Dr. Natasha Jankowski is Executive Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and research associate professor with the department of education policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is co-author, along with her NILOA colleagues, of the books Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, and, Degrees That Matter: Moving Higher Education to a Learning Systems Paradigm. Her main research interests include assessment, organizational evidence use, and evidence-based storytelling. She holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Illinois, an MA in higher education administration from Kent State University and worked with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership studying community colleges and public policy.


Ph.D., Higher Education, University of Illinois, 2012

M.Ed., Higher Education Administratoin, Kent State University, 2006

Research & Service

As Executive Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), she examines undergraduate learning experiences through the lens of assessment and evaluation, organizational evidence use, and evidence-based storytelling. Dr. Jankowski has led advancements in the field of assessment including new areas of study such as digital narratives, philosophies of assessment, and equity and assessment. Her breakthrough research on assessment has impacted the field as demonstrated through her regular and ongoing requests to speak to various higher education audiences on assessing student learning. In addition, as past-chair of AERA Special Interest Group on Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education, as well as board member of various national and international assessment related communities of practices and publications, she shapes the dialogue and future research of the field of learning outcomes assessment.

While the field of assessment scholarship is rather practitioner driven and case study informed, with the vast majority of literature pointing to particular institutional practices and how they were developed on a single campus, her research focuses on large-scale national patterns where assessment intersects with theory and practice through a variety of disciplinary lenses. Simply put, she studies the assessment of learning in the complex ecosystem of higher education and varied learner contexts.


Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. (2020). A new decade for assessment: Embedding equity into assessment praxis. ( pp. 26). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Jankowski, N., & Baker, G. (2019). Building a narrative via evidence-based storytelling: A toolkit for practice. ( pp. 16). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Jankowski, N., & Baker, G. (2019). Movement afoot: Fostering discourse on assessment scholarship Trends in Assessment: Ideas, Opportunities, and Issues for Higher Education ( pp. 19-32). Sterling, VA, USA: Stylus.

Sitt-burgh, M., Wehlburg, C., Rhodes, T., & Jankowski, N. (2019). Assessment for student learning and the public good. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 51 (2), 43-46.  link >

Travers, N., Jankowski, N., Bushway, D., & Garrison Duncan, A. (2019). Learning frameworks: Tools for building a better educational experience. ( pp. 13). Indianapolis, IN: Lumina Foundations.  link >

Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. (2015). Focused on what mattes: Assessment of student learning outcomes at minority-serving institutions. Urbana, IL: NILOA.  link >

Kuh, G., Ikenberry, S., Jankowski, N., Cain, T., Ewell, P., Hutchings, P., & Kinzie, J. (2015). Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.

Hutchings, P., Jankowski, N., & Ewell, P. (2014). Catalyzing assignment design activity on your own campus: Lessons from NILOA's assignment library initiative. Urbana, IL: NILOA.  link >

Jankowski, N., & Marshall, D. (2014). Roadmap to enhanced student learning: Implementing the DQP and Tuning. Urbana, IL: NILOA and IEBC.  link >

Gannon-Slater, N., Ikenberry, S., Jankowski, N., & Kuh, G. (2014). Institutional assessment practices across accreditation regions. Urbana, IL: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Jankowski, N., & Provezis, S. (2014). Neoliberal ideologies, governmentality, and the academy: An examination of accountability through assessment and transparency. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46 (5), 475-487.

Kinzie, J., Jankowski, N., & Provezis, S. (2014). Do good assessment practices measure up to the principles of assessment? Assessment Update, 26 (3), 1-2, 14-16.

Kuh, G., Jankowski, N., Ikenberry, S., & Kinzie, J. (2014). Knowing what students know and can do: The current state of student learning outcomes assessment in US colleges and universities. Urbana, IL: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Jankowski, N., Hutchings, P., Ewell, P., Kinzie, J., & Kuh, G. (2013). The Degree Qualifications Profile: What it is and why we need it now. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 45 (6), 6-15.

Baker, G., Jankowski, N., Provezis, S., & Kinzie, J. (2012). Using assessment results: Promising practices of institutions that do it well. Urbana, IL: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Jankowski, N., Ikenberry, S., Kinzie, J., Kuh, G., Shenoy, G., & Baker, G. (2012). Transparency and accountability: An evaluation of the VSA college portrait pilot. Urbana, IL: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  link >

Provezis, S., & Jankowski, N. (2011). Presenting learning outcomes assessment results to foster use. Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education ( pp. 602-612). New York, NY, USA: Routledge.

Baker, G., Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. Future directions for prior-learning assessment: Taking essential learning outcomes into consideration. New Directions for Teaching and Learning.

Jankowski, N., & Baker, G. Assessment feedback considerations from a U.S. context. Practitioner Research in Higher Education.

Jankowski, N., Brown-Tess, K., Baker, G., & Montenegro, E. Student-focused learning and assessment: Involving students in the learning process in higher education. New York, NY, USA: Peter Lang Publishing.

Jankowski, N. (2020). Excellence in assessment as evidence-based storytelling. Assessment Update, 32 (1), 12-13.

Jankowski, N. (2019). A path to assessment excellence through professional reflection. Assessment Update, 31 (1), 12-13.


Case in point: Institutions engaged in equitable assessment practices (2020). AAC&U: Washington, DC.

Telling persuasive evidence-based stories about student learning: Lessons from the field (2020). AAC&U: Washington, DC.

Deep dive: Tools and resources for assessing prior learning (2019).: Chicago, IL.

How we learn: Assessment and student learning outcomes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2019). ASHE: Portland, OR.

Examining our narratives through evidence-based storytelling. (2019).: Indianapolis, IN.

Competing on metrics: HBCUs learning on learning (2019).: Washington, DC.

Intentional design for teaching the whole student: Applying the learning systems paradigm (2019). European Higher Education Society (EAIR): Leiden, Netherlands.

The role of state agencies in the recognition of learning: Current and future considerations (2019). SHEEO: Boston, MA.

Communicating our work through evidence-based storytelling (2019).: Dallas, TX.

Documenting learning: Transforming assessment with ePortfolios (2019). Association for Authentic, Experiential, & Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL): New York, NY.

Theoretical frameworks that guide implementation: Structures and learning, seen and unseen (2019). HBCU Collaboration for Excellence in Educational Quality Assurance (CEEQA): Atlanta, GA.

Leading change with equity in mind: An institutional view of learning design (2019).: Manchester, UK.

Building a narrative via evidence-based storytelling (2019). Association for Institutional Research: Denver, CO.

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Unpacking the narratives of assessing student learning (2019).: Henniker, NH.

Provocative questions and courageous answers about teaching, learning, and assessment - Is higher education accomplishing what it said it would? (2019). WSCUC: Garden Grove, CA.

Core competencies in support of comprehensive student learning: A national overview (2019). University of Alaska, Anchorage: University of Alaska, Anchorage.


Foundation of Higher Edu (EOL 571) Examination of the development of American higher education, including the evolution of its forms, purposes, practices, leadership, and constituents.

Public Policy in Higher Ed (EOL 577) Intended primarily for doctoral students in higher education, this course will enable students to analyze contemporary public policy issues confronting American higher education. Selected policy issues will be probed in depth, drawing upon scholarly sources and public reports. Students will comprehend the interaction and tension among higher education leaders, and local, state, and federal policymakers.

Profile Picture for Natasha Jankowski

Director, NILOA, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment



194 Children's Research Center
51 E. Gerty
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