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Skidmore College
Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at Skidmore College

Please explain the term "value-added."

In assessment, "value-added" usually refers to the difference between some statistically-determined base measurement of a student or a group of students and a final assessment measure or measures. Thus, it is used to determine whether a particular curriculum has added any "value" to the students as a result of their education with that curriculum. It can be useful when trying to compare the education of groups students who are very different in their characteristics. One site, here, notes that growth in and of itself is not necessarily "competence." An MBA site used employers' evaluations of graduated students to determine value-added. A journal of articles on value-added in history curricula recounts their experiences. A consortium of 7 universities working on a value-added project concluded that a good and thorough data base of information on students is absolutely essential in applying value-added measures. A large study in the United Kingdom sought to determine the most effective value-added indicators for the nation. And value-added vocational education also has been reported here.