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Hello, everyone. My name is Kate McConnell and I have the pleasure of serving as the Vice President for Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation, as well as the Executive Director of VALUE for the American Association of Colleges and Universities, also known by its acronym, AAC&U. As an educational psychologist, my research interests in this space are really focused on making sense of what collegiate student learning looks like. So in that sense, what I look at is what students are doing in their classes in response to assignments across the curriculum for patterns of learning throughout their programs of study, and really try to piece together in aggregate form what it is we know about collegiate student learning on things like critical thinking, written communication and the other outcomes that our policy makers, our parents and our future employers want for our students.

Hi, I’m Jessica Chittum, the Director of Assessment and Pedagogical Innovation at the American Association of Colleges and Universities, which is located in the United States. In this role, I usually engage in research, project management, editorial work, all largely supporting AAC&U’s VALUE initiative, and our work on e-portfolios and digital pedagogies. I’m interested in research focused on assessment, higher education pedagogy, e-portfolio, and academic motivation. In this course, we will be discussing what the VALUE rubrics are, why they’re important to higher education, how they are constructed and how we have established their validity and reliability over the years, and how they can be adapted for use in your specific context, be that at the course level or for programmatic or institutional assessment.

The debate on accountability and standards in U.S. higher education led to a need to demonstrate how higher education supports student learning. In response, AAC&U, in collaboration with teams of experts in higher education, developed the VALUE rubrics in 2009. The VALUE (“Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education”) rubrics are tools that provide a common language and framework for evaluating students’ performance against 16 learning outcomes. Though developed in response to the national conversation around accountability in the 2000s, we posit that the VALUE rubrics are more pedagogical innovation than they are tools for accountability.

Each rubric addresses a learning outcome critical to liberal education and is modelled after AAC&U’s list of Essential Learning Outcomes, such as critical thinking, written communication, and intercultural knowledge and competence.

By applying the VALUE rubrics, educators can check that they are equipping students with the cross-cutting skills that are necessary for success in work, citizenship, and life in a future none of us can fully predict. The rubrics also allow educators to demonstrate to stakeholders that they are providing students with the essential knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of leading institutions of higher education.

This course provides an overview of the VALUE approach to assessment and how you can make use of VALUE to design, develop, and enhance your programs and demonstrate how they contribute to student learning.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain what VALUE rubrics are and why they are important to the sector, institutions, and individual educators.
  • Describe the way a rubric has been constructed to engage in discussion and debate with faculty and students.
  • Apply VALUE rubrics to your context, using good practice principles derived from research, assessment data, and pedagogical innovation.

“I’m interested in research focused on assessment, higher education pedagogy, e-portfolio, and academic motivation.”

As an educational psychologist, my research interests in this space are really focused on making sense of what collegiate student learning looks like.”

Get Involved And Share Your Learning 

  • Share your perspective. Throughout this course, you will see discussion prompts at the end of each lesson inviting you to share your thoughts and experience. We encourage you to respond to these discussion questions and read those of other educators to benefit from theirs. When you see a comment you agree with or find helpful, hit the ‘Like’ button to help other educators find it. You can also reply to any comments from other members that you find interesting.
  • Ask a question. You can ask questions of experts and other educators in the discussion threads in courses. If your question is more general, use Ask, Answer and Share in the community to reach more people.
  • Pick up your course badges. To earn your Course Completion Badges make sure you mark all lessons as ‘Mark Complete’ once you have completed a lesson. At the end of the course, click ‘Mark Complete’ and you will be asked a few multiple-choice questions to earn a Course Completion badge. Once you’ve had a chance to apply your learning, come back to complete an Impact Badges by applying what you have learned in the courses and answering a short survey.

If you have any questions or issues, please email us [email protected].