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ERIC Number: ED567116
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. A Policy Statement from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
This National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) policy statement outlines the warrant for multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement. The importance of assessing student learning in college has yet to capture the attention of policy makers or the public. Indeed, few outside the academy know what the phrase, student learning outcomes assessment, means. And yet the information outcomes assessment produces when done well is foundational to addressing some of the greatest challenges the country currently faces. Documenting learning and using that evidence to improve student and institutional performance is a challenging, complicated process, however, since 2008 NILOA has been tracking what colleges and universities are doing to document and improve student performance and institutional effectiveness. From work in the field, NILOA has distilled five principles that if enacted in mission-relevant ways can spread and accelerate assessment work worthy of the promises colleges and universities make to their students, policy-makers, and the public. The five principals outlined are: (1) Develop specific, actionable learning outcomes statements; (2) Connect learning goals with actual student assignments and work; (3) Collaborate with the relevant stakeholders, beginning with the faculty; (4) Design assessment approaches that generate actionable evidence about student learning that key stakeholders can understand and use to improve student and institutional performance; and (5) Focus on "improvement," and "compliance" will take care of itself. It is no longer beyond the capacity of a college or university to articulate expectations for learning, to document student progress toward these expectations, and to use the resulting evidence to improve student success. Doing this job and doing it well is within their grasp.
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 340 Education Building MC 708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-244-2155; Fax: 217-244-5632; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment