This article by Terry Dolson, Bryan Figura, and Sylvia Gale of the University of Richmond describes a values-engaged assessment approach that is designed to be a generative assessment.
At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC, we asked participants in our session on approaches to assessing civically engaged student learning, “Would you describe your own assessment initiatives as involving meaningful effort, offering staff and faculty rich feedback about your work, and providing opportunities for you to engage across differences as you reflect on the people your students are becoming?”
Not a single person in a room of more than fifty raised their hands. This did not surprise us. We were testing a bold idea: that as faculty and staff charged with assessing community-engaged student learning, we can let the values that underpin our civic engagement work shape our assessment efforts as well. This practice, we have found, is an effective tool for institutional cultural change, allowing us to reclaim assessment as a generative, inquiry-based cycle whose processes—and not only products—further our center’s mission.