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Community college faculty attitudes and concerns about student learning outcomes assessment

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Title: Community college faculty attitudes and concerns about student learning outcomes assessment
Author(s): Fontenot, Janet
Director of Research: Bragg, Debra D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Bragg, Debra D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Ikenberry, Stanley O.; Ryan, Katherine E.; Cain, Timothy R.
Department / Program: Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline: Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ed.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): student learning outcomes assessment concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) community college faculty attitudes toward student learning outcomes assessment faculty involvement in student learning outcomes assessment community college faculty
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify the attitudes and concerns community college faculty have about student learning outcomes assessment and to further explore the relationship between these factors and faculty levels of involvement in assessment activities. Combining the conceptual frameworks of the concerns-based adoption Model (CBAM) and the framework developed by the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement project, an online survey was developed to measure the attitudes, concerns, and levels of involvement in student learning outcomes assessment of full-time Illinois community college faculty. The sample for the study was full-time faculty employed at four Illinois community colleges participating in the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy for Assessment of Student Learning. A Principal Component Extraction with Varimax Rotation was conducted on the constructs of faculty attitudes and levels of involvement. These PCs were used as variables for the multivariate analysis. Principal components associated with the faculty attitudes construct were Benefits and Reluctance. The principal components identified for the involvement construct were Classroom or Instruction, Institutional, and External Involvement. Demographic variables of tenure status, academic discipline, and number of years employed at the institution were examined to identify any differences that may occur between faculty in these groups. Results indicated faculty were moderately involved in student learning outcomes assessment at the classroom or instructional level but their involvement declined at the institutional level and with external assessment activities. Moderate to weak relationships were identified in faculty attitudes toward the benefits of assessment based on the academic discipline in which faculty members perform their primary teaching responsibilities. This result suggests there are differences between the hard-pure (e.g., biology, chemistry, math) and both the soft-pure (e.g., communications, English, psychology, social sciences) and soft-applied disciplines (e.g., accounting, business, allied health, education) on the subscales of Classroom or Instructional and Institutional involvement. Faculty teaching in the hard-pure discipline reported lower levels of involvement in student learning outcomes assessment at the classroom or instructional and institutional levels than faculty teaching in the soft-pure or soft-applied disciplines. The hard-pure discipline also reported lower levels of involvement for the Institutional subscale. Faculty concerns about assessment were categorized using the CBAM protocol suggested by Hall et al. (1973) and the responses were categorized primarily as Stage 2, personal concerns; Stage 3, management concerns; and Stage 4, consequence concerns. Findings showed faculty are concerned about the amount of time it takes to conduct assessment, the perception that assessment is being conducted primarily to meet compliance mandates, and a distrust of how assessment results are used within the institution. These concerns were not related to demographics of tenure status, academic discipline, and number of years employed at the institution.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34321
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Janet Smith Fontenot
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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