National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Providing Evidence of Student Learning:
A Transparency Framework


This component represents the extent to which evidence of student learning is used to identify areas where changes in policies and practices may lead to improvement, inform institutional decision-making, problem identification, planning, goal setting, faculty development, course revision, program review, and accountability or accreditation self-study. Transparent uses of student learning evidence are:

• Targeted to a particular audience such as faculty, staff, administrators, students, families or governing board members
• Inclusive of examples of documented use of assessment results and information
• Focused on improvement of student performance and institutional processes through the use of evidence
• Inclusive of next steps
• Clearly stated in language that is understandable for specific and multiple audiences
• Prominently posted or linked to in multiple places across the website
• Updated regularly to reflect current activities
• Receptive to feedback on selected courses of action by having a person’s contact information or a form to send feedback

Institutional Examples

California State University, Los Angeles & San Francisco State University

California State University, Los Angeles as well as San Francisco State University use a reporting template that asks each program and department to respond to a series of questions including:

• Are there formal learning outcomes?
• Where are they published?
• Other than GPA, what data are used including direct and indirect assessments?
• What is the process and frequency of data collection?
• Who interprets the evidence?
• How are the findings used?
• Date of last program review
• What were results of most recent student assessment?

This template provides, in one location, information on the data collection and use of assessment activities across departments and programs.

The Community College of Allegheny County

The Community College of Allegheny County provides examples of the use of student learning outcomes assessment in their reports. The example shown here outlines selected areas of improvement identified by the college based on the assessment results as well as plans or next steps the institution will take to address the improvement of the results.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

The Implemented and Planned Changes Report provides information on the percent and type of administrative changes as well as academic changes made due to assessment.

"Because higher education institutions are such complex and diverse organizations, it is very difficult to convey to external audiences exactly how much quality assurance actually goes on throughout our institutions. The NILOA transparency framework provides an excellent framework for institutional assessment practitioners to use to bring coherence to campus efforts and communicate more effectively about those efforts to a range of external audiences."

Victor M. H. Borden
Professor and Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Policy and Planning, Indiana University-Bloomington