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National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

  • 5/30/2019
    The newest episode of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast features Dr. Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director, sharing her insights on intentional and transparent assessment.
  • 5/16/2019

    Assessments conducted for accountability reasons yield data that cannot accurately detect what students have learned. Instead, assessment of student learning should take stock of the learning atmosphere, and learning outcomes should focus upon learning experiences rather than completion and retention.

  • 5/16/2019
    Two new direct-assessment programs at Brandman University have qualified for federal financial aid. Only a handful of institutions have received approval for the direct-assessment/competency-based education (CBE) programs from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • 5/16/2019
    The unique space that the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) occupies within higher education brings with it various challenges and opportunities when it comes to reforming its general education curriculum and assessment. Steve Jones, Senior Associate Dean at USAFA, details the reform effort and how it spread with a focus on learning outcomes attainment and assessment.
  • 5/7/2019
    The first full-length episode of AALHE's Assessment Works podcast, "Fear & Learning in Assessment," is now available on the AALHE website! In this episode, Dr. Catherine Wehlburg explores how the fear of failure can impede meaningful change. She also discusses the NILOA Curriculum Mapping Toolkit and other helpful assessment resources.
  • 5/7/2019
    The Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (JNEL) is seeking manuscripts on the use of High-Impact Practices (HIPs) in undergraduate philanthropic & nonprofit studies for publication in a Spring 2020 themed issue on HIPs.
  • 4/29/2019
    A professor used testing as a meaningful learning opportunity by encouraging students to use Bloom's Taxonomy and higher-order cognitive processes to create their own test questions. Compared to a control group, these practices increased students' average grades by 7.5 percent.
  • 4/29/2019
    Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) which determines whether students hold enough knowledge around a specific topic to earn college credit - much like AP exams granting college credit - can be a lifeline for learners who have transferrable knowledge. However, to be truly impactful it would require a robust, scaled, and streamlined PLA process which is possible but does not yet exist.
  • 4/24/2019
    Campus Labs brought together experts across the field of higher education for a podcast series that provides in-depth conversation on the many nuanced topics that fall under the umbrella of socially just assessment. In the first episode of this five-part podcast, NILOA's own Dr. Natasha Jankowski and Erick Montenegro discuss culturally-responsive assessment.
  • 4/23/2019
    We would be remiss to cease assessing student learning just because it is hard; especially when learning is the point of education. "It is true that assessment of student learning can be time-consuming," writes Catherine M. Wehlburg, "[but], we cannot [possibly] be appropriately teaching if we choose to not measure student learning – and measuring learning to enhance learning is the point of assessment."
  • 4/23/2019

    A new edition of Assessment Update is now available! This issue features many informative pieces, including a thoughtful article by Marilee Bresciani Ludvik on "What Makes a Performance Indicator an Equity Driven, High-Performance Indicator?," a deeper exploration on how institutional leaders can make assessment excellence a priority authored by Stephen P. Hundley, and a new NILOA Perspective by Peter O. Nwosu on "Creating Culturally Responsive Ecosystems for Learning and Assessment."

  • 4/1/2019
    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.
  • 4/1/2019

    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.

  • 4/1/2019
    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.
  • 3/25/2019
    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.
  • 3/25/2019
    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.
  • 3/25/2019
    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.
  • 3/12/2019

    The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act must address issues that affect today's learners, of which promoting access to quality education and equity in opportunity are two key factors. Ensuring student success, especially when it relates to the success of students of color, requires additional federal financial support. A similar article can be found in Inside Higher Ed.

  • 3/12/2019
    McMaster University's engineering department requires all new faculty members to complete a two-day Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) that incorporates learning, practice, peer-mentoring, and reflection to explore topics such as planning, active learning, effective feedback, and pedagogy. The workshop has motivated both new and existing faculty to improve their teaching effectiveness.
  • 3/12/2019
    Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), delivered the inaugural State of the HBCU Address setting forth a full legislative agenda for the 116th Congress. The address also highlighted HBCU's ability to drive students' socioeconomic mobility and provide the country with an educated, diverse workforce.