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Mapping the Assessment of Civic Learning in Undergraduate Education
AAC&U and American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) have collaborated on the creation of an inventory of valid instruments to aid campuses to assess student civic learning as part of their institutional or programmatic outcomes. Through funding from the Lumina Foundation, the two associations collaborated to assemble a national task force of experts on civic learning and engagement. The task force gathered a list of major instruments for assessing civic learning, and then invited practitioners to provide feedback to help create a detailed map of the state of civic learning assessment. Two products emerged from this work:
An inventory of assessment instruments (national, local, proprietary and open source) designed to measure specific civic outcomes, entitled Civic Learning and Engagement Assessment Instruments: Characteristics and Dimensions and
A research literature review of published studies involving many of the identified instruments and summary findings Civic Learning and Engagement: A Review of the Research Literature on Civic Learning Assessment and Instruments.
The civic learning and engagement assessment instrument inventory is not exhaustive; however, key instruments have been included. The inventory examines the instruments for four primary dimensions of civic learning and engagement – civic knowledge, civic skills, civic values and civic motivations, as well as information about availability, purpose and issues for each of the assessment instruments.
The research literature review examines each of the four primary dimensions in relation to published studies, many based on the inventory instruments, and the general findings related to student learning outcomes.
These documents also will assist AAC&U's Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) initiative through its Action Network that brings together 13 national organizations to coordinate with one another and use the breadth of their national outreach and resources to serve the larger communities of practice.
We invite feedback on the inventory from the civic learning community; send to Rhodes@aacu.org