National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Example of Good Assessment Practice: Alverno College




Allen, C. (2016, July). Alverno College: Lessons from an Assessment Pioneer. (NILOA Examples of Good Assessment Practice). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

"Alverno’s curriculum was always about reflecting the learning environment and the social milieu--essentially, the faculty curriculum for teaching and assessing 21st century skills while maintaining a commitment to scholarship and mastery in the disciplines. This remains in place, but the platform for student learning continues to change. As a result, Alverno is adjusting as well. Because we have a robust system in place for the design and continuous improvement of learning outcomes, we don’t have to sacrifice authenticity for the sake of expediency."  
-- Faculty member and Associate Dean

Alverno College:

Lessons from an Assessment Pioneer

Other institutions may see Alverno’s approach to teaching and assessment as a product of its distinctive context and culture, but there is much to be learned and borrowed from that approach. 
Link to the full report here.

Lessons from Alverno College

1. Student learning outcome statements are aligned and integrated across the entirety of the curricular experience, from the assignment level within specific courses, to the eight core abilities at the institution level.

2. Assessment processes at Alverno are collectively designed and focused on enhancing student learning. As a result, students receive regular and timely feedback, are informed of outcomes and where these outcomes fit within the larger institutional context, and are given opportunities to develop skills over the course of their educational experiences.

3. Students are active partners and collaborators in the assessment process. They are frequently and consistently made aware of learning outcomes, are involved in active reflection on their learning, and are provided opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do.

4. Assessment is faculty-driven and an integral part of teaching and learning. Hiring, mentoring, and training practices align with assessment processes to provide faculty with the necessary supports to engage in a “high-touch” assessment process with studens.