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NILOA July 2018 Newsletter

In this edition of our newsletter, we invite you to read a new NILOA Viewpoint “Promoting an Improvement Culture” from Claudia Stanny, an Assessment in Practice “Assessment with Benefits: Faculty Engagement and Community Building through General Education Assessment” from Su Swarat and Alison Wrynn, and a Featured Website from Hutchinson Community College.

We also invite you to submit applications to request a NILOA Coach visit to your campus in 2019 and to submit original ideas for a new NILOA logo. The newsletter concludes with relevant news items and information on upcoming conferences and programs.

NILOA Viewpoint

Promoting an Improvement Culture

Claudia J. Stanny
University of West Florida

How can campuses move beyond systematic collection of assessment evidence toward building and sustaining a culture of improvement? The September issue of New Directions for Teaching and Learning, "Assessment in Action: Evidence-Based Discussions about Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum," collects a dozen examples from a variety of institutions that have succeeded in facilitating campus discussions about the quality of teaching and learning, informed by assessment evidence. The examples illustrate how institutions leveraged key elements of the AAHE Principles of Good Practice to create processes that facilitate improvement. Claudia Stanny situates the various examples found in "Assessment in Action" within current conversations around innovations in assessment and skepticism regarding assessment's effectiveness in impacting student learning. Read more…

NILOA Assessment in Practice

Assessment with Benefits:
Faculty Engagement and Community Building through General Education Assessment

Su Swarat, California State University, Fullerton
Alison M. Wrynn, California State University’s Office of the Chancellor

Like many institutions, California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), has struggled with how to engage faculty in a meaningful and sustainable manner in program-level student learning assessment, and how to make this effort beneficial to all stakeholders (students, faculty and the institution). It is particularly challenging when it comes to assessing the General Education (GE) program, which requires engaging faculty—particularly adjunct faculty—from multiple disciplines. Over the last few years, CSUF developed and implemented a promising GE assessment model—the “GE Faculty Learning Community”—to address the aforementioned challenge. This model strengthens the connection among assessment, teaching, and learning, engages faculty from diverse disciplines through collaborative community-building activities, fosters faculty professional development in pedagogy and curriculum, and ultimately facilitates positive, fundamental changes in the campus’ understanding and culture of assessment. Read more...

Call for Proposals for NILOA Coach Visits

NILOA is pleased to announce we are currently accepting requests from institutions seeking to advance and accelerate campus initiatives to enhance student learning. NILOA is working with a group of Coaches who are available to help colleges and universities with their improvement efforts. Drawn from different types of institutions around the country, the Coaches are experienced faculty, administrators, and staff who know first-hand about the utility and value of assessing student learning, and can assist with local-level implementation opportunities and challenges. NILOA Coaches are available for a one-day campus visit at no cost to the host institution. Interested institutions seeking a Coach visit for Spring 2019 need to complete a NILOA Coach request form. Proposals for coach visits during the Spring of 2019 are due by October 15. Please refer to the call for additional details. Read more...

Submit Ideas for a NILOA Logo!

NILOA is in the process of a website redesign and logo development and we'd like to invite you to take part! We invite all students, faculty, staff, and others to let your creativity flow and submit original ideas for a new NILOA logo. We would love to give you – those who frequent our website, make use of our resources, and inform our work – the opportunity to have a voice in creating a logo to represent NILOA. While we would like you to be as creative as possible, we encourage you to draw inspiration from your experiences with NILOA's mission, materials, and staff. The deadline to submit an original piece to is August 24, 2018.

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

Hutchinson Community College’s (HCC) Educational Quality Assessment (EQA) web page is NILOA’s July 2018 Featured Website! HCC is committed to using a wide-range of assessment activities and assessment data to inform continuous improvement. The goal is to provide every HCC student the necessary environment to succeed. The EQA website offers a clear overview on how the college achieves its improvement goals. For example, website visitors can peruse HCC’s institution-wide learning outcome statements and assessment plans. Furthermore, the website provides an in-depth look at the institution’s current assessment activities. For these reasons, Hutchinson Community College’s EQA webpage is NILOA's Featured Website in the categories of Centralized Assessment Repository and Communication. Read more...


The Principles of Our Practice
In a sea of publicized malcontent and criticisms of assessment, Dr. Natasha Jankowski offers a more positive take on assessment from the perspective of mutual understanding and growth based on the established principles of practice of the field of assessment. 

The Outcome Primers Series 2.0
A relatively new addition to the field of learning outcomes assessment, The Outcome Primers Series 2.0, is a comprehensive professional development series. Each primer focuses on one aspect of an effective outcome and assessment system (envisioning outcomes, assessing and tracking evidence, aligning essential content, mapping coursework and programs, guiding learners and sustaining a learning outcomes and assessment system). The authors provide clear explanations and concrete examples of their work with various colleges and universities.

This Neuroscientist Explains Why Today's Kids Have Different Brains
Neuroscientist David Eagleman sat down for an interview with EdSurge to discuss what educators should know about the brains of current students and ways to approach learning to better prepare students for success. 

The Graduate Training Trade-Off 'Myth' 
A recent study by Erin Shortlidge and Sarah Eddy “The Trade-off between Graduate Student Research and Teaching: A Myth?” challenges the notion that graduate students have to choose between either gaining research or teaching experience. The researchers find that graduate students’ research confidence and output actually improve when they invest time in evidence-based teaching (EBT).

A University Overhauled Its Course Evaluation to Get Better Feedback. Here’s What Changed
Given the issues with using course evaluations as the main determinant of teaching effectiveness (e.g., bias, poor measure of actual learning, often inconsequential for improvement), the University of Southern California has replaced this practice with a new multifaceted approach. The article provides an example of changes made to documents requesting student feedback by focusing it more on the learning experience instead of on the instructor.

Stats Gathered in Advising Help Colleges Rethink Intro Courses
Predictive student performance data have helped colleges re-engineer introductory courses to better engage all students. Faculty changes to the curriculum, course structure, and ways advisers are involved in students’ pathways have increased Middle Tennessee State University’s retention rate.

Preparation Is the Secret Sauce for Writing a Great Senior Thesis
To uncover what exactly makes a senior thesis “good,” researchers asked faculty members to blindly review 213 student self-evaluations and senior theses. The results state that student’s level of preparation leading to the thesis is what most contributes to the quality of this high-impact practice. 

Defining and Delivering on Quality in Higher Education
Debra Humphreys writes about the Quality Assurance Commons (QA Commons) and their goal to help institutions ensure better student outcomes through certifying programs of study which demonstrate the ability to equip students with skills and learning experiences essential to post-graduation success.

UK Gets World-First National Learning Analytics Service
The UK is set to implement a national learning analytics system this August across 30 college and university campuses. The new system collects student data – including grades and attendance – to create learner records that administrators can use to better engage and retain students. In addition, students will be able to record their activities and assignments, set personal targets, and interact with peers through the system.

Job Announcement:

Abu Dhabi University
Abu Dhabi University is seeking a Senior Manager of Student Affairs/Student Support Office that can aid in sustaining an outcomes-based approach to student engagement through data analysis, departmental assessment, and strategic planning support. Please see the job listing for further information on job responsibilities and requirements. Defining and Delivering on Quality in Higher Education

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

July 17. Webinar- Deconstructed Assessment: Using Assessment to Foster Social Justice.
12:00 pm. Campus Intelligence.

July 18. Webinar- Implementing Prior Learning Assessment Services in Higher Education.
2:00 pm. The Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.

July 22-25. 2018 Institute on Quality Enhancement and Accreditation.
Atlanta, GA. SACS-Commission on Colleges. 
**Tuesday, July 24, 8:30 to 9:30 am. Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, will be delivering the keynote speech "The Changing Nature of our Work: Viewing Higher Education as a Learning System."

July 23. Proposals Due: 2019 AERA Annual Meeting.
Toronto, Canada. American Educational Research Association.

July 23-26. 2018 AAEEBL Annual Meeting.
Vancouver, Canada. Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning.
**Tuesday, July 24, 9:00 to 9:45 am. Dr. Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director, will be delivering the Keynote speech.

July 25. Untapped Data: Enhancing Teaching and Learning.
Washington, DC. Inside Higher Ed.

July 25. Proposals Due: AAC&U 2019 Annual Meeting.
Atlanta, GA. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

July 25. Webinar: Addressing the Professional Development Needs of Assessment Professionals.
1:00 pm. The Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education and Watermark.

July 29-August 1. Using Evidence for Improvement: The Third Annual Teaching and Learning National Institute
Olympia, WA. Evergreen State College.
**Dr. Gianina Baker, NILOA assistant director, will be presenting.

August 2-4. Summer General Assessment Workshop at Washington & Jefferson College.
Washington, PA. Washington & Jefferson College.

August 3. Proposals Due: 2019 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education.
San Francisco, CA. Carnegie Foundation.

August 7-10. 2018 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference.
Denver, CO. State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
**Thursday, August 9, 4:15 to 5:15 pm. Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA director, and Erick Montenegro, NILOA communications coordinator, will present "State Policy and Assessment of Student Learning: Supporting our Learners or Limiting Success?"

August 15. 2018 Annual Collegium on College Teaching Practice.
Edmond, OK. University of Central Oklahoma. 

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