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NILOA March 2019 Newsletter

This month's NILOA Newsletter opens with an institutional example of Curriculum Mapping from Stockton University. Author Carra L. Hood guides us through Stockton’s learning outcomes alignment process, providing valuable insights and examples along the way. Next, we invite campuses to apply for the 2019 Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation. Further, NILOA Coach requests for Fall 2019 are open with priority consideration due by April 18.  

We are pleased to continue our conversation on equity and assessment with an additional guest response “Redefining Putting Students First” from Leslie S. Meyerhoff. We also remind you that Erick Montenegro, NILOA's Communications Coordinator and Research Analyst, has joined our list of NILOA speakers for topics related to Equity in Assessment. Finally, the newsletter concludes with a Featured Website from Lewis University, relevant News items, and helpful information on Upcoming Conferences and Programs.

Curriculum Mapping Toolkit

The Process of Aligning Student Learning Outcomes across the Campus:
The Stockton University Example

Carra L. Hood
Stockton University

This Curriculum Mapping Toolkit institutional example comes from Stockton University. The process undertaken and story shared of Stockton's alignment and mapping of learning outcomes from throughout the institution, while navigating accountability and improvement tensions, will resonate with many undertaking such efforts. In this example, the author guides us through the process of implementing and building awareness of the varied and layered learning outcomes, the mapping process in both general education and the program, and ways alignment was shared with students through syllabi examples. Read more…

Excellence in Assessment (EIA)

The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program is accepting applications for 2019 designees. Building on the foundation of reporting both student learning outcomes assessment results and processes established in the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), EIA recognizes institutions for their efforts in intentional integration of institution-level learning outcomes assessment. To date, 20 institutions have been recognized for their Excellence in Assessment. If your institution is involved in exemplary assessment practice, please review the application packet and the accompanying rubric that evaluators will use to review each application, and submit all materials by May 6, 2019. Read more...

NILOA Coaches

To advance and accelerate campus initiatives to enhance student learning, NILOA and Lumina Foundation are pleased to offer NILOA Coaches – a practical, useful resource to improve student learning and assessment processes and practices at your institution. Coaches are available for a one-day campus visit at no cost to the host institution 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 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 encourage and support institutions at various stages of implementation. Coaches are paired with the requesting institution based on interests, intended outcomes, and expertise. Institutions seeking a Coach visit for Fall 2019 are asked to complete a NILOA Coach request form by priority deadline of April 18. A sample application can be viewed here. Read more…

Equity in Assessment

14th Guest Response to NILOA’s Equity Conversation:
Redefining Putting Students First

Leslie S. Meyerhoff
Cornell University

How are being ethical and being culturally responsive different from each other? To me, and to my students, being ethical includes being culturally responsive. You cannot be ethical if you are not attending to and engaging with all students; being ethical means being culturally responsive. What is important about this conversation is that both of these ideas help us to become better student affairs professionals. We are taught from our first course in student development theory, that we should be putting students first. For so long, however, which students are put first has been narrowly defined, whether as a function of statistical generalizations, methodology, or racism. Now we have a path forward that enables us to engage more deeply with our students to understand their experiences and to design learning and assessment tools that speak to them and invite them to bring more of themselves into their learning. Read more…


NILOA Speaker: Erick Montenegro

As a Latinx student that immigrated to the U.S., Erick Montenegro – the author of NILOA's 29th Occasional Paper "Equity and assessment: Moving towards culturally responsive assessment" – understands first-hand how current systems of assessment can work to marginalize students. As a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Erick works to bring equity into the heart of assessment through both his dissertation research and work with NILOA. In an effort to continue engaging with institutions, organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators on the topic, NILOA is pleased to announce the inclusion of Erick as a NILOA speaker for discussions focused on equity in assessment. Request a speaker…

Featured Website

Lewis University’s Office of Assessment website is this month’s NILOA Featured Website. The institution’s assessment plan, cycle, and timeline are available to peruse, providing framing and background on the role of assessing student learning within Lewis University. To promote meaningful accountability, there is an Institutional Assessment Continuous Improvement Rubric which Deans and department heads utilize to evaluate internal processes for collecting, analyzing, and reporting student learning outcomes. There are sample rubrics for common learning outcomes for website visitors, as well as templates for data reports, assessment, and curriculum mapping. Website visitors may explore the numerous outcomes and mapping examples, including undergraduate and graduate-level learning outcomes statements and their respective alignment/mapping efforts. Read more...


How to Bring ‘High-Impact Practices’ to Your Courses
High-Impact Practices (HIPs) are a variety of educational experiences that deepen learning and further engage students, which can take place both inside and outside of the classroom. This edition of the Teaching newsletter focuses on considerations we need to make in order to meaningfully leverage HIPs at the course-level.

How One Professor Made Her Assignments More Relevant
Utilizing principles that promote transparency in teaching and learning, Tanya Martini from Brock University added specific, explicit language to assignment prompts that would push her students to connect how the assignment developed and transferred certain skills.

Equity: Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Educational practices and policies that promote equity should be open to ensuring that all learning counts regardless of where it is acquired to facilitate progress towards high-quality credentials. In addition, pathways that allow learners to flow in, through, and out of various educational experiences without roadblocks or miscommunication are essential. Both of these efforts require collaboration, and issues impacting race/ethnicity must be at the center of the conversation.

Why are learning outcomes (often) so dreadful?
Inflexible, unmeasurable, and restrictive learning outcomes statements can be dreadful for both learners and instructors. This article offers various questions to ask yourself when constructing learning outcomes statements for the course-level. 

How Can Colleges Build a Better Future for Work-Study?
A new report from NASPA, “Employing Student Success: A Comprehensive Examination of On-Campus Student Employment,” rethinks work-study programs to better motivate learners to graduate and prepare them for their careers. A few of the suggestions are to facilitate student employees’ self-evaluation of work experiences, give them clear guidelines and feedback, and provide professional development opportunities. Another article on the NASPA study can be found in The Hechinger Report.

A Filmmaker Followed 12 Prisoners Through a Liberal-Arts Education. Here’s What She Learned
The documentary series College Behind Bars follows 12 incarcerated learners working toward a degree through the Bard Prison Initiative. This interview with Lynn Novick, the director of the documentary, touches upon the learners experiences and reflections on the value of a college degree.

Digital Transformation Empowers Student Learning in Higher Education
Campuses are utilizing technology in innovative ways to enhance teaching and learning. For example, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District is improving course accessibility by transcribing lectures in-real time through online portals so students requiring sign language interpretation can follow and also keep a record of the lesson on their electronic device. 

Let's Focus on What Learners CAN Do, and Plan From There
An asset-based approach to improving student learning can hold the key for enacting meaningful practices, and this involves being purposeful in ways we increase opportunity in the classroom. For example, make students active participants in their learning and incorporate various reflection points to allow students to see their growth. 

Participation Requests:

National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education
The second annual National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education will launch on March 26, 2019 and stay open throughout April. This survey seeks to provide information and insight to institution leaders and policymakers about whether and how colleges and universities are using competency-based education and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. Please make sure your institution adds your perspective to the survey by responding to this survey. You can check who will receive the survey invitation on behalf of your institution at this survey invitation lookup tool or contact us at nspcbe@air.orgwith questions. You can also read the report based on last year’s survey at this link.

Request for Proposals: Data for the American Dream Initiative
The Data for the American Dream (D4AD) initiative, which aims to support innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data through public-private partnerships, is seeking proposals for pilot projects. The goal is to help students and jobseekers make better career decisions in a changing economy through data-driven information, and especially to help low-income, underemployed, and unemployed Americans access better jobs and education opportunities. There will be an informational webinar for interested participants on March 22. Letters of intent are due April 3, 2019.

Grand Challenges Survey from UNC Charlotte
Please take a few minutes to help identify and prioritize “grand challenges” facing assessment professionals. The identification of grand challenges can be a useful process that unifies the efforts of practitioners in a field. Unified efforts increase the possibility of creating meaningful and lasting progress. The Office of Assessment and Accreditation at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte reviewed major assessment websites, blogs, discussion boards and publications to identify potential grand challenges that have been discussed actively over the past few years. Using these resources, they articulated 10 areas for growth they believe may represent grand challenges for our field. Your responses to a brief survey will help them better frame their understanding of the grand challenges in assessment. The survey closes April 1, 2019.

Job Announcements:

Strategy Officer for Competency-Based Learning
Lumina Foundation is seeking a Strategy Officer for Competency-Based Learning to lead a comprehensive portfolio of grants and contracts designed to support the use of a variety of tools that postsecondary providers of learning utilize to offer competency-based credentials.

Strategy Officer for Talent Investments
Lumina Foundation is seeking a Strategy Officer for Talent Investments to lead a comprehensive portfolio aimed at increasing the number of individuals that gain postsecondary credentials. 

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

March 18. Proposals Due: 2019 AEA Evaluation Conference.
Minneapolis, MN. American Evaluation Association.

March 21-22: 2019 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference.
Rochester, MI. Oakland University.

March 27-29: CREA 2019 International Conference.
Chicago, IL. Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA).

March 28-30: 2019 AAC&U Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success.
Pittsburgh, PA. Association of American Colleges & Universities. 
**Friday, March 29, 3:00-4:15pm, Erick Montenegro, NILOA Communications Coordinator & Research Analyst, will lead a concurrent workshop on "The Role of Equity and Cultural Responsiveness in Assessment in Higher Education."

March 29: 2019 NEean Dialogues in the Disciplines.
East Hartford, CT. Goodwin College.

March 31-April 2: 2019 LEAP Texas Conference.
Houston, TX. LEAP Texas.

March 31. Proposals Due: 2019 Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct, and Contingent Educators (SPACE).
Kennesaw, GA. Kennesaw State University.

April 1: Survey Responses Due: Grand Challenges of Assessment in Higher Education.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

April 5-9: 2019 AERA Annual Meeting.
Toronto, Canada. American Educational Research Association. 
**Sunday, April 7, 11:50am to 1:20pm, Dr. Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director, Cynthia Cogswell, Ohio University, and Marjorie L. Dorime-Williams, University of Missouri - Columbia will present a paper "Unintended Consequences: Exploring the Impact of Assessment on Institutional Change and Policy?" in the Emergent Methodological Considerations for Higher Education Outcomes session. 
**Tuesday, April 9, 8:00 to 9:30am, Dr. Jillian Kinzie, NILOA Senior Scholar, and colleagues will present "Exploring the Link Between Institutional Voting Rates and Diversity Experiences" as part of the Democratic Citizenship Education: Policies, Frameworks, and Multiple Platforms paper session. 
**Tuesday, April 9, 10:25 to 11:55am, Erick Montenegro, NILOA Communications Coordinator and Research Analyst, will be a discussant on a paper session "Student (and Robot?) Perceptions and Uses of Assessment."

April 5-9. 2019 HLC Annual Conference.
Chicago, IL. Higher Learning Commission.
** Saturday, April 6th, 10:30-11:45am. Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, Douglas Shapiro, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Andrew Koch, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, and Peter Smith, University of Maryland University College, will present “Student Success: Time to Act.”
**Sunday, April 7, 1:00-2:00pm, Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, and Sally Johnstone, President of NCHEMS, will present “Defining Student Success Data: Changing the Conversation.”
**Tuesday, April 9, 8:00-9:30am. Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, and Dr. Gianina Baker, NILOA Assistant Director, will present “Evidence-Based Storytelling.”

April 10-12: 2019 ANNY Annual Conference.
Saratoga Springs, NY. Assessment Network of New York.

April 10-12: WSCUC’s 2019 Academic Resource Conference.
Garden Grove, CA. WASC Senior College and University Commission. 
**Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, and Dr. Pat Hutchings, NILOA Senior Scholar, will be presenting. 


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