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ERIC Number: EJ931467
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0579
Reconciling (Seemingly) Discrepant Findings: Implications for Practice and Future Research
Bowman, Nicholas A.; Herzog, Serge
New Directions for Institutional Research, n150 p113-120 Sum 2011
Decades of research in survey methodology and psychology have yielded important insights about how to create effective and valid survey instruments. As Porter (in press) has argued convincingly, college student surveys often fall well short of these standards by placing unrealistic demands on students' memory and by assuming that students readily understand complex, vague terminology. Given strong reliance on college student surveys for research and assessment purposes (Gonyea, 2005), surprisingly few studies directly examined the validity of student self-report data until very recently. This volume of "New Directions for Institutional Research" provides insights into these issues through seven empirical studies of the validity and limitations of college student self-report data, with a primary focus on self-reported gains. Most of this research demonstrates limitations and concerns with prevalent interpretations of self-report data, but some findings lend support to such use in certain circumstances. In this article, the authors review some of the key findings from these chapters. They believe that all of the results are "correct" in an important sense of the word, and some of the key insights in this volume pertain to the conditions under which self-reported gains do (or do not) produce trustworthy information about college student learning and development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A