, analyze, and present data. Visualization offers one possible solution for presenting data in an understandable format. Read more...

NILOA In The Field

Through a combination of keynote speeches and presentations, NILOA staff were busy this past month. We attended the NEEAN Fall Forum 2017 Advancing Assessment in New England, the 42nd Annual ASHE Conference Power to the People, the NCA's 103rd Annual Convention Our Legacy, Our Relevance and the 2017 Virginia Assessment Group Conference among others. Read more... 


2018 Excellence in Assessment Designation

Application materials for the 2018 Excellence in Assessment (EIA) Designation are now available! The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program recognizes institutions for their efforts in intentional integration of campus-level learning outcomes assessment. The EIA designations focus on campus processes and uses of assessment outcomes, rather than on student performance or accomplishment. Completed applications are due by May 1, 2018. Read more…

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

The Office of Planning and Assessment at Pennsylvania State University provides structure, oversight, and support for learning outcomes assessment at all 24 campuses. The Office of Planning and Assessment outlines an eight step learning outcomes assessment process. All degrees (undergraduategraduatecertificates, and shared degrees offered by Penn State are analyzed annually. Read more...



Bringing Equity into the Heart of Assessment

In January 2017, NILOA's Natasha Jankowski and Erick Montenegro launched a conversation on the relationship between equity and assessment in the 29th Occassional Paper, Equity and Assessment: Moving Towards Culturally Responsive Assessment. In the recently released Assessment Update, they take a moment to reflect on the conversation over the past year and where we have yet to go. While we will continue the conversation into 2018 with additional responses to the paper, we are pleased to announce the release  of new installments to the equity conversation by Jodi Fisler, Associate for Assessment Policy and Analysis at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and Jan McArthur, Lecturer at Lancaster University.  


AAC&U Announces the launch of the VALUE Institute
The VALUE Institute is a new resource, based on VALUE rubrics approach to assessment, that intends to create a digital repository of student work for external validation of institutional learning assessment. In partnership with the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, the VALUE Institute will help institutions document, report and use evidence of authentic student learning outcomes to improve learning.

HIPs at Ten
George Kuh, NILOA's co-founder and senior scholar, along with Ken O’Donnel and Carol Geary Schneider, reflect on high-impact practices (HIPs) after a decade since its introduction.

Making Space for Assessment and Feedback
British Higher Education Academy stresses the importance of innovative and effective assessment. British educators believe there is a need to reevaluate assessment, which currently focuses on grades and standardized testing in the UK, to better support students’ learning, and increase collaboration between stakeholders responsible for students’ success.

Competency-Based Micro-credentials are Transforming Professional Learning
This article provides an overview of micro-credentials and how they fit within a competency-based education (CBE) context. Provided are multiple resources – articles, initiatives, and institutional examples – to get readers acquainted with CBE and micro-credentials.

Solving the Work Force’s Skills Gap
In this essay, the authors make the case for higher education to offer broad-based educational opportunities combining coursework and co-curricular experiences focused on developing learners’ digital fluency skills. Using Bryn Mawr College as an example, the piece discusses the benefits of such an approach to education.

Bringing Microcredential Providers in From the Cold
Very little is known about microcredential providers and learners. Adelman, one of four authors of the Degrees Qualifications Profile (DQP), recommends that microcredential providers should be kept to the same standard as other public institutions. Such an approach would allow us to document learning across a wider body of participants and enable data gathering across the board to ensure equal access for all learners.

AALHE's Quarterly Publication: Fall 2017 Issue of Intersection
AALHE released the fall edition of its quaterly publication Intersection. The Intersection features events and news within the organization and short articles and interviews on the practice of assessment in higher education.

A Call to Reform Undergraduate Education
Effective undergraduate teaching initiatives to improve student learning require institutional support, peer support, and coordinated efforts of multiple actors within a campus. Assisting students from groups with the lowest completion rates, along with smoothening the transfer process and pushing for transparency in informing students and their families, are critical steps in improving the learning experience for students. 

Job Announcement:

Business & Partnership Development Manager
Credential Engine is seeking a candidate to fill the position of a Business & Partnership Development Manager who will serve as lead staff person in the development of partnerships, including with technology companies, to support the business and mission of Credential Engine. 


Dr. Mildred Garcia Appointed President of AASCU 
NILOA would like to congratulate Dr. Mildred Garcia, a member of NILOA's National Advisory Panel, on her appointment as the new President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI): Using Evidence for Improvement applications are now available! 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.  

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

December 13-15, 2017. 132nd NEASC Annual Meeting and Conference
Boston, MA.
**Thursday, December 14, 8:00 am-9:15 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, with Christopher Hourigan, Rhode Island College, and Rachael DiPietro, Norwalk Community College, will deliver Higher Education Assessment Workshop: Robust Results.

December 29, 2017. Call for Proposals: ANNY's 6th Annual Conference
Syracuse, NY.

January 9, 2018. Course Design for Essential Learning Institute and Certificate Program
Deland, FL.

January 10, 2018. ATC Telling Your Story
Albany, NY.

January 16, 2018. WASC Assignment Design Charrette
Pomona, CA.
**NILOA director, Natasha Jankowski, and NILOA senior scholar, David Marshall will facilitate the charrette.

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