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CIVIC ENGAGEMENT VALUE RUBRIC
for more information, please contact value@aacu.org
The VALUE rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics and related documents for each learning
outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The
rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. The core expectations articulated in all 15 of the VALUE rubrics can and should be translated into the language of individual
campuses, disciplines, and even courses. The utility of the VALUE rubrics is to position learning at all undergraduate levels within a basic framework of expectations such that evidence of learning can by shared nationally through a common
dialog and understanding of student success.
Definition
Civic engagement is “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a
community, through both political and non-political processes.” (Excerpted from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas E hrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000, Preface, page vi.) In addition, civic engagement encompasses
actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.
Framing Language
Preparing graduates for their public lives as citizens, members of communities, and professionals in society has historically been a responsibility of higher education. Yet the outcome of a civic-minded graduate is a complex concept.
Civic learning outcomes are framed by personal identity and commitments, disciplinary frameworks and traditions, pre-professional norms and practice, and the mission and values of colleges and universities. This rubric is designed to make
the civic learning outcomes more explicit. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. For students this could include community-based learning through
service-learning classes, community-based research, or service within the community. Multiple types of work samples or collections of work may be utilized to assess this, such as:

The student creates and manages a service program that engages others (such as youth or members of a neighborhood) in learning about and taking action on an issue they care about. In the process, the student also teaches and
models processes that engage others in deliberative democracy, in having a voice, participating in democratic processes, and taking specific actions to affect an issue.

The student researches, organizes, and carries out a deliberative democracy forum on a particular issue, one that includes multiple perspectives on that issue and how best to make positive change through various courses of public
action. As a result, other students, faculty, and community members are engaged to take action on an issue.

The student works on and takes a leadership role in a complex campaign to bring about tangible changes in the public’s awareness or education on a particular issue, or even a change in public policy. Through this process, the student
demonstrates multiple types of civic action and skills.

The student integrates their academic work with community engagement, producing a tangible product (piece of legislation or policy, a business, building or civic infrastructure, water quality or scientific assessment, needs survey,
research paper, service program, or organization) that has engaged community constituents and responded to community needs and assets through the process.
In addition, the nature of this work lends itself to opening up the review process to include community constituents that may be a part of the work, such as teammates, colleagues, community/ agency members, and those served or
collaborating in the process.
Glossary
The definitions that follow were developed to clarify terms and concepts used in this rubric only.

Civic identity: When one sees her or himself as an active participant in society with a strong commitment and responsibility to work with others towards public purposes.

Service-learning class: A course-based educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity and reflect on the experience in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader
appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.

Communication skills: Listening, deliberation, negotiation, consensus building, and productive use of conflict.

Civic life: The public life of the citizen concerned with the affairs of the community and nation as contrasted with private or personal life, which is devoted to the pursuit of private and personal interests.

Politics: A process by which a group of people, whose opinions or interests might be divergent, reach collective decisions that are generally regarded as binding on the group and enforced as common policy. Political life enables
people to accomplish goals they could not realize as individuals. Politics necessarily arises whenever groups of people live together, since they must always reach collective decisions of one kind or another.

Government: “The formal institutions of a society with the authority to make and implement binding decisions about such matters as the distribution of resources, allocation of benefits and burdens, and the management of
conflicts.” (Retrieved from the Center for Civic Engagement Web site, May 5, 2009.)

Civic/ community contexts: Organizations, movements, campaigns, a place or locus where people and/ or living creatures inhabit, which may be defined by a locality (school, national park, non-profit organization, town, state, nation)
or defined by shared identity (i.e., African-Americans, North Carolinians, Americans, the Republican or Democratic Party, refugees, etc.). In addition, contexts for civic engagement may be defined by a variety of approaches intended to
benefit a person, group, or community, including community service or volunteer work, academic work.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT VALUE RUBRIC
for more information, please contact value@aacu.org
Definition
Civic engagement is “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a
community, through both political and non-political processes.” (Excerpted from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas E hrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000, Preface, page vi.) In addition, civic engagement encompasses
actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.
Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection of work that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.
Capstone
4
3
Milestones
2
Benchmark
1
Diversity of Communities and Cultures
Demonstrates evidence of adjustment in own
attitudes and beliefs because of working
within and learning from diversity of
communities and cultures. Promotes others’
engagement with diversity.
Reflects on how own attitudes and beliefs are
different from those of other cultures and
communities. Exhibits curiosity about what
can be learned from diversity of communities
and cultures.
Has awareness that own attitudes and beliefs
are different from those of other cultures and
communities. Exhibits little curiosity about
what can be learned from diversity of
communities and cultures.
Expresses attitudes and beliefs as an
individual, from a one-sided view. Is
indifferent or resistant to what can be learned
from diversity of communities and cultures.
Analysis of Knowledge
Connects and extends knowledge (facts,
theories, etc.) from one’s own academic
study/ field/discipline to civic engagement and
to one’s own participation in civic life,
politics, and government.
Analyzes knowledge (facts, theories, etc.) from
one’s own academic study/ field/ discipline
making relevant connections to civic
engagement and to one’s own participation in
civic life, politics, and government.
Begins to connect knowledge (facts, theories,
etc.) from one’s own academic
study/ field/discipline to civic engagement and
to tone’s own participation in civic life,
politics, and government.
Begins to identify knowledge (facts, theories,
etc.) from one’s own academic
study/ field/discipline that is relevant to civic
engagement and to one’s own participation in
civic life, politics, and government.
Civic Identity and Commitment
Provides evidence of experience in civicengagement activities and describes what
she/ he has learned about her or himself as it
relates to a reinforced and clarified sense of
civic identity and continued commitment to
public action.
Provides evidence of experience in civicengagement activities and describes what
she/ he has learned about her or himself as it
relates to a growing sense of civic identity and
commitment.
Evidence suggests involvement in civicengagement activities is generated from
expectations or course requirements rather
than from a sense of civic identity.
Provides little evidence of her/his experience
in civic-engagement activities and does not
connect experiences to civic identity.
Civic Communication
Tailors communication strategies to effectively Effectively communicates in civic context,
express, listen, and adapt to others to establish showing ability to do all of the following:
relationships to further civic action
express, listen, and adapt ideas and messages
based on others’ perspectives.
Communicates in civic context, showing
ability to do more than one of the following:
express, listen, and adapt ideas and messages
based on others’ perspectives.
Communicates in civic context, showing
ability to do one of the following: express,
listen, and adapt ideas and messages based on
others’ perspectives.
Civic Action and Reflection
Demonstrates independent experience and
shows initiative in team leadership of complex or
multiple civic engagement activities,
accompanied by reflective insights or analysis
about the aims and accomplishments of one’s
actions.
Demonstrates independent experience and
team leadership of civic action, with reflective
insights or analysis about the aims and
accomplishments of one’s actions.
Has clearly participated in civically focused
actions and begins to reflect or describe how
these actions may benefit individual(s) or
communities.
Has experimented with some civic activities but
shows little internalized understanding of their
aims or effects and little commitment to future
action.
Civic Contexts/Structures
Demonstrates ability and commitment to
collaboratively work across and within community
contexts and structures to achieve a civic aim.
Demonstrates ability and commitment to work Demonstrates experience identifying
actively within community contexts and
intentional ways to participate in civic contexts
structures to achieve a civic aim.
and structures.
Experiments with civic contexts and
structures, tries out a few to see what fits.
CREATIVE THINKING VALUE RUBRIC
for more information, please contact value@aacu.org
The VALUE rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics
and related documents for each learning outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors
demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. The core
expectations articulated in all 15 of the VALUE rubrics can and should be translated into the language of individual campuses, disciplines, and even courses. The utility of the VALUE rubrics is to
position learning at all undergraduate levels within a basic framework of expectations such that evidence of learning can by shared nationally through a common dialog and understanding of student
success.
Definition
Creative thinking is both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way
characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
Framing Language
Creative thinking, as it is fostered within higher education, must be distinguished from less focused types of creativity such as, for example, the creativity exhibited by a small child’s drawing,
which stems not from an understanding of connections, but from an ignorance of boundaries. Creative thinking in higher education can only be expressed productively within a particular domain. The
student must have a strong foundation in the strategies and skills of the domain in order to make connections and synthesize. While demonstrating solid knowledge of the domain’s parameters, the
creative thinker, at the highest levels of performance, pushes beyond those boundaries in new, unique, or atypical recombinations, uncovering or critically perceiving new syntheses and using or
recognizing creative risk-taking to achieve a solution.
The Creative Thinking VALUE Rubric is intended to help faculty assess creative thinking in a broad range of transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary work samples or collections of work. The
rubric is made up of a set of attributes that are common to creative thinking across disciplines. Examples of work samples or collections of work that could be assessed for creative thinking may
include research papers, lab reports, musical compositions, a mathematical equation that solves a problem, a prototype design, a reflective piece about the final product of an assignment, or other
academic works. The work samples or collections of work may be completed by an individual student or a group of students.


Glossary
The definitions that follow were developed to clarify terms and concepts used in this rubric only.
E xemplar: A model or pattern to be copied or imitated (quoted from www.dictionary.reference.com/ browse/ exemplar).
Domain: Field of study or activity and a sphere of knowledge and influence.
CREATIVE THINKING VALUE RUBRIC
for more information, please contact value@aacu.org
Definition
Creative thinking is both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree
of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection of work that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.
Capstone
4
Acquiring Competencies
This step refers to acquiring strategies and skills
within a particular domain.
Taking Risks
May include personal risk (fear of embarrassment
or rejection) or risk of failure in successfully
completing assignment, i.e. going beyond original
parameters of assignment, introducing new
materials and forms, tackling controversial topics,
advocating unpopular ideas or solutions.
Milestones
3
Benchmark
2
1
Reflect: Evaluates creative process and
product using domain-appropriate criteria.
Create: Creates an entirely new object,
solution or idea that is appropriate to the
domain.
Adapt: Successfully adapts an appropriate
exemplar to his/her own specifications.
Model: Successfully reproduces an
appropriate exemplar.
Actively seeks out and follows through on
untested and potentially risky directions or
approaches to the assignment in the final
product.
Incorporates new directions or approaches
to the assignment in the final product.
Considers new directions or approaches
without going beyond the guidelines of the
assignment.
Stays strictly within the guidelines of the
assignment.
Solving Problems
Not only develops a logical, consistent plan Having selected from among alternatives,
to solve problem, but recognizes
develops a logical, consistent plan to solve
consequences of solution and can articulate the problem.
reason for choosing solution.
Considers and rejects less acceptable
approaches to solving problem.
Only a single approach is considered and is
used to solve the problem.
Embracing Contradictions
Integrates alternate, divergent, or
contradictory perspectives or ideas fully.
Includes (recognizes the value of) alternate,
divergent, or contradictory perspectives or
ideas in a small way.
Acknowledges (mentions in passing)
alternate, divergent, or contradictory
perspectives or ideas.
Innovative Thinking
Extends a novel or unique idea, question,
Creates a novel or unique idea, question,
format, or product to create new knowledge format, or product.
or knowledge that crosses boundaries.
Novelty or uniqueness (of idea, claim, question,
form, etc.)
Connecting, Synthesizing, Transforming Transforms ideas or solutions into entirely
new forms.
Incorporates alternate, divergent, or
contradictory perspectives or ideas in a
exploratory way.
Synthesizes ideas or solutions into a
coherent whole.
Experiments with creating a novel or unique Reformulates a collection of available ideas.
idea, question, format, or product.
Connects ideas or solutions in novel ways.
Recognizes existing connections among
ideas or solutions.
CRITICAL THINKING VALUE RUBRIC
for more information, please contact value@aacu.org
The VALUE rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics
and related documents for each learning outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors
demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. The core
expectations articulated in all 15 of the VALUE rubrics can and should be translated into the language of individual campuses, disciplines, and even courses. The utility of the VALUE rubrics is to
position learning at all undergraduate levels within a basic framework of expectations such that evidence of learning can by shared nationally through a common dialog and understanding of student
success.
Definition
Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.
Framing Language
This rubric is designed to be transdisciplinary, reflecting the recognition that success in all disciplines requires habits of inquiry and analysis that share common attributes. Further, research
suggests that successful critical thinkers from all disciplines increasingly need to be able to apply those habits in various and changing situations encountered in all walks of life.
This rubric is designed for use with many different types of assignments and the suggestions here are not an exhaustive list of possibilities. Critical thinking can be demonstrated in assignments
that require students to complete analyses of text, data, or issues. Assignments that c …
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