New -  On Solid Ground - In a report released on February 23, 2017, AAC&U shared 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.

The new report on its groundbreaking VALUE approach to assessing student learning shows it is possible to evaluate undergraduate students’ achievement without relying on standardized tests and by using existing material. 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.  Access full report, infographic and press release here.

VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) is a campus-based assessment approach developed and lead by AAC&U as part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. VALUE rubrics provide needed tools to assess students’ own authentic work, produced across students’ diverse learning pathways, fields of study and institutions, to determine whether and how well students are meeting graduation level achievement in learning outcomes that both employers and faculty consider essential.

Teams of faculty and other educational professionals from institutions across the country—two- and four-year, private and public, research and liberal arts, large and small—developed rubrics for sixteen Essential Learning Outcomes that all students need for success in work, citizenship, and life. The VALUE rubrics are being used to help institutions demonstrate, share, and assess student accomplishment of progressively more advanced and integrative learning.

Since their release in the fall of 2009, the rubrics have become a widely referenced and utilized form of assessment on campuses across the United States and internationally.  As of December 2015, the rubrics have been accessed by more than 42,000 individuals from more than 4,200 unique institutions, including more than 2,800 colleges and universities.  The VALUE rubrics have also been approved for use in meeting national standards for accountability established by the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA).

The VALUE rubrics include Inquiry and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, Information Literacy, Reading, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Civic Knowledge and Engagement—Local and Global, Intercultural Knowledge and Competence, Ethical Reasoning and Action, Global Learning, Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning, and Integrative Learning.