AACU VALUE Rubric – Problem Solving

AACU VALUE Rubric – Integrative Learning

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.

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Definition

Problem solving is the process of designing, evaluating and implementing a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.

Framing Language

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.

This rubric uses the following criteria:

  • Define Problem
  • Identify Strategies
  • Propose Solutions/Hypotheses
  • Evaluate Potential Solutions
  • Implement Solution
  • Evaluate Outcomes

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Reprinted [or Excerpted] with permission from 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.

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