VALUE Research Hub

Rising to the Challenge: Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning


Hammang, J. M., Rhodes, T. L., Shulenberger, D., & Keller, C. (2010). Rising to the Challenge: Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning. Association of American Colleges & Universities.


"Rising to the Challenge: Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning" was envisioned in response to a 2007 request for proposals from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE). FIPSE called for national, consortial contributions to improving the knowledge and abilities to assess student learning for purposes of accountability and improvement. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), collaboratively proposed three complementary projects to expand the understanding of the challenges and opportunities for assessing student learning. The "Rising to the Challenge" project focused on refining the understanding of the most common, standardized instruments for measuring student learning and also on developing new tools and approaches for measuring and reporting student learning in a broad array of important areas of learning. The project involved the development of a new student survey, under the direction of AASCU, for areas of student learning that lack multiple measurement instruments--participation in civic engagement, preparation for success in the workplace, and acquisition of global skills. A second component, under the direction of AAC&U, involved the development of a set of nationally benchmarked rubrics articulating expected performance levels for 15 essential learning outcomes that can be used to assess student learning over time. The final part of the project involved a validity study, under the direction of APLU, of the three major standardized tests of student learning public universities are required to use to participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability's College Portrait Web reporting too. The three are the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) (now renamed the ETS Proficiency Profile), ACT's Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP), and CAE's Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). Appended are: (1) Degrees of Preparation Workflow; and (2) Rising to the Challenge: Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning Project Participants. (Contains 6 tables, 2 figures and 9 endnotes.)

Themes: accountability, Citizen Participation, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Measurement Techniques, Outcomes of Education, Scoring rubrics, Skill development, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Student Experience, Student Surveys, Surveys, Teacher Expectations of Students, Test Construction, Test Validity