Summer 2014 Issue Available

Issue on Qualitative Methods is available in Flipbook and PDF format   |    Email Article

The Summer 2014 issue of RPA opens with a thought provoking special feature that posits readers should examine important professional assumptions by asking the question of “assessment for whom?” Here, the authors, Wall, Hursh, and Rodgers call for assessment to be an ethical and values-based social practice and argue that assessment methods, including qualitative approaches, should be used to complement this practice.

Five peer-reviewed articles that employ qualitative methods comprise most of this issue. Jonson, Guetterman, and Thompson call for a broader understanding of the ways in which assessment results are used for improvement. Danley-Scott and Scott provide a perspective on assessment from non-tenure track faculty through their analysis of survey comments from these faculty members. Ariovich and Walker conducted focus groups with faculty and students to examine how a redesigned developmental math course impacted not only student learning, but also student and faculty attitudes toward redesigned courses. Applying a qualitative framework to enhance the context of institutional data, Gustafson, Daniels and Smulski utilized multiple methods to examine how an institutional mission is being met. MacDonald, Williams, Lazowski, Horst, and Barron used a semi-structured interview approach to better understand the attitudes general education faculty have toward assessment.

In the reviews, Monaghan comments on the Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs a qualitative study of students who engage in an extended study abroad/ service learning experience service before entering college and how those experiences impact global perspectives. Kennedy-Phillips reviews Building a Culture of Evidence in Student Affairs, an edited volume designed to help student affairs leaders develop strong assessment efforts on campus. Martin reviews Paying for the Party: How Colleges Maintain Inequality, an interview study that examines the impact of social class on the experience of college women.

The Notes in Brief provided by Blaney, Filer, and Lyon offers an example of qualitative assessment of experiential learning using NVivo software. We also encourage you to consider your viewpoint, as well as the points of view of others, as you reflect upon the photographs showcased in Ruminate. The photographs by Qozop remind us that changing our outlook can begin simply by changing what we see. We hope your engagement with the contributions of this issue provides you with a welcome change.

The full Summer 2014 issue may be viewed here:

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