Our Purpose and Scope

The Learning Improvement Community (LIC) is a group of assessment practitioners, educational developers, educators, and scholars in higher education who are committed to advancing methodologies for inquiring into student learning and helping faculty design interventions to improve students' ability to achieve higher-order competencies.

Overarching statement of the community

Our purpose is to promote student learning improvement in higher education, with a focus on program- and institution-level learning improvement. We explore how thoughtful changes to learning environments can improve learning and how learning assessment can support and document such efforts. We support equity-mindedness and inclusion practices, including in learning outcomes statements, assignments/exams, rubrics, curriculum, and we support the disaggregation of findings on student learning to answer equity questions.

Our efforts are, in part, a response to a conceptualization of learning outcomes assessment that ends with reporting findings and/or ends with improvement-oriented changes. While these are important, we advocate for a greater emphasis on demonstrating student learning improvement and attending to all groups of students. 

What community members do

Community members advocate for and engage in learning improvement projects and advance the understanding of learning improvement. Below are examples of activities.

  • Promote the tenets and revisit them on a cyclical basis to make sure they reflect current understanding and the trajectory of the field

  • Contribute to the dissemination of information on learning improvement (e.g., articles, briefs, website updates, stories, conference presentations, videos) 

  • Give and attend learning-improvement focused presentations (e.g., in the learning improvement track at the Assessment Institute)

  • Create professional development and engagement opportunities to support the practice of learning improvement in our community and in higher education

  • Collect and share stories of leaning improvement on the LIC website

  • Review and give feedback to stories submitted for posting on the website

  • Attend community gatherings, including attending an annual summit focused on a particular issue/goal

  • Maintain a community network through informal gatherings at conferences

Community members are actively involved

The community has a core group of about 25 people who engage in philosophical thought discussions on learning improvement and actively promote learning improvement in one or more ways (see above, what community members do). 

Additional community members work on projects/efforts that align with the community’s purpose. These projects come from community members and the core group and include such activities as sharing stories of learning improvement, presenting at conferences, writing articles and how-to guides, reviewing community documents (e.g., tenets, website pages). 

Community membership is open and encouraged

We value input from all individuals interested in student learning improvement and believe that our community is strong by welcoming and supporting individuals in order to have community members from different backgrounds, ancestry, sexual orientation, and members who work at different types of higher education institutions (e.g., historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), tribal colleges, Indigenous-serving institutions, and women's institutions; community colleges, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive and research universities, art and design schools, online colleges).