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In this course, we discussed AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics covering three key messages. First, that the VALUE rubrics are open educational resources that educators can use to authentically assess students original work on 16 essential learning outcomes. Second, the VALUE rubrics have a high degree of validity and reliability. And third, the VALUE rubrics can be used as is or adapted to each educator’s specific needs.

-Thank you so much for joining us for this initial conversation about the VALUE rubrics here at OneHE. We are excited to have you engage in this and we hope that you found it intriguing and useful. For further information about the tools themselves, some of our other initiatives around assignment redesign, assignment alignment, or even learning more about opportunities specifically for training on one of our rubrics, please visit our website.

In the meantime, we are excited to engage in this conversation through the OneHE platform. We really hope that you’ll use the chat feature to start connecting with colleagues around the country who perhaps have the same questions you do and maybe even have some experienced users who can help tell their story about how they’ve used VALUE and made it make sense within their own culture and context and discipline within their teaching and learning spaces back home. In the meantime, please know that there will be additional resources coming out over the course of the next semester, the next few months here at OneHE. Really designed to help you tap into the different nuances of VALUE and what it can offer you. From everything dealing with course grades and how to customize for a student audience to thinking about this from an accreditation and assessment perspective. In the end, however, however you choose to use the VALUE rubrics, we’re here to support you in that work and in that space so don’t hesitate to contact us at AAC&U for further information.

  • VALUE rubrics are open educational resources that enable educators to authentically assess students’ original work towards 16 essential learning outcomes that underpin undergraduate education in the United States.
  • VALUE rubrics have a high degree of validity and reliability.
  • The VALUE rubrics can be adapted to your context to make them more understandable and relevant, though care is needed to ensure that adaptations do not make them less reliable or valid.

Thank you for taking this An Introduction to the VALUE Rubrics: An Authentic Approach to Assessment course which has been developed with Jessica Chittum and Kate Drezek McConnell. We hope you have enjoyed it. Remember to mark this lesson as ‘Mark Complete’ to earn your Course Completion Badge.

Further Reading & References

American Association of Colleges and Universities. (2022). Essential learning outcomes.

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2009). Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE).

Finley, A. (2012). How reliable are the VALUE rubrics? Peer Review, 13/14(4/1), 31-33.

McConnell, K. D., Horan, E. M., Zimmerman, B., & Rhodes, T. L. (2019). We have a rubric for that: The VALUE approach to assessment. American Association of Colleges and Universities.

Shapovalov, Y. (2021). Identifying rater effects for writing and critical thinking: Applying the many-facets Rasch model to the VALUE Institute [Master’s thesis, James Madison University]. JMU Scholarly Commons.

Important Resources

VALUE Rubrics - Access AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics at no cost

VALUE Scoring Collaborative - The VALUE Scoring Collaborative enables any higher education institution, department, program, state, consortium, or provider to utilize the VALUE rubrics approach to assessment by collecting and uploading samples of student work to a digital repository and have the work scored by certified VALUE Scoring Collaborative faculty and other certified scorers for external validation of institutional learning assessment

We Have a Rubric for That: The VALUE Approach to Assessment - The newest publication in a series of reports on the AAC&U VALUE Initiative, which compiles 10 years of evidence to provide an argument-based framework for the assessment of student learning in higher education using the VALUE rubrics. (Paywall)

A Decade of VALUE - This issue of Peer Review (Fall 2018) celebrates AAC&U's VALUE initiative's first 10 years. The issue features highlights of what we have learned from faculty VALUE rubric use and identifies emerging goals for the initiative's future

It's the Assignments - A Ubiquitous and Inexpensive Strategy to Significantly Improve Higher-Order Learning - Daniel F. Sullivan and Kate Drezek McConnell’s (2018) article in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, citing selected results from AAC&U's Private College VALUE Project (Great Lakes Colleges Association and Minnesota Collaboratives)

Big Progress in Authentic Assessment, But by Itself Not Enough - Daniel F. Sullivan and Kate Drezek McConnell’s (2017) article in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, citing selected results from the MSC Demonstration Year (2015-2016)

On Solid Ground - Terrel L. Rhodes and Kate Drezek McConnell’s (2017) report sharing the results from the first two years of data collection for the VALUE initiative

The VALUE of Assessment: Transforming the Culture of Learning - Terrel L. Rhodes’s (2016) article in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, discusses the benefits of creating an institutional culture of assessment as a high-impact practice for improvement and learning

VALUE Assignment Design and Diagnostic Tool – The VALUE-ADD tools are intended to help users create assignments intentionally in order to evoke evidence of the learning outcomes.


Do you have any hesitations or concerns about the use of rubrics for your institution, program, or course?

Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.