National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment’s (NILOA)

Submitted by Marne Foster, Student Learning Outcomes Coordinator

On Tuesday, May 22nd SDCE faculty participated in workshops led by learning assessment expert, Nancy Quam-Wickham.  As a part of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment’s (NILOA) coaching program, Dr. Quam-Wickham spent the day with SDCE leadership and faculty to discuss our SLO plan and to provide workshops on student learning outcomes (SLOs), effective assessment practices, and assignment design.

SDCE’s SLO Coordinator submitted a proposal to NILOA in February requesting to work with Dr. Quam-Wickham, and she received a favorable response in March. “I requested Dr. Quam-Wickham because of her background in assessment, assignment design and technology – a combined training faculty need to serve students better and to work smarter,” said Marne Foster –SLO Coordinator.

NANCY QUAM-WICKHAM is a Senior Assessment Specialist at Washington State University and is a Quality Matters certified reviewer in online education. She holds a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University and a doctorate in history from the University of California-Berkeley. “When faculty create transparent assignments and use the right technology faculty become more effective and students improve,” said Dr. Quam-Wickham in a morning discussion with the SLO Taskforce and SDCE Leadership.  The morning discussion focused on solutions for capturing, improving and institutionalizing student assessment.

In the afternoon, Quam-Wickham provided two workshops to SDCE faculty leaders: Assessment 101: "Working Smarter not Harder: Managing Assessment for Busy Faculty Members," and “Assignment Design: Features of Effective Assignments.” Seventeen (17) faculty members attended the afternoon workshops and a combination of eight (8) faculty and administrators attended the morning meeting –a total of 20 participants with all disciplines represented.

Survey results of the workshops and morning discussions revealed that 100% of respondents (13 survey respondents total) felt the discussions and workshops were very valuable.  One responded said, “The information was very helpful and I look forward to applying it to our program.”  The SLO Taskforce is pleased with this common response among workshop participants because it is their goal to develop a cadre of faculty who can push training like this back out to their respective programs.

The visit was successful, and Dr. Quam-Wickham acknowledged our culture in her parting words, “I had a lot of fun with your team. It's nice to see collegiality!”

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