Meet Ying Xiong – Assistant Vice Provost for Learning Innovation & Assessment

Getting to know Ying Xiong

In January, Ying Xiong joined LILE as our new Assistant Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Assessment. This role is unique in that it’s a dual appointment – Ying is a part of both LILE at Duke University and Duke Kunshan University. Though LILE has had a standing relationship with DKU’s Center for Teaching and Learning, Ying’s appointment will deepen our relationship with DKU and create opportunities for future collaboration. We invite you to get to know Ying a little better as we welcome her to Duke.

This role is new for both LILE and DKU. Can you share a bit about what you do and who you work with?

As the Assistant Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Assessment housed at LILE, my work centers around developing and leading a strategic approach to institutional innovation in key areas including curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment at DKU. Working closely with faculty, staff, and administrators at DKU, I will build a comprehensive institutional assessment plan that generates educational insights to empower ongoing innovation. I will also collaborate with colleagues at LILE and faculty leaders at the Institute of Global Higher Education (IGHE) to conduct inquiries and experiments of innovative and future-oriented educational practices; furthermore, develop outreach opportunities to share DKU’s educational research findings with the Duke Community and other higher education peers.

Your position is a dual-appointment with LILE and DKU – what does that mean?

This is one of the first dual appointments with Duke and DKU, which is designed intentionally to foster and strengthen an organic collaboration between LILE and DKU. As a startup institute, DKU is constantly evolving itself. Its innovations need to leverage a broad range of expertise and resources from a powerhouse like LILE. On the other hand, DKU can be an ideal incubator for ideas that are beneficial for Duke. Thus, DKU’s experience and lessons learned will provide use cases and inspirations for LILE and its clients and partners.  This position will serve as a bridge to effectively facilitate collaboration and communication/sharing between LILE and DKU.

Our team and higher education as an institution are both going through a lot of (exciting!) change right now; what is something you are looking forward to working on more deeply as we grow and explore new possibilities in teaching and learning?

In the era of AI, the advancement of technologies prompts us to revisit the value and goals of higher education. What are the most important skills and habits of mind that a liberal arts institution should and can help students develop to be better prepared for the future?  This is one of the questions that I will work deeply on with colleagues from Duke and DKU. By aligning DKU’s curriculum and the evolving labor market, I hope to incorporate research-based and data-informed steps to identify key skills and habits of mind to guide DKU’s authentic assessment to facilitate continuous educational improvement and support students’ professional success and personal growth.

What is a project or initiative you worked on in one of your previous roles at DKU that you are especially proud of?

Before I assumed the dual appointment, I served as the Associate Dean of Assessment at DKU. In that role, I led accreditation efforts (China and U.S.), guided the development of learning outcomes for majors, and co-led the undergraduate curriculum review and realignment process. Those experiences sharpened my vision and ability for developing an effective assessment regime with a primary purpose of supporting innovations and excellence, but also without losing sight of practical constraints (both internal and external).