Taskstream Partners with AAC&U’s VALUE Initiative

NEW YORK (May 7, 2014) — Taskstream, the leading assessment, accreditation, and e-portfolio software provider to higher education institutions, today announced that it is partnering with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)’s Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) initiative that seeks to create a nationally scalable approach to assessment based on real student work rather than surveys or standardized tests.

Launched in 2007, VALUE initially focused on the faculty-led creation of rubrics to assess essential learning outcomes—such as critical thinking, written communication, and quantitative reasoning—as demonstrated through students’ own work. Many public and private colleges and universities are currently using AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics to assess students’ progress on key outcomes.

In this next phase of the work, Taskstream will provide a platform and technical expertise for collecting student artifacts from multiple states and institutions of higher education and for assessing essential learning outcomes using the VALUE rubrics. This platform will provide the foundation for the first large-scale database of authentic student work collected from and assessed by an array of colleges and universities along with institutions’ student learning outcomes, VALUE rubrics, and sample assignments to develop national or statewide benchmarks for learning achievement.

“Based on what we already see happening across higher education and in industry, we believe that the VALUE strategy for assessment of students’ authentic work and e-portfolios will become crucial in postsecondary education,” said Terrel Rhodes, AAC&U’s Vice President leading the VALUE initiative. “Our vision is to create the processes and protocols for a scalable approach to assessment and accountability that uses faculty judgments of student artifacts.”

This VALUE initiative goal will be implemented in collaboration with the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment, comprised of nine state systems of higher education—Connecticut, Kentucky, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah—and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), and networks of two- and four-year public institutions. A group of private institutions will also participate in the overall project.

A committee comprised of representatives from the Multi-State Collaborative, SHEEO, and AAC&U solicited and reviewed RFPs from several providers. “The committee was looking for a partner not only with an existing platform capable of meeting our workflow needs at scale, but also a deep appreciation for and commitment to our vision for this project,” explained AAC&U’s Rhodes. “The committee was impressed with Taskstream’s knowledge and expertise in these areas and their understanding of the vision and nuances of the project.”

“From our years of experience working with institutions to manage the collection and rubric scoring of student learning artifacts, we see tremendous value in creating benchmarks for direct assessment of learning outcomes,” said Taskstream’s President, Webster Thompson. “We are delighted to provide the infrastructure for AAC&U to achieve their vision for this groundbreaking work on a national scale.”

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.

About Taskstream

Taskstream provides cloud-based software and supporting services to efficiently plan and manage assessment processes and demonstrate both student learning achievement and institutional effectiveness for continuous improvement and accreditation. Using Taskstream’s powerful tools for assessment planning, outcomes management, e-portfolios, rubric-based scoring and reporting, field placement management, surveys, and more, educators around the world are ensuring that students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Debra Humphreys
Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement at AAC&U
(202) 387-3760

Courtney Peagler
Vice President of Strategic and Business Development
(212) 868-2700

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