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ERIC Number: EJ911033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Here's Looking at You: Transparency, Institutional Self-Presentation, and the Public Interest
McCormick, Alexander C.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v42 n6 p35-43 Nov 2010
In this article, the author examines various forms of public reporting of student engagement information. Some are controlled by third parties and others by the institutions themselves. He looks at four third-party efforts: (1) the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE); (2) the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA); (3) Transparency by Design (TbD); and (4) the institutionally authorized online publication of results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) by the daily newspaper "USA TODAY" (USAT). The Center for Community College Student Engagement (which houses CCSSE) recently introduced a new survey focused on the early experience of entering community college students; while this review focuses on CCSSE, it applies equally to the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), which uses a comparable reporting framework. The four initiatives examined in this article represent a significant advance in the movement for transparency by providing a common framework for the display of comparable information about the student experience for all participating institutions. The institutions involved deserve credit for electing to participate when that decision means ceding control over which institutional results will be displayed and the form that display will take, as well as the danger that the complex information presented will be used by others in simplistic and reductionist rankings enterprises. In the final section, the author advances some propositions regarding the promise, limitations, and potential dangers of transparency. He argues that transparency efforts need to move beyond institution-level summary measures to reveal how the student experience varies within campuses, and also that one needs to move the discussion beyond comparing institutions on the results of a given assessment to what institutions actually do with assessment results--what improvement plans are put in motion and whether they achieve the desired effects. (Contains 1 table and 15 resources.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement