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Institutional Versus Academic Discipline Measures of Student Experience: A Matter of Relative Validity

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  • Chatman, Steve

Abstract

The University of California’s census survey of undergraduates, UCUES, presents an opportunity to measure both disciplinary and institutional differences in students’ academic experience. Results from nearly 60,000 responses (38% response rate) from the 2006 administration found greater variance among majors within an institution than between equivalent majors across institutions. Cluster analysis techniques were employed to establish disciplinary patterns, with traditional distinctions between hard and soft sciences generally supported. Reporting practices called into question range from institutional comparisons that ignore academic program mix and discipline to campus performance comparisons that do not recognize pedagogical differences by academic major. More specifically, these results suggest that calls for comparable institutional performance measures, as proposed by the Spellings Commission, must take into consideration disciplinary differences in instruction.

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  • Chatman, Steve, 2007. "Institutional Versus Academic Discipline Measures of Student Experience: A Matter of Relative Validity," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt81f4h1nn, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:cshedu:qt81f4h1nn
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    1. Zwick, Rebecca & Brown, Terran & Sklar, Jeffrey C., 2004. "California and the SAT: A Reanalysis of University of California Admissions Data," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt9hf3t044, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregg Thomson and John Aubrey Douglass, 2009. "Decoding Learning Gains: Measuring Outcomes and the Pivotal Role of the Major and Student Backgrounds," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt2173006c, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
    2. Steven Brint, 2009. "THE ACADEMIC DEVOLUTION? Movements to Reform Teaching and Learning in US Colleges and Universities, 1985-2010," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt18j2m7kh, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.

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