Adapting VALUEs: Tracing the Life of a Rubric through Institutional Ethnography

By Jennifer Grouling
Copy edited by Hope Walker. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverAdapting VALUEs traces the use of the American Association of Colleges and Universities' VALUE rubric for written communication at two small universities. Through the lens of institutional ethnography, Jennifer Grouling examines how faculty and administrators adapted the rubric for their own purposes and writing programs. Throughout the book, Grouling explores the ways in which faculty members' interactions on committees, views of the classroom, disciplinary affiliation, and racial privilege impacted their views of this national rubric. Overall, Adapting VALUEs offers valuable insights into the power of the rubric as both a national and a local text that dictates pedagogical and administrative practices.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Commonly Used Abbreviations

Chapter 1. A Tale of Two Schools

Chapter 2. What is Old is New Again: A History of Writing Assessment, Systemic Management, and the Neoliberal University

Chapter 3. Mapping Assessment Power with Institutional Ethnography

Chapter 4. Defining the VALUE Rubrics as a Boss Texts

Chapter 5. Constraint and Choice in Rubric Adaptation

Chapter 6. Following the “Breadcrumbs” from Committee to Classroom

Chapter 7. Individualism, Racism, and the Ecology of the Writing Rubric

Chapter 8. The Individual, The Institution, and the Administrator's Dilemma


Appendix A. Research Participants / “Cast of Characters”

Appendix B. Written Communication VALUE Rubric

Appendix C. “Parts of the VALUE Rubric” from the American Association of Colleges and Universities

Appendix D. Oak Writing Program Assessment Rubric

Appendix E. St. Rita's “Rubric for Written Communication Across the Core Curriculum”


About the Author

Jennifer Grouling is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and Director of the Writing Program at Ball State University. She studies writing assessment, teacher preparation, and other aspects of WPA life. She has also published two books on tabletop roleplaying games.

Publication Information: Grouling, Jennifer. (2022). Adapting VALUEs: Tracing the Life of a Rubric through Institutional Ethnography. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Web Publication Date: August 21, 2022
Print Publication Date: June 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64215-164-0 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-165-7 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-383-5 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2022.1640

Contact Information:
Jennifer Grouling:

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Rich Rice, Texas Tech University; Heather MacNeill Falconer, University of Maine; and J. Michael Rifenburg, University of North Georgia

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2022 Jennifer Grouling. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 230 pages, with notes, illustrations, bibliographies, and index. This book is available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.