Energizing Academic Assessment: A Values-Engaged Approach

AHA Session 49
Friday, January 4, 2019: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Williford A (Hilton Chicago, Third Floor)
Pamela Scully, Emory University
Pamela Scully, Emory University
Vialla Hartfield, Emory University

Session Abstract

In this roundtable, we would discuss the concept of values-engaged assessment, describe our process of determining our core value, and then work with the audience in a case study to help them understand the methodology as it might work for departments of history or literature and language departments. The key point about this form of assessment is that it is intellectual exciting, rigorous, and meaningful. We hope to demonstrate that assessment can be fun and serious.

The academic civic organization Imagining America has pioneered values-engaged assessment in their working group on Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) to assess community engaged learning. Values-engaged assessment requires a department or organization, to be explicit about the values that it aspires to, and what it wants to measure. It assesses whether the values identified are in play in a given unit or organization, and requires innovation in the assessment formats, so that the assessment practices and tools themselves reflect these values. This approach thus is helpful in generating explicit and collaborative discussion about an organization’s values, and then aligning the assessment with those values.

As we will describe in our roundtable, over AY 2016-2017, our Center for Faculty Development and Excellence at Emory University team designed and implemented an innovative approach to values-engaged assessment by taking this assessment lens to the internal work of a first-tier research university. We identified our core value as generativity. In so doing, we have developed a methodology for assessment that might be of use more broadly, since a goal of higher education is to be generative: that is to facilitate educational transformation and growth in an institution and beyond.

See more of: AHA Sessions