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9-State Collaborative Releases Positive Findings from Pilot Study


In September 2015, the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC)—led by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)—released results of its pilot study, which gathered data from 59 institutions in nine public state systems. The study demonstrated that rubric-based assessment can be taken to scale and can produce valid findings with credible and actionable information about student learning. As part of the pilot study, researchers gathered more than 7,000 samples of student work produced for course assignments in students’ regular courses Faculty members received training and then independently scored students’ work using common scoring rubrics—VALUE rubrics—that were developed and validated by faculty as part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. The nine states participating in the Pilot Year of the MSC were Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah. The released results also include selected findings about students’ critical thinking, written communication and quantitative reasoning skills.

Twelve states—Connecticut, Indiana, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah—will participate in a Demonstration Year phase of the project from September 2015 through August 2016. The work during the demonstration year will build on the efforts and assessments completed during the pilot year and will seek to provide additional information about the feasibility and sustainability of a common statewide model of assessment using actual student work.

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