Global Learning VALUE Rubric

The VALUE rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics and related documents for each learning outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. The core expectations articulated in all 16 of the VALUE rubrics can and should be translated into the language of individual campuses, disciplines, and even courses. The utility of the VALUE rubrics is to position learning at all undergraduate levels within a basic framework of expectations such that evidence of learning can by shared nationally through a common dialog and understanding of student success.

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Global learning is a critical analysis of and an engagement with complex, interdependent global systems and legacies (such as natural, physical, social, cultural, economic, and political) and their implications for people's lives and the earth's sustainability. Through global learning, students should 1) become informed, open-minded, and responsible people who are attentive to diversity across the spectrum of differences, 2) seek to understand how their actions affect both local and global communities, and 3) address the world's most pressing and enduring issues collaboratively and equitably.

Framing Language

Effective and transformative global learning offers students meaningful opportunities to analyze and explore complex global challenges, collaborate respectfully with diverse others, apply learning to take responsible action in contemporary global contexts, and evaluate the goals, methods, and consequences of that action. Global learning should enhance students' sense of identity, community, ethics, and perspective-taking. Global learning is based on the principle that the world is a collection of interdependent yet inequitable systems and that higher education has a vital role in expanding knowledge of human and natural systems, privilege and stratification, and sustainability and development to foster individuals' ability to advance equity and justice at home and abroad. Global learning cannot be achieved in a single course or a single experience but is acquired cumulatively across students' entire college career through an institution's curricular and co-curricular programming. As this rubric is designed to assess global learning on a programmatic level across time, the benchmarks (levels 1-4) may not be directly applicable to a singular experience, course, or assignment. Depending on the context, there may be development within one level rather than growth from level to level.

We encourage users of the Global Learning rubric to also consult three other closely related VALUE Rubrics: Civic Engagement, Intercultural Knowledge and Competence, and Ethical Reasoning.


The definitions that follow were developed to clarify terms and concepts used in this rubric only.

Global Self-Awareness: In the context of global learning, the continuum through which students develop a mature, integrated identity with a systemic understanding of the interrelationships between the self, local and global communities, and the natural and physical world.

Perspective-taking: The ability to engage and learn from perspectives and experiences different from one's own and to understand how one's place in the world both informs and limits one's knowledge. The goal is to develop the capacity to understand the interrelationships between multiple perspectives, such as personal, social, cultural, disciplinary, environmental, local, and global.

Understanding Cultural Diversity: The ability to recognize the origins and influences of one's own cultural heritage along with its limitations in providing all that one needs to know in the world. This includes the curiosity to learn respectfully about the cultural diversity of other people and on an individual level to traverse cultural boundaries to bridge differences and collaboratively reach common goals. On a systems level, the important skill of comparatively analyzing how cultures can be unjustly marked and assigned a place within power structures that determine hierarchies, inequalities, and opportunities and which can vary over time and place. This can include, but is not limited to, understanding race, ethnicity, gender, nationhood, religion, and class.

Personal and Social Responsibility: The ability to recognize one's responsibilities to society—locally, nationally, and globally—and to develop a perspective of ethics and power relations both across the globe and within individual societies. This requires developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action.

Global Systems: The complex and overlapping worldwide systems, including natural systems (those systems associated with the natural world including biological, chemical, and physical sciences) and human systems (those systems developed by humans such as cultural, economic, political, and built), which operate in observable patterns and often are affected by or are the result of human design or disruption. These systems influence how life is lived and what options are open to whom. Students need to understand how these systems 1) are influenced and/or constructed, 2) operate with differential consequences, 3) affect the human and natural world, and 4) can be altered.

Knowledge Application: In the context of global learning, the application of an integrated and systemic understanding of the interrelationships between contemporary and past challenges facing cultures, societies, and the natural world (i.e., contexts) on the local and global levels. An ability to apply knowledge and skills gained through higher learning to real-life problem-solving both alone and with others.

Acceptable Use and Reprint Permissions

Individuals are welcome to reproduce the VALUE rubrics for use in the classroom, on educational web sites, and in campus intra-institutional publications. Please be sure to credit AAC&U using the following permission statement: Reprinted with permission from "VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education."  Copyright 2014 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. A permission fee will be assessed for requests to reprint the rubrics in course packets or in other copyrighted print or electronic publications intended for sale. Please see AAC&U's permission policies for more details and information about how to request permission.

VALUE rubrics can also be used in commercial databases, software, or assessment products, but prior permission from AAC&U is required. For all uses of rubrics for commercial purposes, each rubric must be maintained in its entirety and without changes. The following permission statement must also be used for all approved commercial uses: Reprinted with permission from "VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education."  Copyright 2015 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. To request permission to incorporate AAC&U VALUE rubrics into a commercial product, contact Ben Dedman at: