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VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education

Inquiry and Analysis Rubric Development Team

  • Lea Campbell, University of Houston-Downtown (Summer 2009)
  • Kathryne Drezek McConnell, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Summer 2009)
  • Michael Greene, Cayuga Community College (summer 2009)
  • Milton Hakel, Bowling Green State University (Fall 2008, Spring 2009)
  • Anne Herrington, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Summer 2009)
  • Robin Jeffers, Bellevue College (Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Summer 2009)
  • Jessica Jonson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln (Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Summer 2009)
  • Jackie Lauer-Glebov, Carleton College (Fall 2008)
  • Cornelia Paraskevas, Western Oregon University (Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Summer 2009)


VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education

Reading Rubric Development Team

  • Susan Albertine, Association of American Colleges and Universities (Spring 2009, Summer 2009)
  • Maureen Erickson, Cayuga Community College (Summer 2009)
  • Alan Grose, Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus (Summer 2009)
  • Sharon Klein, California State University, Northridge (Spring 2009, Summer 2009)
  • P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley (Spring 2009, Summer 2009)
  • Terry Underwood, California State University, Sacramento (Spring 2009, Summer 2009)


VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education

The VALUE issue of Peer Review - Assessing Learning Outcomes: Lessons from AAC&U's VALUE Project is now available.



As part of AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE project seeks to contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. It builds on a philosophy of learning assessment that privileges multiple expert judgments of the quality of student work over reliance on standardized tests administered to samples of students outside of their required courses. The assessment approaches that VALUE advances are based on the shared understanding of faculty and academic professionals on campuses from across the country.

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 standardized tests;
  • learning develops over time and should become more complex and sophisticated as students move through their curricular and co-curricular educational pathways toward a degree;
  • 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.


Project Activities

With support from the State Farm Companies Foundation, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, in the initial phase of the VALUE project, AAC&U:

  1. Formed a national advisory board, including key researchers, members of the National Leadership Council, and campus leaders knowledgeable about the research and evidence on student achievement of key learning outcomes and best practices currently utilized on campuses to achieve and measure student progress.
  2. Conducted, in concert with the advisory board, a process to articulate for most of the essential learning outcomes the shared expectations for student performance. Achievement and assessment of these outcomes is demonstrated in the context of the required college curriculum, and includes models for e-portfolios and rubrics describing ascending levels of accomplishment (basic, proficient, advanced, etc.).
  3. Created, in dialogue with both campuses and the advisory committee, a proposed framework and guide for defining and assessing essential learning outcomes that can be applied to diverse institutions and adapted to a variety of academic and professional fields.

VALUE is AAC&U's effort as part of the larger project Rising to the Challenge which establishes a consortium between AAC&U and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to collectively build campus leadership and capacity to implement meaningful student learning assessment approaches and use assessment results to improve levels of student achievement.