Assessment of Students’ Civic Learning and Development

Initial curator: H. Anne Weiss, Indiana Campus Compact

Introduction

As mentioned in the Action Statement, one vital responsibility of higher education institutions is to prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good. Being able to measure and share the outcomes your students achieve due (in part) to the community engagement activities they participated in through your institution is something we hope all of our partner institutions aspire to accomplish. We are all familiar with the adage that students receiving a degree should learn something and develop into prepared graduates- typically focused on learning and preparation for the workforce or a career. While assessment practices framed by these adages are absolutely necessary (e.g. accreditation), we encourage you to consider using civic outcomes as a focal point of assessment practices and plans for your course, program, discipline, department or school. We think you will find that framing learning and development with a civic or public frame aligns nicely with your disciplinary, department, school and/or university-wide learning goals and objectives. This hub will guide you to resources that can push assessment of individual or aggregate student learning and development into the realm of the civic or public.
Overview of Steps to Assess Students’ Civic Learning
The first, essential step in assessing students’ civic learning or development is to identify what civic goals, objectives, and/or outcome(s) you are able to accomplish through your school, department, and curriculum, program, and/or pedagogy. Next, now that you know what you expect your students to learn or develop and where (or how) they will learn those things, you will need to identify how you can assess or measure their growth or knowledge. Finally, now that you know what your students have learned or how they have developed and where/why those things occurred, it is important for you to make that data useful; put the results of your assessment to good use! Below you will find resources to guide you through these important steps in assessing students’ civic learning and development.

If you know of resources that you would like to contribute to this knowledge hub, please contact Maggie Grove at mgrove {at} compact(.)org


 

Key resources

A) Identifying Civic Outcomes & Crafting Operationalized Statements

  • Adelman, C. (2015, February). To Imagine a Verb: The Language and Syntax of Learning Outcome Statements. (Occasional Paper No. 24). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/OccasionalPaper24.pdf

  • Krathwohl, D.R. (2002). A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-218.

http://www.unco.edu/cetl/sir/stating_outcome/documents/Krathwohl.pdf

  • Kirlin, M. (2002). Civic Skill Building: The Missing Component in Service. Programs? Political Science, Washington, 35(3), 571-576.

http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FPSC%2FPSC35_03%2FS1049096502000872a.pdf&code=ae8c8a51534c86d1ae713db408d36660

  • Musil, C. M. (2009). Civic Engagement in Higher Education. Jossey-Bass. pp. 61-63.

https://www.uwosh.edu/usp/for-faculty-and-staff/signature-questions/sq-civic-learning/musils-civic-knowledge-and-engagement-learning-outcomes

  • Tufts University, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, (n.d.) Student Civic Learning Outcomes

http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/wp-content/uploads/learning_outcomes_13.pdf


B) Measuring Civic Engagement, Learning &/or Development

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and many things need to be considered when seeking a tool to help you measure or assess student learning and development (e.g., What kind of artifact are you looking through? Essay? Exam? Presentation? E-Portfolio? Critically Reflective Digital Story?).

  • Civic Engagement AAC&U VALUE Rubric. Excerpted of Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and tools for Using Rubrics, edited by Terrel L. Rhodes. Copyright 2010 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/VALUE/CivicEngagementSample.pdf

  • Civic Minded Graduate (Assessment Tools)- scales, rubrics, narrative prompts, etc.. Steinberg, K.S., Hatcher, J.A., & Bringle, R.G. (2011). Civic-Minded Graduate: A North Star. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 18(1), Fall 2011.

https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/2667

  • Large overview of Assessing Civic Competency and Engagement in Higher Education: Research Background, Frameworks, and Directions for Next-Generation Assessment. Torney-Purta, J., Cabrera, J.C., Roohr, K.C., Liu, O.L. & Rios, J.A. (2015). ETS Research Report Series, 2015: 1-48.

http://www.ets.org/research/policy_research_reports/publications/report/2015/jvdz

  • Civic Engagement Quiz. Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). (2006, October). Civic Engagement Quiz. Medford, MA.

http://civicyouth.org/PopUps/Final_Civic_Inds_Quiz_2006.pdf

  • Large overview of Assessing Civic Competency and Engagement in Higher Education: Research Background, Frameworks, and Directions for Next-Generation Assessment. Torney-Purta, J., Cabrera, J.C., Roohr, K.C., Liu, O.L. & Rios, J.A. (2015). ETS Research Report Series, 2015: 1-48.

http://www.ets.org/research/policy_research_reports/publications/report/2015/jvdz

  • Civic Engagement Scale. Doolittle, A. & Faul, A.C. Civic Engagement Scale: A Validation Study. Sage Open, July-September 2013: 1-7.

http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/3/3/2158244013495542.full-text.pdf+html

  • DEAL Model for Critical Reflection. Ash, S.L, Clayton, P.H. (2009). Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education, 1(Fall 2009), 25-48.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51a00182e4b00ebfe3c66f62/t/522646cee4b032f22536a824/1378240206745/DEAL+Model+CT+and+Bloom+rubric+excerpts.pdf

  • Civic Knowledge Rubric. A national collaboration hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to create further rubrics that supplement the AAC&U Value Rubric.

https://civiclearningrubric.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/civicknowledgerubric.pdf

  • Bringing Theory to Practice Toolkit. American Association of Colleges & Universities.

https://www.aacu.org/node/5681


 Groups, Conferences, and Organizations

  • Assessment Institute
    http://assessmentinstitute.iupui.edu/
    Annual conference held every year in Indianapolis, Indiana to showcase examples of assessment projects related to high impact practices, community engagement, faculty development, global learning and much more.

Exemplars

  • IUPUI Center for Service and Learning Research Briefs
    https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/5963
    Applied both the VALUE Rubric for Civic Engagement and the Civic Minded Graduate Rubric to Students’ Digital Stories, among other assessment and evaluation of student learning and programs.

Other Useful Information

 

 

 

 

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