Method Development for Assessing a Diversity Goal

Method Development for Assessing a Diversity Goal

Joan Hawthorne (University of North Dakota, USA), Tatyana Dumova (University of North Dakota, USA), April Bradley (University of North Dakota, USA) and Daphne Pederson (University of North Dakota, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-667-9.ch024
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In this chapter the authors describe a method developed to assess the outcome of a “cultural familiarity” general education goal. Challenges in defining, measuring, and providing summary information on variables of interest are discussed. We review the process of developing our own “oral examination” assessment method, explain our rationale for using this particular method, and suggest that locallydeveloped methods – this one and others – may have particular benefits that make them especially useful for program review and revision. In addition, we provide insight about how this specific method could be adapted to provide meaningful data for other goals that are similarly difficult to assess in a higher education environment.
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Naming A Diversity Goal

Most university systems have a goal pertaining to diversity and student learning. Yet diversity itself is an evolving and contested term that invites debate. Shifting cultural, racial, and national boundaries encourage us to continually rethink how we frame diversity (AAC&U, 2006); thus it comes as no surprise that, while campuses almost uniformly have diversity goals, they also have quite divergent language describing these goals. Diversity goals may be very general or quite specific. For example, while some students may be encouraged to “respond thoughtfully to diversity,” (West Chester University, 2008) others may be charged with studying “the interrelationships of individuals, racial groups, and cultural groups to understand and appreciate issues of diversity, equality, and structured inequality in the U.S., its institutions, and its cultures” (San Jose State University, 2005). In this context, diversity is understood to “include the experiences and/or contributions of those varying in (including but not limited to): accent, age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion or lack thereof, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, and veteran’s status.”

Diversity is often viewed as occurring at both the domestic and international levels, such that some students have a two-pronged requirement to develop an awareness of both American and global diversity. The University of Wyoming, for example, requires students to take courses in “American Diversities” and “Global Awareness,” with the latter focusing on either “a single culture, or… a regional cluster of cultures” (AAC&U, 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Direct Assessment: Any assessment process which is based on examination of an actual performance (written or oral) which demonstrates the outcome in question.

Ethnic Identity: The degree to which an individual self-identifies membership with a given ethnic/cultural group. Membership is often defined as one’s comfort within a specific group, adherence to group norms, and participation in rituals/traditions of the group.

Semi-Structured Interview: A process of conducting oral interviews of subjects by using a brief prepared list of questions, along with follow-up probe questions, to maximize the interviewer’s opportunity to obtain detailed information in response to each question.

Qualitative Research: An investigational paradigm in which information is obtained through narrative accounts and/or observations. Information obtained is summarized and/or interpreted.

Rubric: A tool for systematically and consistently scoring written or oral responses according to pre-determined criteria.

Quantitative Research: An investigational paradigm involving efforts to operationally define relevant variables, to control the influence of extraneous variables, and to quantify results through the use of statistical analysis.

Cultural Diversity: Differences between individuals and groups such as language, religious beliefs, traditions, and social behaviors, among others.

External Validity: The extent to which the results obtained can be generalized to other individuals and/or contexts not studied.

Indirect Assessment: Any assessment process which provides perception data about the outcome in question.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Christopher S. Schreiner
Christopher S. Schreiner
Chapter 1
Melissa A. Dyehouse, John Y. Baek, Richard A. Lesh
This chapter describes a model for evaluating complex organizations or systems. The design assessment model the authors propose is a response to... Sample PDF
Multi-Tier Design Assessment in the Development of Complex Organizational Systems
Chapter 2
Hedva Lewittes
In this chapter critical thinking is assessed using two critical thinking learning outcomes that were required for the State University of New... Sample PDF
A Critical Thinking Rubric as the Basis of Assessment and Curriculum
Chapter 3
Suzanne Pieper, Erika Edwards, Brandon Haist, Walter Nolan
The purpose of this chapter is to review literature over the past ten years regarding technology tools that are being used in higher education to... Sample PDF
A Survey of Effective Technologies to Assess Student Learning
Chapter 4
John Baer, Sharon S. McKool
The Consensual Assessment Technique is a powerful tool used by creativity researchers in which panels of expert judges are asked to rate the... Sample PDF
Assessing Creativity Using the Consensual Assessment Technique
Chapter 5
Christine Charyton, Zorana Ivcevic, Jonathan A. Plucker, James C. Kaufman
This chapter discusses creativity assessment as a means for evaluating skills required in higher education. Creativity is assessed in the context of... Sample PDF
Creativity Assessment in Higher Education
Chapter 6
Asao B. Inoue
This chapter articulates writing assessment as a technology, theorized with three aspects (power, parts, and purpose), accounting for the ways in... Sample PDF
The Technology of Writing Assessment and Racial Validity
Chapter 7
Sheila S. Thompson, Annemarie Vaccaro
The purpose of this chapter is to address epistemological and methodological approaches to assessing assessment. The authors’ intent is to show how... Sample PDF
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods as Complementary Assessment Tools
Chapter 8
Teresa Flateby
The development of the Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Assessment online system is described in this chapter. Beginning with needs identified... Sample PDF
Effects of Assessment Results on a Writing and Thinking Rubric
Chapter 9
Barbara D’Angelo, Barry Maid
Outcomes-based assessment provides data for programs to demonstrate student learning as a result of their enrollment in the program and to assess... Sample PDF
Assessing Outcomes in a Technical Communication Capstone
Chapter 10
Sonya Borton, Alanna Frost, Kate Warrington
As Jacqueline Jones Royster articulated at the 2006 Conference on College Composition and Communication, English departments are already assessing... Sample PDF
Assessing the Composition Program on Our Own Terms
Chapter 11
Joan Aitken
This chapter uses a case study to exemplify one approach to assessment of three instructional delivery formats: (a) online, (b) distance, satellite... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Instructional Delivery Formats
Chapter 12
Victor W. Brunsden
The author present a case-study of a classroom technique that allows assessment and some remediation of several shortcomings of college student... Sample PDF
Inverting the Remedial Mathematics Classroom with Alternative Assessment
Chapter 13
David A. Eubanks
This chapter describes Coker College’s subjective performance assessment program to rate student thinking and communication skills. It uses a... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Authentic Assessment
Chapter 14
P. Tokyo Kang, David Gugin
This chapter reports an outcomes assessment study conducted at the University of Guam. The assessment project was conducted during the 2006-07 and... Sample PDF
Outcomes Assessment in Japanese Language Instruction
Chapter 15
Barika Barboza, Frances Singh
This chapter describes an outcomes assessment study completed in a basic composition course at a small urban open admissions community college. The... Sample PDF
Assessing the Effectiveness of a Basic Writing Course
Chapter 16
Lorraine Gilpin, Yasar Bodur, Kathleen Crawford
Peer assessment holds tremendous potential to positively impact the development of preservice teachers. The purpose of this chapter is to describe... Sample PDF
Peer Assessment for Development of Preservice Teachers
Chapter 17
Charlotte Brammer, Rhonda Parker
In 2002, Samford University began working on a long-term learning assessment plan designed to evaluate its undergraduates’ competencies in written... Sample PDF
Workshops and E-Portfolios as Transformational Assessment
Chapter 18
Daniel F. Chambliss
This chapter describes how the trend favoring assessment initiatives of a system-wide scope such as program review and collegiate learning... Sample PDF
A Neglected Necessity in Liberal Arts Assessment: The Student as the Unit of Analysis
Chapter 19
Deirdre Pettipiece, Timothy Ray, Justin Everett
Perhaps due to its applicability as a performance of skill sets in virtually all disciplines, writing as a mechanism for measuring student success... Sample PDF
Redefining Writing Reality Multi-Modal Writing and Assessment
Chapter 20
Sean A. McKitrick
This chapter introduces methods that can be used to engage faculty in the assessment process, working within a shared governance structure in... Sample PDF
Engaging Faculty as a Strategic Choice in Assessment
Chapter 21
Steven M. Culver, Ray VanDyke
There is much in the assessment literature about the necessity of developing a culture of assessment and mandates from accrediting bodies include... Sample PDF
Developing a Receptive and Faculty-Focused Environment for Assessment
Chapter 22
John Wittman
This chapter argues that as primary stakeholders in writing program assessment, students and instructors need to be included proactively in... Sample PDF
New Collaborations for Writing Program Assessment
Chapter 23
Mya Poe
The study of racial-ethnic group differences on educational tests has yielded a substantial body of research internationally in the last decade. In... Sample PDF
Reporting Race and Ethnicity in International Assessment
Chapter 24
Joan Hawthorne, Tatyana Dumova, April Bradley, Daphne Pederson
In this chapter the authors describe a method developed to assess the outcome of a “cultural familiarity” general education goal. Challenges in... Sample PDF
Method Development for Assessing a Diversity Goal
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