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VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education

VALUE Rubric Reliability Project


Since the VALUE Rubrics were released in September 2009, thousands of campuses around the country have downloaded and begun using the rubrics to evaluate student achievement. As campuses adopt AAC&U Essential Learning Outcomes, and the VALUE Rubrics (which assess the ELOs), questions arise regarding the usefulness of the rubrics across disciplinary domains. AAC&U has begun a pilot project to engage faculty from a broad spectrum of disciplines to help us determine whether faculty find the rubrics reliable regardless of where faculty identify their academic home.

AAC&U begins the reliability project by piloting three of the VALUE rubrics - Integrative Learning, Critical Thinking and Civic Engagement. To complete this initial reliability study, we need the help of faculty and administrators across the nation. The VALUE rubrics are being broadly adopted because they provide an alternative to the predominant multiple choice tests that purport to assess student learning. The rubrics are designed to be used with the actual student work that results from faculty prepared assignments in their courses and provide information that faculty and programs can use to examine their own pedagogy and approach to teaching. Based on the pilot results, we hope to eventually include all fifteen rubrics in a reliability study project.

AAC&U’s reliability project involves more than fifty faculty and administrators - at least ten from each division (Humanities & Fine Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Professions & Applied Sciences) - to assess five student work samples using one rubric. This process is being replicated for each of the three rubrics in the pilot reliability project.

Our volunteer faculty/administrator scorers will be assessing student work collected from a variety of institutions and disciplines. Each volunteer faculty/administrator scorer will be provided with five samples of student work. On average, it will likely take between 20-30 total minutes per work sample to score using the rubric and to complete the online scoring sheet. We estimate scoring all five work samples will take less than two hours total.

It is essential that we have faculty from all of the academic divisions represented among our scoring group, and it is essential that we learn whether the rubrics are useful for faculty regardless of their disciplinary home if this approach is to be a viable alternative that assists faculty in teaching their courses and improving student learning. The project rests upon faculty involvement and feedback.

Please contact Wende Morgaine Garrison at for more information, or if you have questions about the VALUE Rubric Reliability Project.