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NILOA March 2018 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter brings together a suite of resources exploring learning in all the places it happens within postsecondary education, including the role of students in assessment. We feature a NILOA Occassional Paper Using ePortfolio to Document and Deepen the Impact of HIPs on Learning Dispositions. We also introduce a curriculum mapping toolkit, including examples for mapping learning within student affairs, a new Assessment in Practice Implementing a Student Assessment Scholars Program: Students Engaging in Continuous Improvement, and a Viewpoint by Ann E. Damiano, Bringing Student Voices to the Table: Collaborating with our Most Important Stakeholders. 

We are pleased to release a response to the equity and assessment conversation by Joseph D. Levy, the Executive Director of Assessment and Accreditation at National Louis University, and Ciji A. Heiser, the Director of Assessment and Effectiveness at Western Michigan University. In addition, we extend an invitation to apply for the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI). We are happy to announce the Community College of Philadelphia as this month's Featured Website. Finally, please find a summary of NILOA's activities in the field from February, call for proposals for a NILOA Coach Visit, and a summary of relevant news items and events. 

Curriculum Mapping Toolkit

NILOA is pleased to announce the release of a curriculum mapping toolkit, focused on mapping learning in the variety of places it occurs including within a program, across general education, throughout the institution, and in the co-curriculum. The mapping toolkit provides resources for community colleges, certification programs, and learning experiences that may not be deemed a program per se along with tools for four-year institutions. Read more...

We invite you to share with us additional examples, materials, resources, and modifications of the toolkit to add to this resource. If you have examples, please send them to 

New NILOA Occasional Paper

Using ePortfolio to Document and Deepen the Impact of HIPs on Learning Dispositions 
George D. Kuh, Laura M. Gambino, Marilee Bresciani Ludvik, and Ken O'Donnell

The authors of NILOA’s thirty-second occasional paper, examine multiple facets of dispositional learning, such as fluid intelligence and interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, and explain why participation in well-designed High-Impact Practices (HIPs)—activities such as learning communities, service learning, undergraduate research, and community engagement—can help students cultivate conscientiousness, resilience, self-regulation, reflection and other learning dispositions. In addition, the authors demonstrate how and why the use of ePortfolio practice can extend, deepen, and document the impact of HIPs on these essential but often overlooked and difficult-to-measure attributes. Read more...

NILOA Assessment in Practice

Implementing a Student Assessment Scholars Program: Students Engaging in Continuous Improvement
Nicholas P. Truncale, Office of Educational Assessment Fellow and Physics/EE Faculty,
Elizabeth D. Chalk, Staff Member - Department of Mathematics,
Caitlin Pellegrino, Assistant Director of Provost Assessment Scholars
Jesse Kemmerling, Assistant Director of Provost Assessment Scholars

This Assessment in Practice (AiP) is based on a workshop conducted by a team from the University of Scranton's Office of Educational Assessment at the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College in March, 2016. The workshop was aimed at helping assessment professionals understand institutional assessment questions from a student perspective and thus required student engagement in the process. The success of the initial workshop led to creation of the Provost Assessment Scholars, which included a group of thirteen students who received training in assessment methodology. Authors of this AiP believe that students are more in tune with campus culture and are a crucial part of authentic assessment processes. Read more...

NILOA Viewpoint

Bringing Student Voices to the Table: Collaborating with our Most Important Stakeholders

Ann E. Damiano
Dean of Assessment, Utica College

Including a student on an assessment review committee is only one way to involve them. Damiano argues that effective assessment processes involve multiple stakeholders, particularly when it comes to interpreting results and establishing action plans. She makes the case that good assessment is student-centered assessment. Involving students in assessment practices keeps the most important stakeholder central to the process. Further, healthy collaborations with students when reviewing assessment results brings diverse perspectives to the table and expands our understanding of what the results mean. It also enhances leadership skills and provides an opportunity for students to work on a team of professionals, traits which employers are seeking in college graduates. Read more...


Bringing Equity into the Heart of Assessment


In January 2017, NILOA launched a conversation on the relationship between equity and assessment in the 29th Occassional Paper, Equity and Assessment: Moving Towards Culturally Responsive Assessment. We are continuing the conversation in 2018 with additional responses to the paper, and are pleased to announce the release a of new installment to the equity conversation by Joseph D. Levy, the Executive Director of Assessment and Accreditation at National Louis University, and Ciji A. Heiser, the Director of Assessment and Effectiveness at Western Michigan University. Read more...

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

The Institutional Assessment at Community College of Philadelphia website provides a centralized point of access to information on institutional assessment procedures and results. The Planning and Assessment Linkages chart demonstrates the interrelationship among the College's Mission, institutional planning documents and institutional assessment efforts. The site provides access to the Office’s comprehensive Assessment Plan, which explains institutional effectiveness at the Community College of Philadelphia. The Assessment Committee, which monitors all assessment efforts at the institution, maintains an on-line Assessment Library containing information for the college’s staff to support decision making and planning. Read more...


NILOA In The Field

Throughout the month of February, NILOA staff were involved in various meetings and conferences including AAC&U's General Education and Assessment conference, 5th Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Symposium, National Student Success Conference, and the New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention Conference among others. Read more... 


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...


The Misguided Drive to Measure ‘Learning Outcomes’
The op-ed article by Molly Worthen criticizes learning outcomes assessment, calling it an expensive, fruitless and bureaucratic driven effort. Worthen presents a polarizing opinion that has supporters and opponents on many sides. Responses to the Worthen piece and other articles with similar arguments against learning outcomes assessment may be found here.

The Perils of Trashing the Value of College
Margaret Spellings, former US secretary of education, reflects on the evolution of higher education and its future in the ever-changing socio-economic climate. Spellings advocates for wider participation in higher education, as a necessity for everyone. 

10 Principles for Building a High-Quality System Of Assessments
A new report defines 10 principles for an effective and functional system of assessment. Claiming that no single piece of data is sufficient to introduce improvements in line with the changing face of educational environments, the report introduces a system to provide reliable data about learners and improve pedagogy.   

How This University Fellow Makes Learning Meaningful By Connecting It To Real Life
EdSurge features a reflection on the importance of learners’ engagement in educational content, as a critical factor contributing to skill gains and better learning outcomes. The author argues that connecting educational content to real life and indicating its usefulness in every day and/or career scenarios allows learners to identify its importance and impact for their future, thus motivating them to engage more.

A Guide to Picking a Learning Management System: The Right Questions to Ask
Educators commonly use a variety of Learning Management Systems (LMS)–digital tools helping educators manage their work. Similar to expansion of apps and other occupational software, there has been a surge in availability of LMS platforms. The article focuses on the requirements and benefits for using such tools effectively.

Equity and Assessment
Ciji Heiser focuses on the importance of equity and assessment in higher education and the way that both are intertwined, providing an opportunity to use the key elements of assessment to leverage data for issues of equity.

University Leaders Should Expect a Shift in Measurement of Learning Outcomes
The current system of measuring credit hours is under evaluation, according to reports, to better reflect the way learners gain skills. Previously unknown or unavailable learning opportunities allow learners to gain skills in a variety of settings, thus a system that can accommodate and track their progress is needed to better reflect a more fulsome view of learning.

National Louis program gives low-income students their chance at college
Daily Herald features a story about National Louis University (NLU), which offers an alternative program designed for first-generation, low-income learners. Developed in alignment with the Degree Qualifications Profile, the program uses blended learning, career readiness coursework, and student supports throughout an affordable degree program to ensure stduetn success.

Assessment Update volume 30
The recent, January-February, issue of Assessment Update is focused exclusively on the Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation, which recognizes institutions for their efforts in intentional integration of campus-level learning outcomes assessment. The issue features reflections from all of 2017 designees, along with exploration of the impact the EIA had on their campuses. 

Research and Practice in Assessment Volume 12
The recently released winter issue of Research and Practice in Assessment (RPA) features five peer-reviewed articles that exhibit the importance of data-informed practices as well as the importance of attitudes and approaches toward assessment. Additionally, the volume includes three “Notes in Brief” pieces that "exemplify impressive assessment practices."

Job Announcement:

Visiting Research Associate - Institute Coordinator
VALUE Institute is seeking a Visiting Research Associate - Institute Coordinator. The Institute Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day project activities and reports to the VALUE Institute Director. Major responsibilities include coordinating the collection, processing, and management of student artifacts, the corresponding rubric scores, and other associated data; analyzing data and reporting results to participating education providers and other audiences; and managing project staff. A master’s degree is required in higher education, educational research, social sciences, business administration, marketing, or a related field. In addition, work experience in higher education or a related area is highly desirable.

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

March 19, 2018. Proposals Due: Student Affairs Assessment and Research Conference (SAARC).

March 22, 2018. NILOA Webinar: Facilitating an Assignment Charrette: Providing Space for Faculty-Led Conversations on Assignment Design.
**2:00 pm-3:00 pm. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director and Jodi Fisler, Associate for Assessment Policy and Analysis at SCHEV will lead the webinar.

March 23, 2018. NEEAN Dialogues in the Disciplines.
East Hartford, CT.

March 25-27, 2018. Promoting Student Transition and Equity in 21st Century Higher Education.
Houston, TX.
**Sunday, March 25, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, will facilitate a Workshop Building Equity into your Institutional Assessment Efforts.
Monday, March 26, 2:30 pm-3:20 pm. Natasha Jankowski will faciliate an open-ended Q&A session, followed by a plenary session from 3:45 pm-5:00 pm.

April 1, 2018. Proposals Due: Academic Library Impact Research Grants.

April 3-5, 2018. 2018 Summit on Improvement in Education.
San Francisco, CA.

April 6-10, 2018. HLC Annual Conference.
Chicago, IL.
 **Saturday, April 7, 1:30 pm-2:15 pm. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, will present The Student Success Imperative.

**Monday, April 9, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm. Jillian Kinzie, NILOA Senior Scholar, will present Engaging Insights From the National Survey of Student Engagement.

**Tuesday, April 10, 8:00 am-9:30 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director and Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director, will present Sharing Our Stories: Narratives of Assessing Student Learning.

April 9, 2018. Proposals Due: 2018 HEDS Annual Conference.

April 13-17, 2018. AERA 2018 Annual Meeting.
New York, NY
**We invite you to attend SIG 64 on Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education sessions throughout the conference. This SIG is chaired by Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director and the program chair is NILOA Coach, Ruth Slotnick.


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