Research Assessment Tools

Below is a comprehensive list of assessments and rubrics provided from not only Radford University but from higher education institutions nation-wide. Any of the rubrics can be easily modified and implemented. For those of you that are new to the assessment process and/or rationale, the Radford University Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Improvement has resources to help introduce and support assessment efforts. For an external introduction, Texas A&M University has a thorough and clear introduction to assessment.

AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for Assessment

The AACU has provided easily adaptable rubrics for 16 learning outcomes including critical thinking, inquiry and analysis, communication, literature comprehension, etc.

Fisk-Vanderbilt’s Research Expectations Rubric

This rubric helps student-faculty teams self-evaluate their working effectiveness by measuring skills such as independence, critical thinking, communication, and research abilities such as concept execution, literature comprehension, etc. It has a three-point scale (above expectations, meets expectations, below expectations), however, it can be modified to any scale and some questions can easily be modified for the research mentor or to look at programs as a whole.

CURE Survey

This survey can be administered as a pretest-posttest or posttest-only survey to assess student research experiences and is among the most common platforms of research assessment allowing for the comparison of individual programs to national averages.

RISC Survey

RISC is very similar to the CURE survey but includes items tailored to integrated or interdisciplinary courses. It includes a self-report from students and faculty as well as a qualitative inquiry by faculty done by analysis of course work.

SURE Survey

The Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) is also a survey for undergraduate researchers who have done work over the summer, but does not have to be used exclusively for summer.  The SURE is also among the most used platforms to assess research experiences. 

George Mason University Outcomes and Rubrics for Students as Scholars

“Students as Scholars” uses these rubrics to guide the assessment of student learning. The rubrics measure their student learning outcomes and can be used to help guide faculty and administrators in program design.

SAGES Learning Outcomes and Measurement at Case Western Reserve University

SAGES builds upon academic skill sets, introduces discipline-specific concepts, which then is presented in a final capstone project that shows the students’ capability to apply what they have learned. This application is assessed using 5 core learning outcomes and how the students measure up to their performance standards.

Cornell College

Provides tools of assessment for research papers, instruction, grading, posters, and original research projects. It also provides tools for student use such as a student checklist, a search report process guide, and a critique rubric for scholarly articles.

Florida State University

Garnet and Gold Scholar Society members show how they have developed their leadership, professional, citizenship and/or research skills while building collaborative relationships in the academic, local or global community. These outcomes and skills are measured using a research reflection for the student to write, and their response is then applied to a rubric.

Assessment of Undergraduate Research at Concordia College

This poster presents assessment of undergraduate research and focuses on three categories of assessment: count of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative works; assess learning achieved in undergraduate research experiences; evaluate the effectiveness of the Office of Undergraduate Research. 

Models and Assessment of Collaborative Research in the Arts and Humanities

This article presents a five item rubric and expands on the three primary models for collaboration.

Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools

This file provides a research paper rubric that can be applied for any discipline.

Michigan Technological University

This rubric can be used to assess a student’s research and/or grant proposal or as a teaching tool.

Rubric Sets Compiled from other Institutions

·         University of Hawai'i Rubric Bank 

·         Grading with Rubrics University of Southern Maine

·         Rubrics and templates from the university of West Florida

·         Using Rubrics from Cornell

Extra literature on assessment and undergraduate research:

CUR Maintains a searchable and tagged list of articles on assessing research.  Nearly 300 articles can be found in this CUR database.

  • CUR Quarterly Issue on Assessing UR

This report presents ten recommendations for the radical reconstruction of undergraduate education at research universities in the United States offered by a national commission.

This monograph examines what educational research reveals about five educational practices: first-year seminars, learning communities, service learning, undergraduate research, and capstone experiences.

This publication presents findings from a national study conducted by AAC&U researchers to investigate the impact of engagement in high-impact practices on traditionally underserved populations (defined here as first-generation, minority, transfer, and low-income students).

The importance and impact of undergraduate research cannot be denied, as this article serves to defend. It emphasizes the value, the participation, and the essential pieces of discovery of education. 

The AAC&U highlights Texas A&M University for their institutional assessment and their variety of assessment activities ranging from department level to cross college level.

This article examines new approaches to STEM courses and their effect on undergraduate learning. It questions if these new approaches are working and if so, then how do we know? These approaches range from faculty and facilities to assessment and transparency with said assessment.

This article presents a report on the progress of the long-term assessment project, the national Value Added Assessment Initiative (which assess the quality of undergraduate education by measuring the impact on students. The objective is to create a model and an incentive for the continuous improvement of higher education as well as to create measures of quality for evaluation. This article presents the benefits and barriers of value added assessment. 

This article presents the work of David Lopatto at Grinnell College. He asks questions such as; what are essential features and benefits of a successful undergraduate research project? It places faculty and student responses side by side to evaluate the value and outcomes of undergraduate research.

This compilation would not be possible without the support of Radford University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Improvement