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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.
Problem solving is the process of designing, evaluating and implementing a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.
Problem-solving covers a wide range of activities that may vary significantly across disciplines. Activities that encompass problem-solving by students may involve problems that range from well-defined to ambiguous in a simulated or laboratory context, or in real-world settings. This rubric distills the common elements of most problem-solving contexts and is designed to function across all disciplines. It is broad-based enough to allow for individual differences among learners, yet is concise and descriptive in its scope to determine how well students have maximized their respective abilities to practice thinking through problems in order to reach solutions.
This rubric is designed to measure the quality of a process, rather than the quality of an end-product. As a result, work samples or collections of work will need to include some evidence of the individual’s thinking about a problem-solving task (e.g., reflections on the process from problem to proposed solution; steps in a problem-based learning assignment; record of think-aloud protocol while solving a problem). The final product of an assignment that required problem resolution is insufficient without insight into the student’s problem-solving process. Because the focus is on institutional level assessment, scoring team projects, such as those developed in capstone courses, may be appropriate as well.
The definitions that follow were developed to clarify terms and concepts used in this rubric only.
- Contextual Factors: Constraints (such as limits on cost), resources, attitudes (such as biases) and desired additional knowledge which affect how the problem can be best solved in the real world or simulated setting.
- Critique: Involves analysis and synthesis of a full range of perspectives.
- Feasible: Workable, in consideration of time-frame, functionality, available resources, necessary buy-in, and limits of the assignment or task.
- “Off the shelf”solution: A simplistic option that is familiar from everyday experience but not tailored to the problem at hand (e.g. holding a bake sale to "save" an underfunded public library).
- Solution: An appropriate response to a challenge or a problem.
- Strategy: A plan of action or an approach designed to arrive at a solution. ( If the problem is a river that needs to be crossed, there could be a construction-oriented, cooperative (build a bridge with your community) approach and a personally oriented, physical (swim across alone) approach. An approach that partially applies would be a personal, physical approach for someone who doesn't know how to swim.
- Support: Specific rationale, evidence, etc. for solution or selection of solution.
Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.
Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection of work that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.
|Define Problem||Demonstrates the ability to construct a clear and insightful problem statement with evidence of all relevant contextual factors.||Demonstrates the ability to construct a problem statement with evidence of most relevant contextual factors, and problem statement is adequately detailed.||Begins to demonstrate the ability to construct a problem statement with evidence of most relevant contextual factors, but problem statement is superficial.||Demonstrates a limited ability in identifying a problem statement or related contextual factors.|
|Identify Strategies||Identifies multiple approaches for solving the problem that apply within a specific context.||Identifies multiple approaches for solving the problem, only some of which apply within a specific context.||Identifies only a single approach for solving the problem that does apply within a specific context.||Identifies one or more approaches for solving the problem that do not apply within a specific context.|
|Propose Solutions/Hypotheses||Proposes one or more solutions/hypotheses that indicates a deep comprehension of the problem. Solution/hypotheses are sensitive to contextual factors as well as all of the following: ethical, logical, and cultural dimensions of the problem.||Proposes one or more solutions/hypotheses that indicates comprehension of the problem. Solutions/hypotheses are sensitive to contextual factors as well as the one of the following: ethical, logical, or cultural dimensions of the problem.||Proposes one solution/hypothesis that is “off the shelf” rather than individually designed to address the specific contextual factors of the problem.||Proposes a solution/hypothesis that is difficult to evaluate because it is vague or only indirectly addresses the problem statement.|
|Evaluate Potential Solutions||Evaluation of solutions is deep and elegant (for example, contains thorough and insightful explanation) and includes, deeply and thoroughly, all of the following: considers history of problem, reviews logic/reasoning, examines feasibility of solution, and weighs impacts of solution.||Evaluation of solutions is adequate (for example, contains thorough explanation) and includes the following: considers history of problem, reviews logic/reasoning, examines feasibility of solution, and weighs impacts of solution.||Evaluation of solutions is brief (for example, explanation lacks depth) and includes the following: considers history of problem, reviews logic/reasoning, examines feasibility of solution, and weighs impacts of solution.||Evaluation of solutions is superficial (for example, contains cursory, surface level explanation) and includes the following: considers history of problem, reviews logic/reasoning, examines feasibility of solution, and weighs impacts of solution.|
|Implement Solution||Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers with clarity and fluency, and is virtually errorfree.||Uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to readers. The language in the portfolio has few errors.||Uses language that generally conveys meaning to readers with clarity, although writing may include some errors.||Uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors in usage.|
|Evaluate Outcomes||Implements the solution in a manner that addresses thoroughly and deeply multiple contextual factors of the problem.||Implements the solution in a manner that addresses multiple contextual factors of the problem in a surface manner.||Implements the solution in a manner that addresses the problem statement but ignores relevant contextual factors.||Implements the solution in a manner that does not directly address the problem statement.|