Click here to see this online
NILOA May 2018 Newsletter

This edition of the NILOA newsletter provides a variety of resources and commentary especially helpful for assessment practitioners. We begin, however, by sharing a reflection on and deep appreciation of Cliff Adelman written by NILOA senior scholar Peter Ewell. We invite you to share in this reflection and reminisce with us on what Cliff meant to NILOA, the field of assessment, and higher education in general throughout the course of his decorated career. 

In addition, this newsletter includes a new NILOA Occasional Paper, "A Portrait of the Assessment Professional in the United States: Results from a National Survey", by Mark C. Nicholas and Ruth C. Slotnick, a Viewpoint, "Why Are We Assessing?" cosigned by over one hundred and thirty higher education assessment practitioners, and a new Assessment in Practice "Ethical Reasoning: Assessing a Critical Thinking Skill" from Keston Fulcher, Allison Ames, and William Hawk. We also feature an additional resource for the NILOA Assignment Charrette Toolkit "Taking Assessment Design Online" from Jodi Fisler, a new institutional example of curriculum mapping "Integration of General Education and the Major: Mapping Integrative Learning" from Sandra Bailey and David Marshall, a Featured Website from Marymount California University, relevant News Items, and updates on Upcoming Conferences and Programs. Finally, we extend an invitation to apply for the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI). The TLNI program is designed to help campus teams build capacity for assessment and improvement.

NILOA Reflects on the Legacy of an Assessment Leader

In Appreciation of Clifford Adelman

Peter T. Ewell
President Emeritus of NCHEMS and NILOA Senior Scholar

NILOA, and the field of higher education quality, lost a tireless champion and friend last week when Clifford Adelman succumbed to cancer after a hugely productive career. In the early 1980s, Adelman first put assessment on the map and is rightly credited as one of the founding fathers of the assessment movement. His later research on student course-taking patterns was equally groundbreaking and helped illuminate the broader efforts to improve student success at the center of NILOA’s work. In short, Cliff Adelman was a giant of assessment and higher education scholarship. He also was a good colleague and faithful friend. We at NILOA will miss him greatly. Read more...

New NILOA Occasional Paper

A Portrait of the Assessment Professional in the United States: Results from a National Survey
Mark C. Nicholas and Ruth C. Slotnick
Framingham State University and Bridgewater State University

This occasional paper presents the results of the Assessment Professional Survey and outlines a profile of assessment professionals or the roles and responsibilities these individuals perform in institutions of higher education. By examining the demographics, range of roles and responsibilities, types of methodological skills and the service contribution of these professionals, this study provides the first national portrait of the assessment professional. Findings are valuable for (a) the field of assessment, as it represents the first systematic attempt to create a profile of the assessment professional (b) institutions, as they work to provide authentic evidence of student learning, (c) assessment professionals, to understand how they fit within their own institutions and in relationship to other assessment professionals, and (d) new entrants to the assessment profession, to position themselves in the assessment job market. Read more...

NILOA Viewpoint

Why Are We Assessing?

Higher Education Assessment Practitioners

Assessment practitioners work at all kinds of institutions, large and small, public and private, research universities and two-year colleges. Our common bond is a conviction that, as good as American higher education is, today’s students—and society—need not just a good but the best possible education. Assessment is a vital tool to making that happen. When done well, assessment can benefit students, faculty, co-curricular staff, and higher education institutions in a number of ways, including contributing to better learning. This month’s Viewpoint – endorsed by over 130 higher education assessment practitioners – highlights various circumstances in which assessment is most effective, as well as examples where assessment has made a significant impact on teaching and learning. Read more…

Assessment in Practice

Ethical Reasoning: Assessing a Critical Thinking Skill

Keston H. Fulcher, Allison J. Ames, and William J. Hawk
James Madison University 

James Madison University (JMU) identified ethical reasoning (ER) as a teachable critical thinking skill, defined it, implemented a comprehensive university program, and assessed showing substantial student learning improvement. Improvement is demonstrated by comparing performance assessments to baseline ER data collected prior to any learning intervention. This Assessment in Practice article contrasts JMU before and after the ER project, highlighting conditions and strategies contributing to success. Although this article features ER, the strategies shared here can apply to learning improvement initiatives of any scale. Read more...

Assignment Library Toolkit

Taking Assessment Design Online

Jodi Fisler
Associate for Assessment Policy and Analysis,
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Virginia—like many states and institutions—has devoted increasing attention over the last few years to assessing the quality of student learning in more meaningful ways. Part of that effort has involved analyzing student work products and, by extension, the assignments that generate them. After all, we can't criticize students for not demonstrating particular skills if the assignments we ask them to complete are unclear or do not actually require any demonstration of those skills. This new addition to the NILOA Assignment Charrette Toolkit includes an overview of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia's (SCHEV) charrette process and key takeaways. Read more...

Curriculum Mapping Toolkit

Integration of General Education and the Major:
Mapping Integrative Learning

Sandra Bailey, Oregon Institute of Technology
David Marshall, California State University - San Bernardino and NILOA senior scholar

This example of general education assessment mapping comes in the form of a workshop which uses the Learning Systems Paradigm, a framework to help participants reflect on the organization of their institution, how work might be accomplished within that organization, and whom they might involve in that work. Included are an outline of the workshop, an accompanying workbook and presentation slides to guide facilitators and participants to use design thinking in developing action plans to further work on their campus. Various resources are listed to assist in efforts to better align and integrate general education and the major; explore various approaches to curriculum mapping; and learn from national efforts to enhance the effectiveness of general education. Read more...

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

Marymount California University’s (MCU) Student Achievement website is this month’s NILOA Featured Website. At MCU, the institutional learning outcomes in communication, analysis, decision-making, appreciation of multiple perspectives, and ability to learn from experience inform how students learn and progress through the curriculum. To highlight student achievement, MCU offers assessment data on multiple programs. Included are sample capstone projects conducted by students, internship sites available to students, videos offering student testimonials, information on student experiences through the program, and other quick facts. In addition, the Student Achievement website outlines how MCU works to sustain a culture of learning and achievement, and visitors can find data on student achievement since 2010 when MCU first began to offer four-year degrees. Read more...


What Really Makes a 'High-Impact' Practice High Impact?
George Kuh and Jillian Kinzie, NILOA Senior Scholars, reflect on the impact of well-designed high-impact practices, or HIPs, to its students, especially those that have been historically underserved. A recent study highlighted in Inside Higher Ed found that colleges adopting HIPs were not consistently experiencing the impacts found in other studies. Kuh and Kinzie argue that implementation fidelity is integral for students to experience the benefits of HIPs, one of which is "meaningful, relevant learning experiences."

Clear as Mud: Finding Ways to Improve Upon the College Transcript
Helen Chen, Stanford University, and Thomas Black, Johns Hopkins University, are interviewed by the Evolllution regarding fundamental issues with college transcripts and promising alternatives implemented by other colleges and universities.

Institutions’ Use of Data and Analytics for Student Success: Results From a Landscape Analysis
This report highlights the findings from a national survey of over 1,000 institutional research, student affairs, and IT professionals across a variety of higher education institutions aimed at uncovering trends on how institutions gather, share, and use data. Included in the recommendations is a call to prioritize measuring student outcomes on college campuses.

Counting U.S. Secondary and Postsecondary Credentials
The Credential Engine (CE) has released the results of a recent study where they sought to determine the real count of credentials available in the U.S. marketplace. As a result, CE has compiled a comprehensive count for various credential types including college degrees from Title IV institutions, for-credit certificates, online degree programs, and federally-registered apprenticeships among others.

U.S. Chamber Foundation to Develop Job Registry Project
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will develop an employer-led job registry with the support of Google and JPMorgan Chase. The registry aims to provide resources that will aid employers clearly communicate their hiring requirements to potential employees.

How to Turn Your Exams into Learning Opportunities
This edition of the Teaching newsletter discusses how student learning can be increased through allowing students to review exams in groups and discuss the answers to each question. A follow-up quiz a few days later shows that, on average, this collaborative process allows students to learn the correct answer to over 33% of the questions they initially answered incorrectly. 

Relevance and Perceptions of Higher Education
A recent survey by Gallup and Strada Education Network reveal that people are more likely to view the quality of their college experience and overall value of higher education in a positive light when they feel that the coursework is relevant to the real world. 

Expanding Prior Learning Assessment and the Changing Educational Landscape
The author of this article reflects on the experiences her career has given her to discuss how the current educational landscape which still scarcely gives students credit for learning experiences attained through work and/or past educational experiences can remedy this issue. 

Do We Know What History Students Learn?
Driven by dismal assessment results from college juniors and seniors majoring in history, the authors of this article call for history programs to provide evidence about what their students are learning in the classroom.​


Dr. Susan W. Johnston Appointed President of NACUBO
NILOA would like to congratulate Dr. Susan Whealler Johnston on her appointment as the new president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.


Upcoming Conferences and Programs

May 18. Proposals Due: 2018 CREATE Conference
Williamsburg, VA. College of William and Mary.

May 18. Proposals Due: 2018 NEAIR Conference
Pittsburgh, PA. North East Association for Institutional Research.

May 18. Proposals Due: 2019 Community College Conference on Learning Assessment
Orlando, FL. Valencia College.

May 21-24. 12th annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute
Baltimore, MD. IMS Global Learning Consortium.

May 23. Webinar: LinkedIn for Assessment Professionals
12:00 pm. Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.

May 23. Webinar: All Tooled Up and Ready to Grow!
2:00 pm. Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN).

May 29-June 1. 2018 AIR Forum
Orlando, FL. Association for Institutional Research.
**Tuesday, May 29, 8:00 to 11:30 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, and Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director, will hold a pre-conference workshop "Building a Narrative Via Evidence-Based Storytelling."
**Robert Gonyea, Indiana University, and Jillian Kinzie, NILOA senior scholar, will present "Making the Most of NSSE: Customization Options, Reporting, and Data Use."
**Jillian Kinzie, NILOA senior scholar, will present "National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)." RSVP needed by May 23. 

May 30. Webinar: Deftly Adding Data to the Registry - New Ways to Publish
8:30 am. Credential Engine.

May 31. Proposals Due: Drexel 2018 Assessment Conference
Philadelphia, PA. Drexel University.

June 4-7. AALHE Eighth Annual Conference
Salt Lake City, UT. Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.
**Tuesday, June 5, 4 to 5 pm. Keston Fulcher, James Madison University, Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, Ross Markle, ETS, and Javarro Russell, ETS, will present "Paved with Good Intentions: When Good Assessment Plans Go Wrong, and How to Fix Them."
**Wednesday, June 6. 8:00 to 9:00 am. Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director, Jodi Fisler, ‎State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and Kimberly Green, Washington State University, will present "Facilitating Assignment Design Charrettes: Sharing Resources, Tools, and Practices."

**Thursday, June 7, 9 to 10 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, and David Marshall, NILOA senior scholar, will present "Degrees that Matter: Supporting Assessment in a Learning Systems Paradigm."
**Thursday, June 7, 10:15 to 11:15 am. Michael Ben-Avie, Southern Connecticut State University, Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, and Monica Stitt-Bergh, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, will present "Educational Intelligence: Breaking Down Silos for a More Holistic Picture of Student Learning."
**Thursday, June 7, 10:15 to 11:15 am. Jillian Kinzie, NILOA senior scholar, will present "The VALUE Institute Proposition: Authentic Assessment for Student Learning and Effective Instruction."

June 5-6. 2018 Summer Assessment Institute
Newton, MA. Lasell College.

June 6. Webinar: Second Year Experience: Institutional Assessment
1:00 pm. The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

June 7-8. 2018 Summit on the Credentialing Economy
Washington, DC. Saylor Academy and Connecting Credentials.

June 8. The 8th annual Student Affairs Assessment and Research Conference (SAARC)
Columbus, OH. The Ohio State University.

June 14-16. 2018 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference
Baltimore, MD. NASPA.
**Saturday, June 16, 9:30 to 10:45 am. Jillian Kinzie, NILOA senior scholar, will present "Assessing Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity to Increase Success for All."
** Saturday, June 16, 9:30 to 10:45 am. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, and Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director, will present "Equitable Assessment Practices in Student Affairs."

Follow us on social media