VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education
As part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. As higher education focused attention on the assessment of student learning outcomes, and in particular the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs); a multiplicity of tests and ways to measure student learning in the Knowledge category have been developed in disciplines and institutions across the country. However, for many of the outcomes that faculty and employers say are essential for student success —Intellectual and Practical Skills, Personal and Social Responsibility and Integrative Learning—few useful assessments of student learning exist, yet these are the hallmark outcomes of a liberal and liberating education. In response, AAC&U conceived and initiated a new approach to direct assessment of these three strands of the Essential Learning Outcomes based upon authentic student work from the curriculum and cocurriculum and rubrics designed to probe the quality of that work.
Teams of faculty and other educational professionals from over 100 higher education institutions engaged over many months to develop 16 VALUE rubrics for the LEAP ELOs. Each rubric was developed from the most frequently identified characteristics or criteria of learning for each of the 16 learning outcomes. Drafts of each rubric were then tested by faculty with their own students’ work on over 100 college campuses.
Since the initial release of the rubrics, more than seventeen thousand first time individuals have visited the VALUE website between June 2010 and June 2012. The VALUE rubrics have been downloaded and used at more than four thousand discrete institutions, including schools, higher education associations, and more than three thousands colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.
VALUE assumes that:
- to achieve a high-quality education for all students, valid assessment
data are needed to guide planning, teaching, and improvement;
- colleges and universities seek to foster and assess numerous essential
learning outcomes beyond those addressed by currently available
- learning develops over time and should become more complex and
sophisticated as students move through their curricular and cocurricular
educational pathways toward a degree, or educational goal;
- good practice in assessment requires multiple assessments, over time;
well-planned electronic portfolios provide opportunities to collect data
from multiple assessments across a broad range of learning outcomes
while guiding student learning and building self-assessment capabilities;
- e-portfolios and assessment of work in them can inform programs and
institutions on progress in achieving expected goals.
AAC&U acknowledges the generous support from the State Farm Companies Foundation and the Fund for the Improvement of PostSecondary Education (FIPSE).