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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University College Portrait

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Learning Outcomes


Assessment at Virginia Tech is grounded in the “assessment for improvement paradigm” (Ewell, 2009); as such, assessment and evaluation at Virginia Tech are reflective practices incorporating systematic investigation that lead to evidence-based decision making that helps promote and facilitate a culture of continuous improvement. Led by the Office of Assessment and Evaluation (OAE – www.assessment.vt.edu), this is achieved in collaboration with partners across the university and the broader education community through practices that encourage innovation in student learning and the student learning environment.

Specifically, assessment at Virginia Tech

  • Is formative;
  • Relies upon the triangulation of multiple forms of data;
  • Is embedded at the individual program level; and
  • Allows for aggregation in order to develop an understanding of the efficacy of Virginia Tech’s educational experience overall.

Through this process, Virginia Tech assesses and analyzes student learning outcomes to determine areas of strength and areas needing improvement, and develops and implements plans to improve student learning.

In line with this approach, Virginia Tech will participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability’s AAC&U VALUE Rubrics Demonstration Project, which will allow Virginia Tech to sample authentic student work products for review and scoring by trained faculty experts. These rubrics will specifically be used as measures for the indicators developed for Virginia Tech’s new Pathways to General Education program.


Ewell, P.T. (2009). Assessment, accountability, and improvement: Revisting the tension. National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment Occasional Paper, no 1. Retrieved October 3, 2013 from http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/PeterEwell_005.pdf.