ERIC Number: ED446510
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Assessment: A Qualitative Umbrella Shared by Action Research and Institutional Research. AIR 2000 Annual Forum Paper.
Howard, Richard D.; Borland, Kenneth W., Jr.
This paper presents a conceptual model of assessment that defines six sequential, iterative steps: purpose identification; outcomes identification; measurement and evaluation design; data collection; analysis and evaluation; and decision making/action. The conceptual model of assessment closely parallels systematic scientific inquiry, especially the portion of inquiry that corresponds to qualitative research. Therefore, the paper argues that the conduct of assessment based on this model is qualitative research that often takes the form of both action research and institutional research. The paper reviews quantitative and qualitative research paradigms and defines assessment, action research, and institutional research. The conceptual model explains assessment in higher education at all levels of the academy and in regard to all of the academy's ends. Within the parameters of this conceptual model and the purposes of assessment, three primary foci of assessment (classroom assessment, program review, and institutional impact) are discussed. The paper posits that action research and institutional research are the forms of systemic inquiry that support the institution's internal information management and planning needs and the need to meet accountability mandates from external constituencies. It also discusses generalizability, suggesting that generalization is the responsibility of the reader and not the institutional researcher. (Contains 11 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (40th, Cincinnati, OH, May 21-24, 2000).