AAC&U’s Teaching-Learning-Assessment (TLA) Framework is a practical, web-based tool developed to help campuses build capacity and lead institutional transformation to Ensure Students Are Learning, as part of the Guided Pathways model for student success.
The TLA Framework guides campuses through an intentional, five-phase process to examine, implement, and enhance teaching, learning, and assessment practices that support higher levels of student learning.
The TLA Framework process integrates the core components of the fourth pillar (Ensure Students Are Learning) of the Guided Pathways model. Campuses and practitioners will be guided through the five phases of the TLA Framework: (1) Conceptualize, (2) Formalize, (3) Implement, (4) Analyze & Revise, and (5) Scale. Each phase includes a series of guiding questions, resources, campus spotlights, team activities, and key takeaways to help prepare campuses for recreating the process at their own institutions. The TLA Framework process centers student success and equity, and recommends measurable steps that faculty, staff, and institutional leaders can take to address persisting gaps in student learning outcomes.
The refreshed, core components of the Ensure Students Are Learning pillar are:
- Scaled, high-quality, program relevant applied learning experiences
- Intentional and sustained student engagement
- Evidence-based, high-impact teaching practices across modalities
- Institution-wide commitment to equity-minded, asset-based teaching improvement
- Quality assessment of program learning outcomes that lead to credentials, further education, and/or gainful employment
The TLA Framework is informed by the process undertaken by twenty community colleges who piloted the Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning project. In partnership with project evaluators at the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE), an advisory group comprised of members of the Pathways Collaborative, and the VALUE Scoring Collaborative, the two-year project engaged the twenty community colleges in an intentional process to develop structures, capacities, and resources for implementing the Ensure Students Are Learning pillar of the Guided Pathways model.
Throughout the TLA Framework, examples from the twenty pilot campuses are included to offer practical recommendations and key insights into the implementation, enhancement, and scaling of teaching, learning, and assessment practices to ensure students are learning. The TLA Framework was designed to capture the pilot campuses’ visionary process for creating transformational change and building capacity to ensure all students are learning and prepared for lifelong success.
Explore the Phases
Campuses focus on preparing to participate in the process, while thinking critically about assessment and equity. This part of the process includes performing a campus self-assessment, identifying a project pathway(s), and forming a diverse and effective project team.
Campuses progress from preparation to planning for action by developing an aspirational action plan with defined goals, identifying opportunities for support and barriers to accomplishment, and establishing high-impact strategies to advance quality and equity in student learning outcomes.
Campuses initiate pathways enhancements with a continued focus on faculty development, assessment, and equity. In addition, campuses implement improvements to assignments and high-impact practices; expand faculty-engaged, professional development opportunities; and partake in VALUE training, including the collection of student artifacts for subsequent submission to the VALUE Scoring Collaborative for evaluation.
Campuses receive and analyze direct assessment data, including disaggregated data reports on student learning outcomes. Campuses use evaluation data to highlight persisting equity and quality gaps in student outcomes, and revise pathway assignments, high-impact practices, and professional development in order to support higher levels of student success and to bridge existing disparities in the quality and equity of success and learning outcomes for all students across modalities.
Campuses devise and implement strategies to scale project efforts across other pathways, guided by equity-minded considerations, institutional context, and student data. Campuses work in collaboration with institutional departments and faculty to create plans for scaling in consideration of existing student outcome gaps in other pathways.
Each phase of the TLA Framework includes:
Help examine and contextualize existing practices and plan for potential improvement strategies.
Highlight the visionary efforts undertaken by the twenty pilot campuses and offer recommendations for new campuses.
Prompt teams to engage in deep reflection on existing systems and practices.
Feature the voices of the pilot campuses, as they discuss implementation efforts surrounding HIPs, equity-minded practices, collaborative assignment design, and student engagement.
Briefly summarize the key recommended actions needed to implement and scale efforts.
Relate to featured topic areas and include resources developed by AAC&U and other Guided Pathways partners, equity-focused tools, project publications, etc.
Placed at the center of each phase and includes considerations, spotlights, and resources that highlight equity-centered practices, asset-based teaching and learning, and culturally responsive practices.
The twenty community colleges who piloted the project and whose visionary efforts informed the TLA Framework are listed here.
- Amarillo College
- Chattanooga State Community College
- Community College of Baltimore County Foundation, Inc.
- Crafton Hills College
- Finger Lakes Community College
- Houston Community College
- Indian River State College
- Kapi’olani Community College
- Kilgore College
- Miami Dade College
- Middlesex Community College
- Monroe Community College
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
- Palo Alto College
- Salt Lake Community College
- San Antonio College
- San Jacinto College
- South Texas College
- St. Petersburg College
- Waubonsee Community College