The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) has chosen Walden University’s Demonstrating Accountability, Transparency, and Assessment (DATA) Web site as September’s featured Web site on www.learningoutcomesassessment.org. Each month, NILOA recognizes a Web site that is an example of promising practices in innovative and transparent online communication of student learning outcomes assessment.

The Walden Web site was selected “due to the variety of information presented on student learning and institutional data as well as the clear wording and explanation of learning outcomes processes,” according to Stan Ikenberry, co-principal investigator, University of Illinois, and George Kuh, NILOA director, Indiana University. DATA provides detailed information about Walden’s students as well as student learning, student and alumni satisfaction and the social impact of students and alumni in their communities and workplaces.

“Walden is committed to continually evaluating the value of our online degree programs, the Walden learning experience and the impact the Walden experience has on our students and alumni. We are honored that NILOA recognizes our ongoing work to provide open and transparent information about our students and outcomes,” said David L. Clinefelter, Ph.D., Walden’s chief academic officer.

Describing why the Web site was chosen, Ikenberry and Kuh wrote, “Walden University’s Demonstrating Accountability, Transparency, and Assessment (DATA) Web site provides a centralized resource for multiple data points across the institution and within departments related to student learning. The Web site posts the stated learning outcomes for each program, information on student satisfaction, performance indicators and student self-assessments of their learning. In addition, the Web site presents information in a clear, user-friendly format on direct and indirect evidence of student learning, other sources of evidence used in continuous improvement and overviews of how learning outcomes reporting is integrated within the institution.”

NILOA’s selection criteria for determining a featured student learning outcomes assessment Web site include:

  • Communication. The institutional Web site clearly communicates and/or presents information on student learning outcomes assessment to multiple or specific internal or external audiences using layperson’s language and contextualized examples.
  • Navigation. Information on student learning outcomes assessment is found on multiple pages across the Web site and is easy to access and navigate via links or search engines.
  • Creativity. The institutional Web site communicates information on student learning outcomes assessment and/or results in new and interesting ways, including integration of multiple measures.

Established in 2008, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) assists institutions and others in discovering and adopting promising practices in the assessment of college student learning outcomes. Documenting what students learn, know and can do is of growing interest to colleges and universities, accrediting groups, higher education associations, foundations and others beyond campus, including students, their families, employers and policymakers.

For more information about Demonstrating Accountability, Transparency, and Assessment, go to www.WaldenU.edu/DATA.

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