Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) is an ongoing research group that promotes and develops what we call an integrated approach to assessment. Integrated assessment seeks to assess public scholarship and community engagement in such a way as to integrate the needs and assets of all stakeholders in a co-creative process, one that allows projects to become more transformational, just, and empowering for all. Assessment, often seen as supplemental or external to projects and partnerships must become internal to, and formative of, their very fabric. Such assessment addresses histories of university-community engagement that have fallen short of reciprocity and invites evaluation of the higher education institutions’ own practices, contributions, and outcomes in relation to mutually defined goals.
An integrated approach to assessment is rooted in five core values—collaboration, reciprocity, generativity, rigor, and practicability. Approached this way, assessment contributes to transformative outcomes (e.g., improved campus-community partnerships, impact in relation to defined civic, social, and academic goals) and, just as significantly, to transformational processes. An integrated approach to assessment:
Integrated assessment seeks to assess public scholarship and community engagement in such a way as to integrate the needs and assets of all stakeholders in a co-creative process, one that allows projects to become more transformational, just, and empowering for all.
- provides a way to understand the impacts of engagement on multiple stakeholders;
- offers a concrete framework in which to work together to address the structural obstacles to more equitable and beneficial partnerships;
- advances the reciprocal benefits of publicly engaged scholarship and practice; and
- strengthens the public role and democratic purpose of humanities, arts, and design.
APPS supports these aims by (1)elaborating the critical intellectual and ethical values that guide the practice of an integrated approach to assessment, (2) collects case studies, (3) maps what the iterative and adaptive process of integrated assessment looks like at different sites, (4) supports the professional development of IA members around integrated assessment practices.
Click here for an institutional history, documenting APPS origins, development, leadership, and core activities.
- Build knowledge and evidence about the effectiveness of integrated approaches to assessment in developing and sustaining democratic, generative, and reciprocal community-campus partnerships.
- Cultivate the capacity for an integrated approach to assessment in community-campus partnerships..
- Contribute to efforts to shift prevailing discourses on assessment within higher education towards concern for utility, generativity, and reciprocity.
- Collect, adapt, create, and disseminate frameworks, narratives, and tools that illustrate and enable an integrated approach to assessment at the project, course, program, and center level.
- Identify and share case studies and critical reflections that illuminate integrated assessment values, approaches, and uses.
- Facilitate peer exchange, critical reflection, and learning.
- Engage IA members in demonstration efforts in integrated assessment.
- Develop a white paper that synthesizes extant and emergent knowledge from this initiative.
- Provide resources and facilitate learning opportunities for members through IA’s Convenings, Publications, and Media Room.