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Advice to Campuses: Learn from Your Outcomes

In their January 2014 report for National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), “Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in U.S. College and Universities,” George D. Kuh, Natasha Jankowski, Stanley O. Ikenberry, and Jillian Kinzie outline the findings of a spring 2013 survey of provosts and chief academic officers. The results confirm that articulating learning outcomes continues to be a best practice for institutions. Although the primary motivation is still tied to accreditation, a growing number of campuses are also using assessment data to guide internal initiatives to improve courses, departments, and programs. The report concludes with a set of implications, culminating with the idea that campuses need to cultivate a culture of assessment: “The goal is to get everyone – faculty, administrators, and staff – to see that assessing outcomes and using evidence for ongoing improvement is not just or primarily an obligatory response to demands from outside the institution. Rather, assessment must be viewed and undertaken as a continuous improvement process yielding actionable information for faculty and staff as well as for institutional leaders.”

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    JD White

    Vice President, Product Development

    Campus Labs

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