Measuring What Matters: A Case Study of Measurement Development Methods for Institutionally Identified Student Learning Outcomes
Shefman, Pamelyn Klepal
Horn, Catherine L.
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Divisions of student affairs are impacted by an increased demand for accountability and the assessment of student learning in the co curricular must be addressed. This study documented the measurement development processes for a student affairs division at a large, urban research institution. The research question for this study was: What processes did departments within a division of student affairs at a large urban research university use to develop assessment measures of student learning outcomes? A case study of a student affairs division from a large metropolitan area in the mid-western United States (MMU, a four-year high research university) was conducted for academic year 2012-2013. In the year of this study, there were eight departments within the Division of Student Affairs at MMU; six of which participated. The methods employed in this study included: interviews of leadership within the Division of Student Affairs and document analysis of 34 instruments. A significant contribution of this study was the identification of the development methods used for assessment instruments across a division intended to measure institutionally defined student learning outcomes. Findings from this study include themes of resources and timing for development. The study assists in understanding implications for practice, including the resources divisions of student affairs need to address accountability to constituents.