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First Two Years Project Cathy Crosby-Currie Christine Zimmerman Bringing Theory to Practice March 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "First Two Years Project Cathy Crosby-Currie Christine Zimmerman Bringing Theory to Practice March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 First Two Years Project Cathy Crosby-Currie Christine Zimmerman Bringing Theory to Practice March 2007

2 Modeling the Multiple Influences on Civic Development and Well-Being

3 Astins Theory of Involvement: I-E-O Model

4 Terenzinis General Conceptual Model of College Influence on Student Learning Terenzini, P., Springer, L., Pascarella, E., Nora, A.(1995). Influences Affecting the Development of Students Critical Thinking Skills. Research in Higher Education, 36,

5 Methodological Considerations

6 Experimental v. Quasi-Experimental Design Key difference between experimental and quasi-experimental Researchers control over the input variable Experimental: YES! -> cause/effect conclusions Quasi-Experimental: NO! -> examine relationships Control v. comparison groups

7 Experimental v. Quasi-Experimental Design Quasi-experimental power comes from: Ability to detect change through design e.g., interrupted time series design Equivalence of comparison group to experimental group

8 Longitudinal v. Cross-Sectional Designs Cross-sectional: Comparing groups of different ages at one point in time Convenient but lacks statistical and conceptual power Longitudinal: Comparing individuals to themselves across time Multiple cohorts is ideal

9 St. Lawrences Quasi-Experimental, Longitudinal Design Participants: Two Cohorts – Selected Students from Classes 09 and 10 Experimental Group – students in Brown College Second year added a second experimental group Comparison Group – non-equivalent group matched on key variables of interest Comparison Group Sample II.xls

10 St. Lawrences Quasi-Experimental, Longitudinal Design Data Collection Pretest (9/05 & 9/06) Posttest (2/06 & 2/07) Follow-up (4/07 & 4/08)

11 Challenges of Quasi-Experimental and/or Longitudinal Designs Creating comparison group(s) Participant attrition Communication incl. letter from president Personalized letters & Contacting students multiple times/multiple ways Accommodate students schedules Institutional Review Board Approval Reframe as a positive contribution to your research not a hurdle to overcome

12 Challenges of Measurement Valid and Reliable Measures Direct - Indirect Measures Quantitative - Qualitative Data Process - Outcomes Measures

13 Reliability Random error (noise) Systematic error (bias) … is the consistency or repeatability of responses

14 Reliability (cont.) Ways to increase data reliability: Clear directions Clear questions Consistent order of questions Clear survey layout Trained proctors/interviewers Consistent data entry and scoring

15 Reliability (cont.) Pilot-test your study Test-retest your survey Focus-group survey or interview questions Include similar questions in same questionnaire How to assess the reliability of your instrument:

16 Validity … the extent to which the instrument truthfully measures what we want to measure How well does the instrument content match what we want to measure? Do respondents interpret the questions correctly? Do respondents answers reflect what they think? Are the inferences we make from this study accurate? Can they be generalized?

17 Validity (cont.) Use multiple measures and multiple methods Derive measures from literature review & existing research / participate in national survey instruments and tests Expert review Pilot-test your own survey How to establish validity:

18 Direct – Indirect Measures Direct MeasuresIndirect Measures Portfolio Essay/reflection Performance task/test Actual student behavior Self-reported behavior, attitudes, gains Grades Participation rates Time spent at task Direct: tangible, actual evidence Indirect: proxy for what we try to measure

19 Qualitative – Quantitative Measures Qualitative MeasuresQuantitative Measures Focus groups Structured interviews Self-reflections/diaries Open-ended survey questions Surveys with closed questions (Likert scale, check list, etc.) Grades Actuary data such as participation rates, attendance, etc. Qualitative: unit of data = words Quantitative: unit of data = numbers

20 Process – Outcomes Measures Process Measures What did we do? (=data to demonstrate the implementation of an activity/program) Outcomes Measures What are the results? (= data used to measure the achievement of an objective/goal) Initial Intermediate Long term

21 Administrative Challenges And Best Practices Buy-in and Support Form campus partnerships early on Build on existing data collections Institutional survey cycles and survey timing Copyrights of survey instruments Liability for use of certain measures Survey recruitment & retention

22 Select Survey Instruments and Literature

23 Sampling of Survey Instruments Entering Student Survey CIRP Freshman Survey (HERI, UCLA) College Students Expectations Questionnaire CSXQ (Indiana) Enrolled Undergraduate Students/Alumni As a continuation of CIRP: Your First College Year/College Senior Survey As a continuation of CSXQ: College Student Experience Questionnaire (CSEQ) National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Consortia Senior and Alumni Surveys (e.g. HEDS. COFHE)

24 Sampling of Survey Instruments Depression/Mental Health Measures Becks Depression Inventory (BDI II) Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI) Optimism/Pessimism/Happiness Scales Mehrabian Optimism/Pessimism Scale Alcohol/Drugs/General Wellness CORE Alcohol And Other Drugs Survey ACHA-NCHA

25 Sampling of Survey Instruments Civic Development (from Lynn Swaner) CASA TELEPHONE SURVEY INSTRUMENT Other National Surveys HERI Faculty Survey Other In-House Institutional Surveys Course evaluations Program evaluations Satisfaction studies

26 Select Literature The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2003): Depression, Substance Abuse, and College Student Engagement: A Review of the Literature. Report to The Charles Engelhard Foundation and The Bringing Theory to Practice Planning Group. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2005): Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Engaged Learning: Summary of Findings from CASAs Focus Groups and National Survey. Report to Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation for the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Swaner, L.E. (2005). Linking Engaged Learning, Student Mental Health and Well-being, and Civic Development: A Review of the Literature. Prepared for BTtoP

27 Select Literature Pascarella, E., Terenzini, P.(1991). How College Affects Students: Findings and Insights from Twenty Years of Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bringle, R. G., Phillips, M.A., Hudson, M. (2004). The measure of service learning: Research scales to assess student experiences. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association Suskie, L. (1996). Questionnaire Survey Research: What works. Tallahassee: Association for Institutional Research

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