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NILOA September 2018 Newsletter

This month’s NILOA Newsletter begins with an Occasional Paper “Technology Solutions to Support Assessment” co-authored by Jennifer Harrison and Sherri Braxton. An addition to the NILOA Assignment Charrette Toolkit from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) co-authored by Sarah Weiner and Susan Albertine is also featured. Next, we invite you to read an Assessment in Practice “Escape! How to Build Faculty Assessment Teams Through the Use of Escape Rooms” from Denise Kruizenga-Muro and Jude Whitton.

We also have a Featured Website from Skyline College, three examples of the NILOA Transparency Framework in the Field, and a final reminder to submit a request for a NILOA Coach visit for this upcoming Spring. The newsletter concludes with relevant News and information on Upcoming Conferences and Programs.

NILOA Occasional Paper

Technology Solutions to Support Assessment

Jennifer M. Harrison & Sherri N. Braxton
University of Maryland - Baltimore County

At the program and institution levels, many colleges have adopted Assessment Management Systems (AMS) to streamline assessment processes and enrich their evidence about student learning. Yet, meaningful implementation remains elusive. How can institutions select useful assessment technologies and integrate them with existing tools, so faculty and administrators can easily extract and use the data to improve student learning? What elements should we consider when selecting technologies? To explore these questions, the authors discuss how technologies can address assessment challenges, and they sketch a process to help you reflect on your assessment technology needs, giving attention to your institution’s assessment culture, data, technology users, and audiences. Read more...

NILOA's Assignment Charrette Toolkit

Assignment Charrette for Public Health:
A Faculty Development Workshop

Sarah Weiner & Susan Albertine
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), a membership organization that serves as the voice of accredited academic public health, hosted a five-hour Faculty Development Workshop focused on assignment design as a preconference event preceding the association’s Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA. Designed specifically for public health and global health faculty who teach undergraduate courses, the workshop drew 37 participants. This addition to the NILOA Assignment Charrette Toolkit provides an overview of the assignment design process and materials used by ASPPH. Read more...

New Assessment in Practice

Escape! How to Build Faculty Assessment Teams
Through the Use of Escape Rooms

Denise Kruizenga-Muro & Jude Whitton
Riverside City College

This Assessment in Practice details Riverside City College's (RCC) "Escape Room" assessment workshop supported with sample materials used by RCC. An escape room is an adventure game in which participants solve a series of puzzles using clues, knowledge, and strategy to complete the particular objective. More recently, they have been used as forms of collaborative learning by educators. In general, escape rooms are typically done over a set amount of time during which participants look at clues that have been left around a themed room. If this is done well authentic learning, collaboration and contributions can be made. Many of the same skills used in escape rooms are also required when completing assessments. Colleagues have to collaborate to reach a common goal while overcoming challenges and changing their fixed mindset when it comes to assessment. Read more...

Featured Website

Skyline College’s Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Cycle (SLOAC) website features multiple resources that help guide faculty and administrators through the process of assessing student learning. Skyline’s current SLOAC Framework is supported by a downloadable guide that offers direction for each step of the assessment process. The college’s institutional learning outcomes (ILO) are accompanied by rubrics  and icons to help gauge the skills and knowledge students have acquired upon completing an associate’s degree. Website visitors can find tips to assist in conducting assessment, including PowerPoint presentations and handouts from various assessment workshops, a template to assess learning outcomes, examples of course and program level assessments across the curriculum, and a worksheet to help faculty map their courses to ILOs. Read more...

NILOA Transparency Framework in the Field

NILOA’s Transparency Framework is intended to help institutions evaluate the extent to which they are making evidence of student accomplishment readily accessible and potentially useful and meaningful to various audiences. Institutions may use the Framework to evaluate their online communication strategies or apply the Framework as an information organizing tool on their website. We have highlighted institutions that use the Transparency Framework, and this month we have added three new examples: Winston-Salem State University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. If your institution is using the Framework, we encourage you to contact us at so we can share your example. Read more…

Last Call to Request a NILOA Coach for Spring 2019

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...


Register for 2018 Assessment Institute
The Assessment Institute in Indianapolis is the nation’s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education. Advanced on-line registration closes Friday, October 5.

National Assessment Expert Visits Campus for Ongoing Discussion about General Education
NILOA Coach Errin Heyman recently visited Wayne State University to help the institution’s General Education Oversight Committee in its assessment efforts. One faculty noted the importance of Errin’s visit as laying the groundwork for scaling assessment methods across the institution.

Webinar Recording now Available
The recording of the HIPs in Practice webinar from August 17, 2018, is now available. Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, is one of the featured speakers.

New Book on High-Impact ePortfolio Practice
A new book Catalyst in Action: Case Studies of High-Impact ePortfolio Practice from Stylus Publishing will come out this month. The book adds to the evidence that supports the impact of ePortfolio when done well. 

Colorado Regional Assessment Council (CoRAC) Membership Survey
Consider participating in this survey. CoRAC was founded in 2010 to give individuals engaged in the assessment of student learning outcomes in Colorado a chance to get to know and share information with each other. The council is free and open to all who are interested in assessment.

Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work
This new report from AAC&U states that business executives and hiring managers believe a college education is both important and a wise investment for students. Additionally, higher weight is placed on skills and knowledge that cut across disciplines when hiring new graduates. The findings come from two parallel national surveys of approximately 1,000 combined participants.

Will Students Actually Believe They Can Do This Assignment?
Following the seven concepts outlined in How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, David Gooblar writes about the second principle: expectancies. Specifically, he discusses how to better motivate students to do the work by making learning outcomes achievable.

The Other Use of Standardized Tests
White standardized tests have mixed reviews in terms of utility and fairness, their potential as a tool to identify talent could be beneficial. Talented students do not only exist in well-funded schools, and sometimes colleges can fail to recruit top students from underperforming districts. Standardized tests could help to identify these latter students and make them college-bound.

The Contamination of Student Assessment
Factoring in extra credit and giving significant weight to items such as attendance and participation in outside events for students’ final grades could be blemishing student assessment. These added items may take away from accurately determining the actual knowledge students possess.

Position Announcement:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is seeking a Director for Assessment and Planning Student Affairs. The application closes September 25. Please refer to the listing for further details.

Midwestern University
Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is seeking a Director of Outcomes Assessment. Please refer to the listing for further details.

Valencia College
Valencia College is seeking a Vice President of Academic Affairs to provide strategic leadership for the areas of curriculum, assessment, faculty development, distance learning, and career and workforce education. Please see the listing for further details.

Ithaka S+R
Ithaka S+R is seeking a full-time Analyst in the Educational Transformation Program responsible for research, data collection and analysis, report drafting, and project management. Please see the listing for further details.

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

September 20-21. The University of Texas System 2018 Student Success Summit.
Austin, TX. University of Texas System.
**Thursday, September 20m 12:00 to 1:30pm. Natasha Jankowsi, NILOA Director, will deliver the Opening Keynote “Complicated Relations: Supporting Student Success in an Increasingly Complex Landscape.”

September 21-22. 2018 AGLS Annual Conference.
Pittsburgh, PA. Association for General and Liberal Studies.

September 24-26. 2018 HER International Conference
Baltimore, MD. John Hopkins University.

October 4-5. Texas Association for Higher Education Assessment (TxAHEA) Conference.
Denton, TX. TxAHEA.

October 4-6. HLC Peer Review Training
St. Charles, IL. Higher Learning Commission.
**Dr. Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director, will be trained to be a Peer Reviewer for HLC.

October 6-7. Workshop on Using Student-Led Focus Groups in Assessment
Hooksett, NH. Southern New Hampshire University.

October 7. WASC Community of Practice for Advancing Learning Outcomes Visibility.
Pomona, CA. WASC Senior College and University Commission.
**Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, and Dr. Pat Hutchings, NILOA Senior Scholar, will serve as advisors during the meeting.

October 11-12. 2018 CREATE Conference.
Williamsburg, VA. College of William and Mary.

October 21-23. 2018 Assessment Institute.
Indianapolis, IN. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
**The full schedule of presentations included in the NILOA Track will be released in next month’s newsletter.

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