A New Approach To Assessment
The Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment represents a cross-state and cross-institutional effort to provide meaningful evidence of how well students are achieving learning outcomes based on faculty assessment of authentic student work products using common rubrics.
This initiative marks a significant departure from traditional standardized testing, and builds upon the AAC&U LEAP initiative and its VALUE rubrics to assess the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. It privileges faculty judgment of students’ own work, but also seeks to aggregate results in a way that allows for benchmarking across institutions and states.
“The Multi-State Collaborative is a very important step toward focusing assessment on the best evidence of all: the work students produce in the course of their college studies.”
The initial group of institutions included 68 two-year and four-year institutions spanning nine states – Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah – and a cohort of independent colleges and universities.
The first phase focused on building faculty assessment capacity, collecting student work products, and establishing the reliability and validity of cross-institutional assessment using this new approach. In spring 2015, select faculty members across the participating institutions, trained and calibrated on the use of the VALUE rubrics, will assess students’ work to measure achievement of three essential learning outcomes – written communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking.
“We are delighted to provide the infrastructure for AAC&U to achieve their vision for this groundbreaking work on a national scale.”
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A committee comprised of representatives from AAC&U,SHEEO, and the Multi-State Collaborative selected Taskstream as the technical partner for the project.
Leveraging the company’s nearly fifteen years of experience supporting rubric-based assessment of student work products, Taskstream is providing the platform and technical expertise for managing the collection and scoring of student artifacts and reporting the resulting data at institution, state, and national levels.
Project participants are the first to experience the new technology from Taskstream grounded in a streamlined user experience, responsive design, and scalable architecture.
Participating institutions enter information into Taskstream about the assignments that led to the sampled student work products and upload the anonymous artifacts in bulk. Project leads at national, state, and institutional levels can track submission activity in simple, clear activity reports. Trained evaluators are presented with a queue of work for evaluation and a new, user-friendly and highly efficient, scoring experience.
Institutions and their state agencies will be able to generate reports that will allow faculty and institution leaders to assess—and improve—the levels of student achievement on a set of cross-cutting outcomes. With Taskstream’s performance reports, institutions can hone in on discrete criteria within a learning outcome, analyze performance trends within their own institution, and compare their performance to state, sector, and national aggregates.
Project leads at national, state, and institutional levels can track
submission activity in simple, clear activity reports.
New scoring functionality sets a higher standard for ease-of-use
and faculty productivity when scoring work online.