An in-depth look at one of a valuable tools for assessing student learning outcomes
Longitudinal assessments, in which researchers track the experiences of individual students over a predetermined period of time, are powerful tools for measuring college student learning outcomes and for institutional planning, policy, and program design. This volume in the critically acclaimed New Directions for Institutional Research comprises contributions from leading experts in the field from institutions of higher learning nationwide who focus on three key aspects of longitudinal assessment, namely, methodology, data collection, and the application of findings in the crafting of institutional improvement initiatives.
Table of ContentsEditor's Notes (Tricia A. Seifert).
1. The Importance of Longitudinal Pretest-Posttest Designs inEstimating College Impact (Tricia A. Seifert, Ernest T.Pascarella, Sherri I. Erkel, Kathleen M. Goodman)This chapter examines the prevalence of longitudinalpretest-posttest designs in higher education literature andpresents an empirical example to demonstrate the value of thesedesigns in identifying the impact of college experiences on studentlearning.
2. What Incentives Can Teach Us About Missing Data inLongitudinal Assessment (Georgianna L. Martin, Chad N.Loes)This chapter investigates the role of incentives in reducing sampleattrition and item nonresponse within a multi-institutionallongitudinal study that used various incentive structures.
3. Required, Practical, or Unnecessary? An Examination andDemonstration of Propensity Score Matching Using LongitudinalSecondary Data (Ryan D. Padgett, Mark H. Salisbury,Brian P. An, Ernest T. Pascarella)Using pretest-posttest data, this chapter examines theeffectiveness of propensity score matching techniques compared toother analytic approaches in estimating the effect of a collegeexperience on an educational outcome.
4. Using Longitudinal Data to Improve the Experiences andEngagement of First-Year Students (James S. Cole, AliKorkmaz)This chapter discusses how institutions can connect students' highschool engagement with their experiences and engagement duringtheir first year of college.
5. Using Longitudinal Mixed-Methods Research to Look atUndeclared Students (Pauline J. Reynolds, Jacob P. K.Gross, Bill Millard, Jerry Pattengale)This chapter explores the benefi ts of using a mixed-methodslongitudinal approach in studying the effects of a specifi cintervention on student outcomes. The authors highlight the needfor such approaches when institutional researchers seek to sharepractice-relevant information about complex phenomena.
6 Moving from Assessment to InstitutionalImprovement (Charles F. Blaich, Kathleen S.Wise)This chapter discusses the evolution of the Wabash Study from amixed-methods longitudinal research project to having a moreintentional assessment focus on participating campuses. The authorsdetail the challenge and opportunity campuses face in using studydata to foster institutional improvement.
7 Using Longitudinal Assessment Data to Improve Retention andStudent Experiences (Carol Trosset, StevenWeisler)This chapter describes an institutional researcher’s effortsto use data to initiate a conversation about studentcharacteristics, the student experience, and persistence to thesecond year. The authors discuss challenges and opportunities forfacilitating institutional action.