[Summary from: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, October 2011]
The national learning outcomes assessment (LOA) movement and online learning in higher education emerged during roughly the same period. What has not yet developed is a sophisticated understanding of the power of online learning and its concomitant technologies to change how we view, design, and administer LOA programs.
This paper considers how emerging techniques, such as data mining and learning analytics, allow the use of performance and behavioral data to improve student learning not just for future iterations of a program but in real time for current students. Also considered are powerful learning methodologies which predate online learning but have found renewed utility when coupled with new technologies for assessing and assisting student learners.
In this paper, we postulate that technology will enable educators to design courses and programs that learn in the same way that individual students learn, and we offer some conditions that we believe are important to further this goal. We conclude with a consideration of how the faculty role will necessarily change as a result of these advances in our understanding of using technology to improve learning outcomes.
Prineas, Matthew and Cini, Marie (October 2011). Assessing learning in online education: The role of technology in improving student outcomes. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.