National Collegiate Honors Council
A Meaningful and Useful Twofer: Enhancing Honors Students’ Research Experiences While Gathering Assessment Data
Date of this Version
Honors in Practice 16 (2020)
Engaging students in assessment practice benefits honors students, faculty, and administrators. Students gain meaningful research experience while honors programs receive data to help assess student learning and prepare for program review. A one-semester course, Program Evaluation Experiences, tasks students (n = 10) with collecting and analyzing data from peers and faculty and then articulating its value for their personal academic development. Qualitative and quantitative instruments and measures include an online survey (Qualtrics), personal interviews (Rev), and focus groups (rev, n = 30). Students complete various analyses of data using SPSS and NVivo. Results indicate that students’ active participation in applied research methods for program assessment benefits both student and program and, because anchored in student experience, helps to reveal data that might otherwise remain unexpressed. The author asserts that this type of hands-on learning provides honors students with a wide range of practical experience not offered in non-honors curricula. A short history of program assessment in honors is provided.
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