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Student Learning,

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Title: Student Learning,


1
  • Student Learning,
  • Assessment Accreditation
  • Criteria and Contexts

2
  • Lynn Priddy, Ph.D. Director,
    Education and Training The Higher Learning
    Commission of NCA
  • Lpriddy_at_hlcommission.org

3
The Criteria Plus
  • Five Criteria, each with 4-5 Core Components
  • Three Commission position statements explain
    HLCs thinking and key emphases across the
    Criteria.
  • Four themes that cut across and capture the
    nature of the Criteria. This presentation
    presents the Criteria from the perspective of
    student learning (learning-focused is one of the
    four themes).

4
Using the New Criteria
  • Compliance thinking kills the intent power of
    the Criteria their holistic, overlapping nature
  • Criteria are designed to prompt new conversations
    about the future, student learning, connections
    with constituents, and institutional
    distinctiveness
  • The Criteria are more than the sum of the Core
    Components

5
Learning Focus Across CriteriaMultiple Core
Components
6
Commitment to Student Learning
Extended
Deepened
More Fundamental
and assessing to improve learning
7
What matters most?
  • What do you most want your students to learn
    during their time with you? To get from their
    whole experience at your institution?
  • What are they actually learning?
  • Is it the right learning? Right level? (effective
    for what and for whom?)

8
What matters most?
  • What difference do you want to make in their
    lives? What difference does that make to
    society? To their profession?
  • What evidence do you have that youre worth the
    investment? That they achieve the learning
    intended?

New Questions from Many Audiences
9
What are your commitments? How does your mission
set the context for what learning is the right
learning? What do you claim you do?
10
Mission Integrity
The organization operates with integrity to
ensure the fulfillment of its mission through
structures and processes that involve the board,
administration, faculty, staff, and students.
11
Mission Integrity
  • The organizations mission documents are clear
    and articulate publicly the organizations
    commitments.
  • In its mission documents, the organization
    recognizes the diversity of its learners, other
    constituencies, and the greater society it serves.

12
Mission Integrity
  • Understanding of and support for the mission
    pervade the organization.
  • The organizations governance and administrative
    structures promote effective leadership and
    support collaborative processes that enable the
    organization to fulfill its mission.

13
Mission Integrity
  • The organization upholds and protects its
    integrity.

14
Who are your constituents? How do you engage
them to know what learning Is valued?
Needed? How will the changing demographics of
constituents change learning needs? Teaching?
15
Engagement Service
As called for by its mission, the organization
identifies its constituencies and serves them in
ways both value.
16
Engagement Service
  • The organization learns from the constituencies
    it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve
    their needs and expectations.
  • The organization has the capacity and the
    commitment to engage with its identified
    constituencies and communities.

17
Engagement Service
  • The organization demonstrates its responsiveness
    to those constituencies that depend on it for
    service.
  • Internal and external constituencies value the
    services the organization provides.

18
Position on Diversity
Diversity represented in many formsRecognizing
diversity is one of the values embraced by the
Commission.Commission does not prescribe a set
of actions to address issues of diversitydoes
expectorganizations to evidence positive
responses to issues of diversity and to show the
relationship of those responses to the integrity
of their operations.
19
Position on Diversity
  • Member organizations urged to evaluatehow well
    they address issues of diversity
  • Create maintain teaching and learning
    environments that provide educational
    opportunities for diverse individuals and groups.
  • Provide learning environmentsin which students
    can contribute to and learn from the diversity
    that broad life exposure offers.

20
How do you support and foster a life of learning
consistent with your mission? What do you intend
for your students to learn? Is it relevant,
useful, reflective of higher learning? How does
this learning drive faculty, staff, board,
administrative Learning?
21
Acquisition, Discovery, Application of Knowledge
The organization promotes a life of learning for
its faculty, administration, staff, and students
by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity,
practice, and social responsibility in ways
consistent with its mission.
22
Acquisition, Discovery, Application of Knowledge
  • The organization demonstrates, through the
    actions of its board, administrators, students,
    faculty, and staff, that it values a life of
    learning.
  • The organization demonstrates that acquisition of
    a breadth of knowledge and skills and the
    exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to
    its educational programs.

23
Acquisition, Discovery, Application of Knowledge
  • The organization assesses the usefulness of its
    curricula to students who will live and work in a
    global, diverse, and technological society.
  • The organization provides support to ensure that
    faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover,
    and apply knowledge responsibly.

24
Position on General Education
Regardless of how a higher learning organization
frames the general education necessary to fulfill
its mission and goals, it clearly and publicly
articulates the purposes, content, and intended
learning outcomes of the general education it
provides for its studentsshows its commitment
togeneral education.
25
Position on General Education
  • Effective general education can be shaped to fit
    unique organizational contexts. General
    education must be valued and ownedwhether
  • Courses created, purchased, shared
  • Faculty full- or part-time or employed by partner
    organization
  • Organization creates general education through
    curriculum or experiential and off-campus
    opportunities

26
Are students learning what you intended for them
to learn? What is the evidence that teaching is
effective? Learning Environments? How do you
support and value teaching learning that
ensures effective programs?
27
Student Learning Effective Teaching
The organization provides evidence of student
learning and teaching effectiveness that
demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational
mission.
28
Student Learning Effective Teaching
  • The organizations goals for student learning
    outcomes are clearly stated for each educational
    program and make effective assessment possible.
  • The organization values and supports effective
    teaching.

29
Student Learning Effective Teaching
  • The organization creates effective learning
    environments.
  • The organizations learning resources support
    student learning and effective teaching.

30
How do you allocate your resources to ensure the
centrality of student learning? Accomplishment
of all parts of your mission? Respond to new
opportunities? How do you evaluate and
improve your programs, services? student learning?
31
Preparing for the Future
The organizations allocation of resources and
its processes for evaluation and planning
demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission,
improve the quality of its education, and respond
to future challenges and opportunities.
32
Preparing for the Future
  • The organization realistically prepares for a
    future shaped by multiple societal and economic
    trends.
  • The organizations resource base supports its
    educational programs and its plans for
    maintaining and strengthening their quality in
    the future.

33
Preparing for the Future
  • The organizations ongoing evaluation and
    assessment processes provide reliable evidence of
    institutional effectiveness that clearly informs
    strategies for continuous improvement.
  • All levels of planning align with the
    organizations mission, thereby enhancing its
    capacity to fulfill that mission.

34
Position on Assessment of Student Learning
FOCUS IS ON LEARNING
Assessment of student academic achievement is
fundamental for all organizations that place
student learning at the center of their
educational endeavors.
35
Position on Assessment of Student Learning
FOCUS IS ON LEARNING
Commitment to and capacity for effective
assessment and improved learning figure more
prominently than ever in are more fundamentally
linked to all accreditation standards.
36
Expanded Learning Statement
Through the Criteria for Accreditation and
multiple Core Components, the Commission makes
clear the centrality of student learning to
effective higher education organizations
and extends and deepens its commitment to and
expectations for assessment.
37
Five Fundamental Questionsas Prompts to
Conversation
  • How are your stated student learning outcomes
    appropriate to your mission, programs, and
    degrees?
  • What evidence do you have that students achieve
    your stated learning outcomes?
  • In what ways do you analyze and use evidence of
    student learning?
  • How do you ensure shared responsibility for
    student learning assessment of student
    learning?
  • How do you evaluate and improve the effectiveness
    of your efforts to assess and improve student
    learning?

38
How does the Commission define assessment?
39
As a Strategy of Inquiry
ASSESSMENT of STUDENT LEARNING is a
participatory, iterative process that
  • Provides data/information you need on your
    students learning,
  • Engages you and others in analyzing and using
    this data/information to confirm and improve
    teaching and learning,

40
As a Strategy of Inquiry
ASSESSMENT of STUDENT LEARNING is a
participatory, iterative process that
  • Produces evidence that students are learning the
    outcomes you intended,
  • Guides you in making educational and
    institutional improvements,
  • Evaluates whether changes made improve/impact
    student learning, AND DOCUMENTS THE LEARNING AND
    YOUR EFFORTS.

41
Evidence More Fundamental
Evidence via assessment is more fundamental than
ever to knowing students are learning what they
need to learn, to ensuring student learning is
central at our institutions, and to
demonstrating higher educations effectiveness
to the public and others.
Why document?
42
What about evaluation? Institutional
effectiveness?
43
Student Learning is Central to determining
Educational Quality
What does this mean in action?
44
Assessment is central to improving Student
Learning
Assessment is a strategy in part for
organizational accountability, distinctiveness, ac
creditation, and effectiveness.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, assessment is a strategy for
understanding and improving student learning and
educational quality.
45
Commitment to Student Learning
Extended
Deepened
More Fundamental
and assessing to improve learning
46
Accountability for Student Learning
Purposeful
Assessable
Transparent
47
What have we learned about assessing student
learning?
48
What have we learned?
  • No one right way to set up efforts to assess
    BUT should be informed by scholarship, good
    practice, mission, degree level, culture, and
    context.
  • Institutions take a diversity of approaches and
    paces to assessing learning (grad differs from
    undergrad as well).

49
What have we learned?
  • Institutions adopt techniques models, assuming
    theyll work. Adopting anothers model wholesale
    rarely works.
  • Common principles apply, but institutions must
    discuss, research, create ways to fit their
    contexts (all levels).

50
What have we learned?
  • Assessment needs to be meaningful useful to the
    institution and to intended learning.
  • Assessment is not about amassing data, but rather
    about analyzing and using it to make a difference
    in student learning.

51
In Fact
A focus solely on structures processes of
assessing keeps many institutions from taking
the next step--to a focus on understanding
improving student learning
52
Key Issues
Effective efforts to assess learning
  • Require stable, committed leadership widespread
    agreement on learning as priority
  • Employ workable processes with reasonable
    schedules -- it takes time
  • Are characterized by fits, starts, revisions, and
    experimentation, yet a sustained effort still
    evident

53
Key Issues
Effective efforts to assess learning
  • Engage faculty (beyond buy-in) and administrators
    and others across the institution
  • Figure out the balance with already heavy work
    loads focused on other priorities
  • Gather use meaningful, useful data on learning

54
Key Issues
Effective efforts to assess learning
  • Require dialogue, time to talk about learning and
    assessment and to analyze and to act on data
  • Are fit to purpose for the institution, the
    degree, the program, the students
  • Are sustainable and sustained with resources
  • Influence planning, budgeting, decision-makingins
    titutional improvement and shared responsibility
    for learning

55
Myths and Misconceptions
  • The more outcomes the better at every level.
  • The more assessment the better you must assess
    everything at every level every time.
  • You must have certain structures in place.
  • You must have certain positions in place.
  • You must have specific types of measures for
    assessment to be credible.
  • Assessment of learning is in the academic side of
    the house it is the facultys responsibility.

56
Insatiable curiosity about what students are
learninga drive to understand and make a
difference in that learninga strategy to make
the difference a reality
57
Five Fundamental Questionsas Prompts to
Conversation
  • How are your stated student learning outcomes
    appropriate to your mission, programs, and
    degrees?
  • What evidence do you have that students achieve
    your stated learning outcomes?
  • In what ways do you analyze and use evidence of
    student learning?
  • How do you ensure shared responsibility for
    student learning assessment of student
    learning?
  • How do you evaluate and improve the effectiveness
    of your efforts to assess and improve student
    learning?

58
Using the Questions
  • Not a writing activityrather a dialogue process
  • Reveals all that you are already doing at many
    levels and across many people
  • Shifts the conversation to learningassessment is
    a tool, a strategy to get at that learning

59
Commitment to Student Learning
Effective assessment becomes a matter of
commitment, not a matter of compliance
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