The Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) is an experimental approach to student learning outcomes assessment involving nine states throughout the country. Utah, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, and Rhode Island are coming together to create and pilot test a model for state system learning outcomes. The multi-campus project is focused on a different form of assessments, outside of the traditional standardized tests. The MSC uses common rubrics applied to students’ authentic college work instead of producing average scores on tests for data. The purpose of this project is to provide data that will allow schools to assess and improve the levels of student achievement from outcomes for all disciplines. The MSC aims to produce a framework for how we present student learning outcomes to policy makers so that higher education is less arcane and more transparent.
The problems addressed by the MSC are:
1) accountability – how we demonstrate to policy makers that students are learning
2) the validity and reliability of the VALUE rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education developed by AAC&U to obtain meaningful assessment by identifying the competencies within each learning outcome) which will be used to assess student learning (http://www.aacu.org/VALUE/rubrics/)
3) the challenge of generating comparable assessment results that can also help faculty improve program outcomes.
The Utah schools that are participating are: the University of Utah, Utah State University, Snow College and Salt Lake Community College. All four schools will be collecting authentic student work in written communication and quantitative literacy. All student work will be assessed through the VALUE Rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) on key learning outcomes.
Visit www.sheeo.org/msc for full list of participating institutions and more details.