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NILOA January 2018 Newsletter

We are pleased to announce the release of NILOA's third national report on the status of student learning outcomes assessment in the U.S., Assessment That Matters: Trending Toward Practices That Document Authentic Student Learning. 

This month's newsletter also features information on NILOA Coaches, including a Request for Proposals (RFP) for those institutions interested in inviting a coach for a campus visit at no cost. The 2018 Excellence in Assessment Designation application details are available for those wishing to apply. We are also pleased to announce The University of Calgary as this month's Featured Website. Finally, please find a summary of NILOA's activities in the field from December and relevant news items and events. Please note that NILOA scholars will be presenting at the AAC&U 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. More information including dates and times of sessions are included in the events section.

NILOA Provost Survey Report

Assessment That Matters: Trending Toward Practices That Document Authentic Student Learning
Natasha A. Jankowski, Jennifer D. Timmer,
Jillian Kinzie, and George D. Kuh

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) conducted its third nationwide survey of provosts between April and September 2017 to follow institutional trends in assessment practice over time. Respondents from 811 regionally, accredited, undergraduate degree-granting, institutions from throughout the U.S. participated. This report summarizes the major findings and presents implications for policy and practice. Read more...

For additional commentary on NILOA's third national survey on assessment practices in U.S. higher education, please watch this short video.


The choices that institutions are making about how they want to go about assessing student learning are the ones giving them the information that matters. 
- Dr. Natasha A. Jankowski, NILOA director

NILOA Coaches

NILOA is working with a group of Coaches who are available to help colleges and universities with their improvement efforts at no cost to the institution. Drawn from different types of institutions around the country, the Coaches are experienced faculty, administrators and staff who know first-hand the utility and value of assessing student learning, and can assist with local-level implementation opportunities and challenges. Because they are knowledgeable about the various initiatives unfolding nationally around student learning, assignment design, assessment, and strategies for institutional change, the Coaches can encourage and support institutions at various stages of implementation.

NILOA Coaches are available for a one-day campus visit at no cost to the host institution. A Coach will be paired with the requesting institution based on a match of interests, intended outcomes, and expertise. To request a Coach, please fill out this form. Requests for Coach visits are due by April 2Read more...

NILOA In The Field

NILOA staff presented at the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) Conference in Australia, participated in the Credential Engine launch, and presented a panel at NEASC's Annual Meeting and Conference. 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) Designation 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 Principles and Practices of Student Assessment website at the University of Calgary’s Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning presents a step-by-step, structured, and informative guide explaining assessment. Featured content includes introductory information for those who are new to assessment, as well as detailed information and instructions for educators interested in continuing to improve their teaching. Read more...



Comprehensive Learner Record
The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and NASPA: Association of Student Affairs Professionals were recently awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Lumina Foundation to expand pilot work already conducted to develop and implement learner records on college campuses. 

Many Voices are More Impactful Than One: The National Adult Learner Coalition
The National Adult Learner Coalition was established to highlight issues, such as alternative learning pathways and prior learning assessment, affecting non-traditional student populations on today’s campuses to assist in advancing state and national policy in support of non-traditional higher education. 

An Insider’s Take on Assessment: It May Be Worse Than You Thought
Erik Gilbert offers his take on assessment providing the critique that assessment has failed to produce results and improve teaching and learning. This piece is inspired by David Eubanks' “A Guide for the Perplexed” in AALHE’S Intersection.

International Journal of Students as Partners
The first issue of the International Journal of Students as Partners (IJSaP) is now available. This issue includes research articles, reflective essays, and case studies on topics such as power dynamics in students-as-partners relationships, student perspectives, and student engagement.

Faculty Development as an Authentic Professional Practice
Catherine Haras makes the argument that faculty development should scaffold learning to inform authentic professional practice. Such an approach is ongoing and involves regular practice and demonstration in the classroom. A variety of examples are provided on locations with examples of scaffolded faculty development.

Student-Centric and Data-Driven: Designing the Institution to Support Success
Rio Salado College's President, an EIA Designee, reflects on educational environment shifts in recent years, where student success has become the driving force for institutions due to accrediting and governmental pressures. Although development is welcomed and will benefit learners, there are administrative hurdles to tackle in order for this shift to have a meaningful impact on students. More cooperation is needed between various stakeholders in order to support this shift and achieve the goal of supporting student success.

Articulating Learning Outcomes in Doctoral Education
The Council of Graduate Schools released its recent paper, Articulating Learning Outcomes in Doctoral Education, as a result of a research project that aims to define clear learning outcomes assessment and program goals at the doctoral level. The paper makes the case for doctoral-level learning outcomes, explores degree frameworks, and provides multiple perspectives and recommendations on learning outcomes assessment at the graduate level.

Relationships Are Central to the Student Experience. Can Colleges Engineer Them?
Beckie Supiano explores student relationships with mentors who contribute a little extra beyond the usual, arguing that relationships are often enough to inspire the learner through a successful experience, therefore it is in the campuses best interest to encourage and support such relationships for the benefit of everyone.


The Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness (JAIE) is Seeking Qualified Reviewers
JAIE publishes scholarly work from assessment investigators in every field relating to student learning outcomes, assessment processes in academic disciplines, institutional effectiveness planning, public policy, or other research-based or theoretical analyses centered on the measurement of student learning in higher education. JAIE also publishes book reviews relevant to these areas of inquiry. Persons interested in reviewing article submissions should send a resume/CV with a clear statement of area(s) of interest and expertise to Raymond Shaw at; those interested in reviewing books should send an email to Craig Pepin at

2018 Academic Library Impact Research Grants
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has recently launched its Academic Library Impact Research Grants enabling librarians to carry out research that demonstrate libraries’ impact in areas highlighted by an ACRL 2017 report. Please review the Call for Proposals for further information. Applications are due by April 1, 2018.  

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

January 24-27, 2018. AAC&U Annual Meeting: Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream? 
Washington, D.C. Association of American Colleges & Universities. NILOA Senior Scholars are presenting a variety of sessions at the Annual Meeting, NILOA featured sessions are included below. 

**Thursday, January 25, 10:30 am-11:45 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, with Jillian Kinzie, NILOA Senior Scholar, and Pat Hutchings, NILOA Senior Scholar, will facilitate a discussion session: A Portrait of Assessment that Supports Student Success. 

**Friday, January 26, 4:15 pm-5.30 pm. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, with David Marshall, NILOA Senior Scholar, Andrea Beach, Western Michigan University, Bret Eynon, LaGuardia Community College, Laura Gambino, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, and Peggy Maki, will host a panel: Preparing Faculty and Future Faculty for Emergent Trends in Assessment.
A book sale and signing of Degrees that Matter will be held in the session room immediately following the presentation.

January 25-26, 2018. Applied Learning Conference 2018 
Singapore. Singapore Institute of Technology.

February 2, 2018. 2018 AALHE Conference Call for Proposals Deadline
Salt Lake City, Utah. Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.

February 2, 2018. Proposals Due-Watermark Engage 2018
Austin, TX. Watermark.

February 9, 2018. 2018 Student Learning Outcomes Symposium 
Costa Mesa, CA.Orange Coast College.
     **Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director, will deliver the keynote.

February 10-13, 2018. 37th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience 
San Antonio, TX. National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

February 15-17, 2018. 2018 AAC&U General Education and Assessment Conference: Foundations for Democracy
Philadelphia, PA. Association of American Colleges & Universities. 

**Thursday, February 16, 9:00 am-12:00 pm. David Marshall, NILOA senior scholar, and Sandra Bailey, Director of Academic Excellence at Oregon Institute of Technology will conduct a workshop: Integration of General Education and the Major: Mapping Integrative Learning.

**Thursday, February 16, 3:45-4:45 pm. Natasha Jankowski, director, and Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director will deliver a session: Assignments on the Road to Learning in All Spaces.

**Friday, February 17, 3:45-5:00 pm. Jillian Kinzie, NILOA senior scholar, Terry Rhodes, Vice President of the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U, and Kate McConnell, Senior Director for Research & Assessment, AAC&U, will conduct a workshop: VALUE Institute: Learning Outcomes Assessment at its Best.


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