Texas Assessment Collaborative

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Report of the Texas Assessment Collaborative: Summer 2017

Click here to access and download the report authored by Dr. Larry J King and Dr. Chris Duke.

Participating Institutions

The following institutions are participating in the inaugural Texas Assessment Collaborative. Each participating institution will be contributing anonymized samples of student work that will be assessed against the LEAP VALUE Written Communication rubric by a panel of faculty evaluators.

  • El Centro College
  • San Jacinto College
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • University of Houston Victoria
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Texas Arlington
  • Weatherford College


Overview: 5 things you need to know

  1. The VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) is a campus-based assessment initiative sponsored by AAC&U as part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative.
  2. The VALUE Rubrics were developed by teams of faculty and other educational professionals from institutions across the country to measure Essential Learning Outcomes that all students need for success in work, citizenship, and life.
  3. AAC&U is now engaged in a new phase of the VALUE initiative, the Multi-State Collaborative. AAC&U is working to focus assessment of student learning in college on samples of students’ authentic work.
  4. Authentic or performance assessment asks students to demonstrate their mastery of skills rather than exhibit what they have learned through traditional tests like multiple choice exams. Authentic assessment requires students to perform realistic tasks that they might face in their professional lives or as citizens. Authentic assessment may include work like research papers, case studies, field experiences, laboratory experiments, simulations, reflections, internships, etc. (Suskie, 2009)
  5. Authentic assessments generally feature an assignment or prompt that explains to the students what they are expected to produce for the assessment and a rubric that is used to evaluate or assess the work that students produce. (Suskie, 2009)

Learn more

Assessment That Works: A National Call, A Twenty-First-Century Response – This publication builds on the work of AAC&U’s VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) — a multi-tiered effort that, in its first stages, harnessed the expertise of hundreds of faculty and other education professionals across American higher education to identify the most commonly agreed upon criteria and standards of judgment to be used in assessing student work.

Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Assessments – The MSC is an initiative designed to provide meaningful evidence about how well students are achieving important learning outcomes.

Texas Core Curriculum – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) revised the Texas Core Curriculum (TCC) rules in October 2011. Implementation of the rules revisions will begin in the Fall 2014 semester. The Coordinating Board based the revisions on the recommendations of the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee (UEAC), which is comprised of faculty members from Texas public community colleges and universities.

Elements of the Texas Core Curriculum – Given the rapid evolution of necessary knowledge and skills and the need to take into account global, national, state, and local cultures, the Texas Core Curriculum (TCC) must ensure that students will develop the essential knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, in a career, in their communities, and in life. Therefore, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) approved a 42 semester credit hour (SCH) core curriculum for Texas public institutions of higher education. Each institution’s TCC includes a statement of purpose, six core objectives, and nine common component areas. The updated TCC is be available for students beginning in Fall 2014.

The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right – Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education – AAC&U’s VALUE initiative – is a far-reaching effort to focus assessment on the work students produce in their progress toward a degree. By focusing on assignments produced for a degree program rather than on answers on time-limited standardized tests, VALUE has become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college. The VALUE Breakthrough explains succinctly and directly the progress and importance of this movement. Author Daniel Sullivan tells us how VALUE relates both to the larger aims of a quality liberal education, to the capabilities employers seek and reward, and to the public policy pressures of our current environment.

Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment – This publication addresses key elements of, and questions frequently raised about, the       development and use of the VALUE rubrics for assessment of student learning. It provides information about rubric-based assessment approaches—including validity, reliability, and rubric modification—and faculty training in the use of rubrics. Specific examples of how campuses are using the VALUE rubrics to improve student learning are also provided.

VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) – A campus-based assessment initiative sponsored by AAC&U as part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative.

Value Rubrics – The 16 VALUE rubrics are provided free for download at this site.

VALUE Rubrics Case Studies – Case studies from twelve campuses involved in using the VALUE rubrics for improving student learning are provided.

In Texas

  1. LEAP Texas has as one of its key focus areas, “Leveraging the newly redesigned Texas Core Curriculum for Higher Education (largely informed by the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes) for the overall improvement in undergraduate education.”
  2. As part of its focus on leveraging the Texas Core, LEAP Texas aims to advance the authentic assessment of student work in the Texas Core.
  3. To promote the development and refinement of the capacity of authentic assessment of student work in the Texas Core, LEAP Texas has launched an initiative similar to the Multi-State Collaborative which is designed to promote inter-institutional collaboration for the assessment of student work throughout the state.
  4. Texas two-year and four-year colleges and universities are invited to participate in the Texas Assessment Collaborative by providing samples of student work from their institutions which will then be assessed by faculty teams from participating institutions.
  5. The Texas Assessment Collaborative is a complement to the Multi-State Collaborative, and is intended to provide a foundation for understanding student performance on the Texas Core Objectives for Texas colleges and Universities and to develop the capacity for authentic assessment throughout the state. The Texas Assessment Collaborative will also seek to identify or develop rubrics that are most appropriate for the assessment of the objectives that do not have a one-to-one relationship with the Essential Learning Outcomes identified by AAC&U and are unique to the Texas Core Objectives.
  6. LEAP Texas will add other initiatives focused on assessment as time and funding allow.

Assessment Fellows

Dr. Chris Duke

Chris serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Accreditation and Assessment at San Jacinto College for which directing and facilitating the annual, college-wide general education outcomes assessment project is a primary responsibility.

Dr. Larry King

Larry is the director of the Office of Student Learning and Institutional Assessment, and a professor of Communication at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA).