CLA: Research & Vision
The Efficacy of Automated Essay Scoring for Evaluating Student Responses to
Complex Critical Thinking Performance Tasks – Jeffrey Steedle, Scott Elliot (2012).

The CLA: What it is Today, What it Will be Tomorrow – Roger Benjamin (2010).

Improving the Reliability and Interpretability of Value-Added Scores for Post-
Secondary Institutional Assessment Programs – Jeffrey Steedle (2010).

Incentives, Motivation, and Performance on a Low-Stakes Test of College Learning
Jeffrey Steedle (2010).

Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment
Practices – Marc Chun (2010). Change.

Returning to Learning in an Age of Assessment – Roger Benjamin, Marc Chun,
Esther Hong, Chris Jackson, Heather Kugelmass, Richard Shavelson (2009).

CLA Lumina Longitudinal Study Summary Findings – Stephen Klein (2009).

The Collegiate Learning Assessment's Place in the New Assessment and
Accountability Space – Roger Benjamin, Marc Chun, Chris Jackson (2009)

The Collegiate Learning Assessment: Setting Standards for Performance at a
College or University – Chaitra Hardison, Anna Marie Vilamovska (2009). RAND

The Contribution of the Collegiate Learning Assessment to Teaching and Learning
– Roger Benjamin (2008).

Assessing School Effectiveness – Stephen Klein, David Freedman, Richard
Shavelson, Roger Bolus (2008).
Evaluation Review.

The Case for Comparative Institutional Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills
– Roger Benjamin (2008).

Holistic Tests in a Sub-Score World – Roger Benjamin, Marc Chun, Richard
Shavelson (2007).

How CLA Differs from No Child Left Behind – Stephen Klein (2007).

The Collegiate Learning Assessment: Facts and Fantasies – Stephen Klein, Roger
Benjamin, Roger Bolus, Richard Shavelson (2007).
Evaluation Review.

An Approach to Measuring Cognitive Outcomes Across Higher Education – Stephen
Klein, Marc Chun, Laura Hamilton, George Kuh, Richard Shavelson (2005).
Research in Higher Education.
The CLA's mission is to improve teaching and learning
by using performance tasks to connect classroom
practice with authentic institutional assessment.

Today the terrain of education provides numerous
obstacles, and the route is often obscured by too little or
too much information, by the separation of academic
discourses, and by the challenges of teaching in the
21st century. Faculty must guide students along their
journey. Authentic pedagogical, curricular and
assessment services can provide essential maps of
student learning by which faculty can determine the best
direction, as well as the tools needed to create effective

The CLA, an application of performance assessment,
was created by academics for academics,  focusing on
the higher order thinking skills that are crucial to life and
work of the future. The CLA is the only national program
that combines curricular/pedagogical development with
campus-based assessment.  Performance tasks —
which are rich case studies that require critical thinking,
analytic reasoning and other problem solving skills —
seamlessly link teaching, learning and assessment.  
The CLA draws on the research literature using  the
most cutting-edge advances in technology and
measurement science to deliver reliable and cost-
effective services to colleges, universities, and through
the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA),
high schools. Teaching and learning resources for
faculty are available on-line; student assessment and
scoring also occur via the Internet.

The Strategy
Our approach is to build a range of performance
assessment applications that support institutions,
departments, programs and especially faculty in their
efforts to improve teaching and learning. It is from this
perspective that we design our performance based

Performance tasks consist of multiple documents,
graphs, and figures, some of which are more relevant
than others in the process of creating a well-reasoned
and well-constructed argument. An emphasis on
applying what one knows to new situations is consistent
with recent definitions of knowledge that shift away from
the simple recall of information to the location and use of
appropriate information in real settings.

The CLA permits and encourages comparison between
institutions to answer the question, "Are we (faculty and
administrators at an institution) doing 'good enough' in
comparison to similarly situated institutions?"  Without
appropriate comparisons, formative assessment
strategies are doomed to remain ineffective silo-
perpetuating activities. Institutional comparisons are
necessary for a systematic approach to improving
student learning that many in the academy seek.

Comparative-based testing is, however, only one
important step in what we consider a continuous system
of educational improvement.  The CLA now provides an
enhanced set of products and services, made possible
by recent advances that directly facilitate faculty
members' ability to improve teaching and learning.  
These products and services include:

*Performance Task Academies that teach faculty how to
develop their own performance tasks.

*A Performance Task Library that is an online community
where faculty members who have attended Performance
Task Academies in the past can upload tasks for other
folks to access.

*Certification in the ability to create Performance Tasks
for those faculty members that have attended an
Academy and uploaded a full task to the Performance
Task Library.

*Student and Institution Feedback Reports that are
designed to provide information to institutions without
the restrictions of comparative performance.

*Improved Institutional Reports that contain new
subscores in the areas of problem solving, analytic
reasoning and evaluation, writing effectiveness, and
writing mechanics.

*An enhanced value-added methodology that produces
value-added scores that are more reliable and have
substantially greater consistency across assessment
cycles. The enhanced approach also provides a unique
standard error for each school's value-added score.

In addition, CAE has recently established an Institute for
Performance Assessment (IPA) with a distinguished
measurement scientist as director and its own
independent technical advisory board. The purpose of
the IPA is to advance the science of performance
assessment, propose and evaluate new applications of
performance assessment throughout education, and
train a new generation of performance assessment

None of these developments would be taking place
without the support and encouragement of our
colleagues through American higher education and
abroad. We appreciate the advice you continue to give
us. We remain dedicated to mining the benefits of
performance assessment for the benefits of students
and faculty.
The Seven Red Herrings About Standardized Assessment in Higher Education.
Roger Benjamin (2012).
National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment
Occasional Paper #15.

Majors Matter: Differential Performance on a Test of General College Outcomes
Jeffrey Steedle, Michael Bradley (2012).

The Case for Generic Skills and Performance Assessment in the United States and
International SettingsRoger Benjamin, Stephen Klein, Jeffrey Steedle, Doris
Zahner, Scott Elliot, Julie Patterson (2012).

The Principles and Logic of Competency Testing in Higher Education Roger
Benjamin (2012). Sense Publishers.

A Well-Rounded Education for a Flat World Richard Hersh, Matt Bundick, Richard
Keeling, Corey Keyes, Amy Kurpius, Richard Shavelson, Daniel Silverman, Lynn
Swaner (2011). College Outcomes Project.

What Do They Measure? Comparing Three Learning Outcomes Assessments
Jeffrey Steedle, Heather Kugelmass, Alex Nemeth (2010).

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses Richard Arum, Josipa
Roksa (forthcoming). University of Chicago Press.

Measuring College Learning Responsibly: Accountability in a New Age – Richard
Shavelson (2010). Stanford University Press.

Test Validity Study Report – Stephen Klein, Lydia Ou Liu, James Sconing, Roger
Bolus, Brent Bridgeman, Heather Kugelmass, Alex Nemeth, Steve Robbins, Jeffrey
Steedle (2009). Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
Measuring Skills for the 21st Century – Elena Silva (2008). Education Sector Reports.

Learning to Reason and Communicate in College: Initial Report of Findings from the
CLA Longitudinal Study – Richard Arum, Josipa Roksa, Melissa Velez (2008). Social
Science Research Council.

Recreating a Faculty Role in University Governance – Roger Benjamin (2007). Fixing
the Fragmented University.

Assessing Student Learning Responsibly: From History to an Audacious Proposal
Richard Shavelson (2007).

A Brief History of Student Learning: How we Got Where We Are and a Proposal for
Where to Go Next – Richard Shavelson (2007). Association of American Colleges
and Universities.

Assessment Versus Accountability in Higher Education: Notes on Reconciliation
Roger Benjamin, Stephen Klein (2006). United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Commissioned Paper Series.

Student Engagement and Student Learning: Testing the Linkages – Robert Carini,
George Kuh, Stephen Klein (2006). Research in Higher Education.

Characteristics of Hand and Machine-Assigned Scores to College Students’
Answers to Open-Ended Tasks – Stephen Klein (2005). Probability and Statistics:
Essays in Honor of David A. Freedman.

The Environment of American Higher Education: A Constellation of Change – Roger
Benjamin (2003).
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social

Responding Responsibly to the Frenzy to Assess Learning in Higher Education
Richard Shavelson, Leta Huang (2003).

Looking Where the Light is Better: A Review of the Literature on Assessing Higher
Quality Education – Marc Chun (2002). Peer Review.

The Costs and Benefits of Performance Testing on the Bar Examination – Stephen
Klein (1993).
The Bar Examiner.
Exam Tests Students' Skills, Not Memories Dallas Duncan (2011). The Gainesville

CAE Applauds the Publication of Academically Adrift; Forms Advisory Committee to
Consider Additional Uses of CLA Data – CAE Press Release (2011).

CAE Begins Common Core State Standards Assessment Research – CAE Press
Release (2011).

High Schools Should Dare to Measure Success DifferentlyJay Mathews (2010).
The Washington Post.

Rigor RedefinedTony Wagner (2008). Educational Leadership.

No Graduate Left BehindJames Traub (2007). The New York Times Magazine.

Colleges, Accreditors Seek Better Ways to Measure Learning  Daniel Golden
The Wall Street Journal.

The Group Approach Karen Arenson (2006). The New York Times.
An Analysis of Learning Outcomes of Underrepresented Students at Urban
Institutions The Council of Independent Colleges (2012).

Catalyst for Change: The CIC/CLA Consortium The Council of Independent
Colleges (2011).

Creating an Academy of Learning: Authentic Assessment, Peer Review and the
College and Work Readiness Assessment – John Austin (2010). St. Andrew’s
Independent School.

Evidence of Learning: Applying the Collegiate Learning Assessment to Improve
Teaching and Learning in the Liberals Arts College Experience – The Council of
Independent Colleges (2008).

Multiple Drafts of a College’s Narrative – Paul Sotherland, Anne Dueweke, Kiran
Cunningham, Bob Grossman (2007). Kalamazoo College.