Assessment and VALUE Publications

Liberal Education, Winter 2017
Liberal Education, Winter 2017

This issue examines higher education’s response to calls for greater accountability for student learning. Also included are articles on justice and identity, curricular reform, co-teaching, equitable implementation of high-impact practices, and a new tool for administrators seeking to support high-impact practices.

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On Solid Ground
2017

A new VALUE report describes its groundbreaking approach to assessing student learning showing it is possible to evaluate undergraduate students’ achievement without relying on standardized tests and by using existing material.

In On Solid Ground AAC&U shares the results from the first two years of data collection for the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) initiative, a nationwide project that examines direct evidence of student learning. It represents the first attempt to reveal the landscape of student performance on key learning outcomes—Critical Thinking, Written Communication, and Quantitative Literacy—that educators, employers, and policy makers agree are essential for student success in the workplace and in life.

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High-Impact ePortfolio Practice

Published by Stylus in association with AAC&U, High Impact ePortfolio Practice outlines how to deploy the ePortfolio as a high-impact practice and describes widely applicable models of effective ePortfolio pedagogy and implementation that demonstrably improve student learning across multiple settings. Authors Eynon and Gambino present a wealth of data and revealing case studies demonstrating that, implemented with a purposeful framework, ePortfolios correlate strongly with increased retention and graduation rates, broadened student engagement in deep learning processes, and advanced faculty and institutional learning.

The core of the book presents a comprehensive research-based framework, along with practical examples and strategies for implementation, and identifies the key considerations that need to be addressed in the areas of pedagogy, professional...

Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the New Digital Ecosystem

The ongoing digital revolution has created a complex and interconnected ecosystem that is fundamentally reshaping how we learn and communicate. Yet, despite its transformative potential, this digital ecosystem has so far had less of an impact on formal education than on other sectors of our society. Authors Randy Bass and Bret Eynon explore the implications of emerging digital capacities and culture for higher education, arguing that any discussion to reinvent higher education that begins with technology is doomed to a diminished vision of learning. Bass and Eynon begin instead by reimagining the core purposes of liberal education in this new context and ask: What is the role of the digital ecosystem in making a quality liberal education available to all, equitably?

Going beyond “unbundling,” the authors propose that we use networked and adaptive systems to “re-bundle” higher education by connecting learning experiences that have typically been disconnected, opening the...

Trends in Learning Outcomes Assessment
2016

This 2016 report summarizes key findings from a national survey among chief academic officers at AAC&U member institutions and explores trends in learning outcomes and approaches to assessing them.  It documents that many in higher education are moving away from standardized tests and placing an increased focus on rubrics applied to student work samples as better evidence of students' achievement of Essential Learning Outcomes.  This is the third and final report in a series featuring findings from the survey conducted by Hart Research Associates for AAC&U. (Full reports and slides with findings are available free online at www.aacu.org/about/2015-membersurvey.)

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Collaboration for Student Transfer: A Nationwide Degree Qualifications Profile Experiment
2016

Collaboration for Student Transfer: A Nationwide Degree Qualifications Profile Experiment highlights key lessons learned from AAC&U's Quality Collaboratives project. It focuses on learning outcomes assessment and faculty leadership in the context of increased rates of student mobility and transfer. The project sought to build the capacity of educators to use the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) as a framework for successful student transfer that emphasized the quality of student learning, rather than seat time or credit hours; and sought to help partnering two- and four-year institutions strengthen transfer students' achievement of AAC&U's LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. The publication reports on the work of two-year and four-year institutions in nine states—California, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, and North Dakota—that built on existing transfer articulation policies and practices and explored ways to enhance student...

Assessment Practices for Advancing Transfer Student Success: Collaborating for Educational Change
2016

Assessment Practices for Advancing Transfer Student Success features practical advice about developing collaborations to advance learning outcomes assessment in the context of transfer.

Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning
2015

Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning articulates a set of principles and practices to guide integrative liberal learning for today's students. The overlapping principles reflect a more holistic concept of undergraduate education that focuses on student empowerment and self-development; intentionally integrated learning opportunities and experiences; and greater clarity and transparency of learning outcomes for students, faculty, and other stakeholders. The publication aims to elucidate the value and use of integrative liberal learning and the best pedagogical and faculty leadership practices to prepare students for applying their learning to complex challenges in life, career, and citizenship. This publication emerges from the work of the Teagle Foundation-supported Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning: Principles and Practices project.

The Quality of a College Degree
2015

This report examines the larger policy environment and how it is and isn’t aligned with current efforts to focus on assessment of key student learning outcomes, especially in the context of transfer. It builds on lessons learned in AAC&U's DQP Quality Collaboratives project.  Authors provide recommendations for framing policy debates about more efficient and effective transfer from two-year to four-year institutions that account for students’ achievement of key learning outcomes articulated in the Degree Qualifications Profile. The publication also provides a framework for better aligning state and campus policies with a twenty-first-century vision of quality learning and with current patterns of student attendance.  Ideal for campus discussions about improving transfer student success and collecting better data on student achievement, the publication also includes case studies from two-year/four-year Quality Collaboratives campus partners...

Assessment That Works: A National Call, A Twenty-First-Century Response
2015

This publication builds on the work of AAC&U’s VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education)—a multi-tiered effort that, in its first stages, harnessed the expertise of hundreds of faculty and other education professionals across American higher education to identify the most commonly agreed upon criteria and standards of judgment to be used in assessing student work.  VALUE has since become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college.  Assessment That Works contextualizes this movement, describes several illuminating case studies of VALUE in action, and exhorts us to maintain the momentum and raise the visibility of this effort.

The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right
2015

Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education—AAC&U's VALUE initiative—is a far-reaching effort to focus assessment on the work students produce in their progress toward a degree. By focusing on assignments produced for a degree program rather than on answers on time-limited standardized tests, VALUE has become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college. The VALUE Breakthrough explains succinctly and directly the progress and importance of this movement. Author Daniel Sullivan tells us how VALUE relates both to the larger aims of a quality liberal education, to the capabilities employers seek and reward, and to the public policy pressures of our current environment.

Peer Review, Winter 2014
Peer Review, Winter 2014

E-portfolios are now being used in more than half of US colleges and universities. This issue provides examples of how engaging with e-portfolios enhances student learning and can be used for assessment and students’ professional preparation and job searches.

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