Learn more about the VALUE system and how it can help improve teaching, learning, and assessment at your institution.
Frequently Asked Questions
VALUE stands for Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education.
Beginning in 2007, AAC&U brought together teams of faculty experts and other educational professionals from member institutions to envision, draft, and refine VALUE rubrics for 16 unique learning outcomes. Each rubric team identified critical dimensions of achievement needed to assess student learning in areas of proficiency. Before publishing, faculty on over 150 campuses across the country field tested the rubrics.
The 16 VALUE learning outcomes grew out of AAC&U’s Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs), proficiencies for achievement across the associate and baccalaureate levels.
Educators are welcome to use VALUE rubrics in the classroom, on educational web sites, and in campus intra-institutional publications. Please credit AAC&U.
VALUE rubrics can also be used in commercial databases, software, or assessment products with prior permission from AAC&U. For information on acceptable use of the VALUE rubrics, as well as how to reference and cite the rubrics, visit: How to Cite VALUE Resources.
AAC&U is currently working with an international panel of experts to develop the VALUE ADD (Assignment Design and Diagnostic) Tool series. The purpose is to help faculty and instructional designers intentionally create clear and effective assignments designed specifically to evoke evidence of the learning outcome(s) they have identified for their students. VALUE ADD tools help ensure alignment between the intended learning outcomes of individual assignments and the associated VALUE rubric.
Here is a sample scenario:
An institution decides to begin measuring students’ critical thinking and written communication proficiencies through the general education curriculum.
A team of faculty members assesses authentic student work over a period of time using the VALUE rubrics to measure aggregate improvement in the proficiency area.
If leaders and faculty decide the level of development in a proficiency area is lower than expected (e.g., students have difficulty providing evidence to support an argument), they can target interventions to improve those skills.
Institutions may implement new courses, modified assignments, or improved professional development (such as evidence-based, high-impact teaching) to improve learning outcomes. Faculty should constantly assess learning to determine if progress is being made and which practices lead to improvements.
VALUE has one goal: to help all students achieve levels of proficiency necessary for success in education, citizenship, and life.
Faculty and programs must work in cooperation for students to achieve high levels of demonstrated accomplishment. As an institution gathers solid evidence of what teaching and learning practices consistently lead to required proficiencies, faculty will be more likely to adopt those evidence-based practices. VALUE’s process of continuous improvement, in other words, is based on carrots and not sticks.
AAC&U’s VALUE Scoring Collaborative is developing a process for establishing nationwide benchmarks for Essential Learning Outcomes based on the VALUE rubrics, through sampling artifacts collected and scored from two- and four-year campuses across the country.