VALUE Approach

Beyond the broadly inclusive collaboration described in the "VALUE Institute Overview" page, the VALUE initiative breaks new ground by basing its assessment of student learning achievement on the actual work that students produce in response to assignments from the formal instructional and co-curricular curriculum in whatever institution(s) the student attended. Rather than a standardized test divorced from the curriculum, VALUE draws evidence from the actual courses and teachers at an institution, assessing the learning artifacts (papers and assignments) produced by students to demonstrate their achievement of specific learning outcomes. Finally, the VALUE initiative utilizes the expertise of trained higher education faculty and other educators from the participating institutions to judge the quality of the student work in relation to widely accepted standards for each of the learning outcomes as captured through the faculty developed VALUE rubrics (McConnell & Rhodes, 2017, p. 3).

How is the VALUE Approach Different?

The VALUE approach to assessment is the only formative and summative assessment approach based on faculty and other educational professional judgment and evaluation of quality of student work against broadly shared standards of achievement [DQP (Degree Qualifications Profile) and ELOs (Essential Learning Outcomes)].

It provides robust and actionable assessment evidence that can be used by students, faculty, programs, institutions, states and consortia to enhance student learning achievement, as well as reporting for accountability and accreditation.  

The VALUE approach—as previously enacted, for example, by the Multi-State Consortium, the Minnesota Collaborative, and the GLCA Collaborative, and now through the VALUE Institute—is both evidence-based and evidence-generating. It is a methodologically sound, authentic, and creative response to the need for direct evidence of the quality of student learning across critical skills and abilities associated with success in life and work. At the same time, VALUE provides information that can inform decisions by local, state, and federal policy makers for improvement. Simultaneously, the findings point to actions that can be taken by those directly involved in teaching and learning on a day-to-day basis—faculty, other educators, and students—to effectively focus attention to achieve even better results (McConnell & Rhodes, 2017, p. 6).


To learn more about the VALUE initiative and approach to assessment, please visit the VALUE "FAQ" page.


McConnell, K. D., & Rhodes, T. L. (2017). On solid ground. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.