Website Guide



11.3.10 - The National Institute for Learning Outcomess

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) regularly releases occasional papers that examine contemporary issues and inform the academic community of the current state-of-the art of assessing learning outcomes in American higher education. To find out more and to read the papers, click here.

4.30.10 - The Accountability/Improvement Paradox

Moving beyond the tension between policy makers and professors over assessing student learning will require those on each side to approach their respective responsibilities, and each other, as professionals, Victor Borden writes. Read the Full Article at Inside Higher Ed.

Measuring Quality in Higher Education: An Inventory of Instruments, Tools and Resources

This web site provides an inventory of resources designed to assist higher education faculty and staff in the challenging task of assessing academic and support programs as well as institutional effectiveness, more broadly. The items in this inventory are divided into four categories: instruments (examinations, surveys, questionnaires, etc.); software tools and platforms; benchmarking systems and data resources; projects, initiatives and services. They can be searched using keywords or through a set of filters that include the unit of analysis, the targeted level of assessment, and the subject of measurement.

This inventory is an update to the monograph, “Measuring Quality: Surveys and Other Assessments of College Quality” (Borden & Owens, 2001), published jointly by the American Council on Education and the Association for Institutional Research. The original volume included information about 26 assessment instruments (mostly examinations and surveys). The current inventory, in which the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment is also a partner, expands considerably the domain and range of assessment resources to include approximately 250 items. Whereas the earlier resource focused almost entirely on assessing student life and learning, this version also considers a broader range of quality issues for which there is public interest regarding institutional effectiveness, including the research/scholarship and outreach/service missions of institutions, as well as the alignment between higher education institution activities and societal needs.

Caveat Emptor

With the rapid expansion of available higher education assessment instruments, tools, resources, and services, we have opted to take an inclusive approach to this inventory. Criteria for inclusion were purported and reported use for program and institutional assessment. Inclusion in the inventory does not indicate endorsement by the authors nor by any of the sponsors of this publication and inventory. In the guidance section, we seek to define an effective context for evaluating, selecting, and using such tools and resources.

The online inventory will be maintained and periodically updated through this web site. We also intend to add to the web site provisions for collecting and reporting examples of effective use, as well as research and reviews regarding specific instruments, tools, and resources. We hope to stimulate such appraisal in the context of various improvement and accountability agendas. However, we provide this resource from an “agenda-neutral” position.