ERIC Number: ED420665
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Unit Record Versus Aggregate Data: Perspectives on Postsecondary Education, Data Collection, Retention, and Release. Final Report of the Working Group.
Stevens, David; McGuire, Michael
The Steering Committee of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative established a Unit Record versus Aggregate Data Working Group in 1996 to identify and assess data sharing methods that are needed to advance the understanding of how postsecondary students are served, and with what outcomes. Most mandated record sharing has been through aggregate data methodologies, but some members of the Working Group advocate more widespread development of unit record methodologies. This paper adopts a practical approach to the unit record versus aggregate data topic. It does not argue the universal superiority of unit records over aggregated data, or vice versa. Rather, it examines and evaluates both approaches and the issues that will need to be addressed. After an overview of aggregate data, which refers to data collected at the institutional rather than the unit (student) record level, chapter 2 identifies three stages of data handling that usually involve different responsible parties, legal stipulations, and funding streams: collection, sharing, and release to users. Chapter 3 discusses new approaches, and chapter 4 considers the reporting and sharing process. Chapter 5 presents some recommendations for continued work by the Working Group, with a focus on potential linkages of unit record data to assist postsecondary entities in the development of statistics that will meet current demands for accountability. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.