Posts Tagged 'Assessment'

CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement webinar today!

Friday, March 21, at 2 p.m. EST.

CIRCLE (the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement) recently received a grant to study college student voting rates.  260 universities and colleges have already signed up including 43 American Democracy Project member institutions.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) presents an unprecedented opportunity for your campus to learn in aggregate numbers:

  • How many of your students are eligible to register to vote
  • How many registered and/or voted, and where (locally or elsewhere)
  •  The way your students voted (regular or absentee ballot)

By participating in this study, your campus will also help build a national database for future research. CIRCLE will be working with de-identified student lists, so your students’ privacy rights are fully protected. This is not a survey!

If you are interested, you can also correlate voting with specific demographic information such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, field of study, and class level. CIRCLE has also been able to provide peer comparisons by Carnegie classification.

To join the study, you must sign up by April 10th 2014.

NSLVE is offering ADP campuses the chance to learn more about what you can do with this data and share what information you would like to know in the future. Take advantage of this opportunity and join this conversation by attending a free webinar TODAY, Friday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

To join the webinar:

For additional specifics, go to the NSLVE page and/or contact Nancy Thomas, NSLVE director, for more information.

#ADPTDC13: Sponsor Spotlight — Lyon Software

We’re excited that for the second year in a row, Lyon Software is a sponsor of the ADP/TDC National Meeting! Lyon Software is also an ADP Partner working to support our Campus & Community Civic Health Initiative. A number of ADP campuses use Lyon Software to track civic engagement and community service efforts on their campuses.

By Jessica Franchino, CBISA Specialist/Event Coordinator, Lyon Software

Lyon SoftwareAt Lyon Software, we believe in helping you and your community achieve a better tomorrow.  We enable our clients to track how their programs and partnerships are working together to improve the communities they serve.  Track both quantitative and qualitative data about your programs to make sure they are meeting the needs of your community and your organization.  Easy reporting features allow you to report to your stakeholders with the click of a button.  Customizable features ensure your community and their specific needs are tracked.  Let us show you a whole new world of data.

Come talk to us and check out our giveaways at our table, which will be set up during the ADP National Meeting!

8 Myths about CIRCLE’s NSLVE: Has Your Campus Signed Up?

Back in November we shared information on this blog about CIRCLE’s new National Study on Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) in this blog post. A number of ADP campuses have since signed up to participate in this free study (no survey completion required). The deadline to participate is March 15, but ADP campuses are being given a one-week extension until March 22!

CIRCLE has revised their FAQ – it’s still long, but it’s clear.  And they’ve streamlined the process, recommending that campuses sign up for the basic study before the March 15 deadline, and then worry about whether they want to participate in a special study or tailor the data fields considered.

CIRCLE also contacted campuses to learn what barriers might prevent their participation.  Based on those responses, they are doing some “myth-busting.”  Here are a few things that CIRCLE heard, and their response to these concerns:

We don’t have time/don’t want to run another survey or assessment.

You don’t have to!  This is NOT a survey.

We don’t want to send CIRCLE our student list.

You don’t.  You send the authorization form to the National Clearinghouse, which already has your list, and they add voting records, de-identify it, and send it to us.

The system seems to protect student privacy.  Does it really?

It’s hard not to say to everyone, “trust us!”  But we worked hard with FERPA lawyers up and down the east coast, and it took us nearly four months to get it right. We don’t want to know who your students are or how an individual voted.  We want to study aggregate rates and patterns and give campuses interesting data..

We need IRB approval.

We can’t speak for individual campuses, but only one campus so far has felt the need to seek an exemption from their IRB.  Why?  Because CIRCLE will be working from de-identified lists. Reports contain aggregate data, not student lists (de-identified or not).

It’s hard to figure out who should sign the form.

Here’s who can sign: presidents, provosts, vice presidents, institutional researchers, and enrollment officers.  We’re keeping track of who signs most, and right now, it’s a dead heat between student affairs officers and institutional researchers.

We don’t want to deal with it now.  We’ll wait for the next round.

Campuses won’t get 2012 numbers for comparison if they wait.  It’s the comparisons with 2014 and 2016 that will make this information really valuable.

March 15 is too soon.  We can’t pull it off.

You have plenty of time  to download the form, find the right person to sign it, and follow the instructions for submission on the bottom.  The average turnaround, based on downloads-to-submission data, is three days. And ADP campuses are being given an extension until March 22!

We can’t just sign this.  We have to read everything and understand it.  And it’s complicated, and no one has the time.

Join an upcoming info session.  There’s one a week, and they run around 30 minutes, give or take a few.  Or email Nancy Thomas (nancy dot thomas at tufts dot edu) with questions. She’s happy to chat with campuses one-on-one.

What We’re Reading: Core Competencies in Civic Engagement and the Bibliography Project

As we focus more on the specific civic knowledge, skills, dispositions and experiences needed to prepare the next generation of citizens for our democracy, the Center for Engaged Democracy at Merrimack College has released a working policy paper: Core Competencies in Civic Engagement. I encourage each of you to read and consider contributing to this effort to identify the essential civic competencies that higher education should be ensuring students develop in college. I also encourage you to contribute to the complementary Bibliography Project, a repository of civic engagement-focused readings that can be incorporated in college courses. You might also want to take a look at the syllabi repository.

- Jen Domagal-Goldman, ADP National Manager

Core Competencies in Civic Engagement and the Bibliography Project

The Center for Engaged Democracy recently held its 3rd annual research institute on The Future of Community Engagement in Higher Education. Over 70 individuals from around the United States and Canada participated in an incredibly dynamic and informative two days of sessions and dialogues.

Several key initiatives included the launch of a Working Policy Paper “Core Competencies in Civic Engagement” (that reviewed and synthesized key competencies of national-level reports, a literature review, and almost 30 academic civic engagement programs — e.g., civic minors — around the country) and the development of a Bibliography Project (that compiled and annotated key texts used in courses within several dozen academic programs in Community Engagement). You can see all of the session materials and syllabi on the Center for Engaged Democracy’s WikiSpace site. The Center will be following up on these and other initiatives in the coming months, including:

  • Offering a pre-session at IARSLCE on the research and practice of academic programs (certificates, minors, and majors) in Community Engagement.
  • Next steps (dialogues, collaborations, and research) with national organizations and academic programs around the just released “Core Competencies in Civic Engagement
  • RFPs for individuals and teams on research and policies related to academic programs in Community Engagement.

Partner Spotlight: NCoC Civic Health Index

NCoC logo

ADP partner and friend NCoC — the National Conference on Citizenship — has announced its deadline for accepting new partners for 2012 civic health initiatives. NCoC plans to finalize all partnerships for 2012 by May 31. Will you join them?

NCoC currently works with cross-sector partners in over 25 communities across the country to use civic health data to measure and understand how our communities and democracy are functioning. We explore everything from the rates at which people are voting and volunteering, to indicators of engagement with neighbors, family, and institutions. This year, we were able to collect new indicators examining pressing issues such as online political engagement, trust of neighbors and confidence in major institutions that will inform 2012 projects.

These partnerships have produced reports, infographics, and initiatives that have been used to drive civic strategies of nonprofits, businesses, and governments. Our partners have used civic health data to pass new civic education legislation, promote statewide voter engagement initiatives, create citizen-driven grant making programs, and more.

We are excited to continue working with our current partners while growing this network to include all 50 states, the 50 largest metropolitan areas, and new demographic focus areas. Our partners serve as authors, funders, and conveners on these projects—giving life to our research, providing critical context for the findings, and preparing recommendations for next steps. Partners also ensure that the information reaches key stakeholders throughout the community. NCoC provides data and analysis, supports project management, leads the design phase, and provides in-depth consultation and support to meet partner needs and objectives.

We invite you to join this growing effort, by bringing the Civic Health Index to your community in 2012. For detailed information on our 2012 partnership opportunities, please visit www.NCoC.net/PartnerRecruitment. To speak further about partnership, please contact Kristi Tate, Director of Community Strategies at ktate@ncoc.net or 202-729-8038. All partnership agreements must be finalized by May 31, 2012.

Learn More About Partnering With NCoC!

Civic Data Challenge Turns Raw Data into Beautiful Community Tools

Civic Data Challenge logoBelieve that communities can take better advantage of key data in their decision making? Want to analyze civic data sets as part of your research or as a course project? Check out ADP partner NCoC’s new Civic Data Challenge!

This week the first-ever Civic Data Challenge launched at the Data 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. It’s a project of ADP partner NCoC (the National Conference on Citizenship) that will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

The Challenge will turn the raw data of “civic health” into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive. NCoC is opening up its data, as well as other data on the important topics of health, safety, education, and the economy.

You’re invited to collaborate with others, analyze the data, and create something amazing to showcase what you find. Designers, data scientists, researchers, and app developers are especially encouraged to join the challenge. And … there will be prizes!

The Challenge opened to the public on April 3 and entries must be received by July 29. Winners will be announced at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship on September 14 in Philadelphia.

The Challenge is presented by NCoC (the National Conference on Citizenship) in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. NCoC and Knight Foundation hope the Challenge will uncover new findings on why community engagement and attachment are critical to building thriving communities.

Join the challenge! http://bit.ly/civdata

Like the Civic Data Challenge on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CivicDataChallenge and follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/civicdata.

Assessing Our Work

By Mark Frederick, Indiana State University

In the Spring, 1993 edition of Peer Review, Caryn McTighe Musil, then AAC&U’s Vice-President for Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives, presented “Faces/Phases of Citizenship,” a developmental learning map” that could easily serve as a rubric for measuring college students’ growth, learning, and development (GLD) in the broad area of citizenship.  With that model, an opportunity came to be where higher education could expect a reliable answer to the simple question “are our students developing meaningful citizenship skills and if so, to what degree?”  And it seems that whenever an opportunity to measure something meaningful presents itself, there will be a social scientist that jumps into the fray to take on the challenges of operationally defining an important construct, collecting data, and reporting results to an educational environment that might or might not be “in the mood” to receive them.  But unlike Jack Nicholson’s Character in the movie “A Few Good Men” where he states “You can’t handle the truth,” those of us in higher education can ill afford to not “handle the truth.”  And the truth as to how and to what degree college students are becoming better citizens is being revealed, to the limits of the instrument, with the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA).

The UniLOA measures student behaviors along seven broad domains, one of which is Citizenship.  To be sure, the UniLOA is a self-report instrument and most of us would prefer to employ direct measurement of student GLD, the resources just aren’t available for us to hire trained observers who will follow students “24/7” to accurately record their behaviors.  Ultimately, we have to rely on self-report, if for no other reason, than it’s the only method of gathering information we can really afford in higher education.  While there is understandably some question as to the reliability of self-reported information, we’ve found remarkable stability and consistency in results patterns over time as students from across the country have reported their behaviors when they are administered the UniLOA.  To that end, and with more than 50,000 student respondents, we’re confident that we have an accurate picture of the current state of citizenship development among college students across the nation.

Unfortunately, the news isn’t particularly good.  Of the seven UniLOA domains, citizenship scores the very lowest and individual items for the domain are well below the mean of other domains’ items.  Of the ten citizenship domain items, “I engage in the political process through voicing viewpoints” holds the honor of being not only the lowest-scored domain question, but indeed, one of the lowest scored questions of the entire UniLOA survey.  The second lowest-scored item suggests that students don’t contribute financially to causes they believe in.  On first blush, low levels of behavior would make sense among perpetually “broke” college students, but it would seem that they miss the point that “contributing” is a process rather than a relative value of the amount of a financial gift and giving just a little begins a process of learning “how” to contribute, regardless of the gift’s size.

Other items on the citizenship domain that score disappointingly low include students’ tendency to not vote as frequently as we’d like, that those that do vote, many fail to adequately research candidates before voting or even reporting that they are able to identify good political leaders based on those leaders’ stated values, voting record, platform or political philosophy.  In addition, students report not keeping themselves informed of current events or are even aware of current issues within their own communities.

The sensitivity of the UniLOA to accurately measure behaviors appears to be strengthened as we contrast scores from 2008-2009 to those of 2007-2008.  Scores were appreciably higher in behaviors such as researching candidates, being aware of current events, and voting in the previous year, a phenomenon we attribute to the heightened focus on political issues in light of the presidential election year that resulted in an appreciable and long-overdue degree of “diversity” occupying the White House.

Unfortunately, the UniLOA didn’t exist when Caryn’s article appeared in 1993 so the instrument hasn’t provided longitudinal data to know if we’re doing better, worse, or just the same in supporting citizenship GLD, but we have a baseline of functioning reflecting college students’ citizenship behaviors today and against which we can contrast behaviors in the future.  Hopefully initiatives like the American Democracy Project, a commitment to engaged learning through community involvement, as well as other national and local projects will serve to eventually improve college students’ citizenship behaviors; that is, if higher education in general sees the value of developing citizenship.  Whether or not higher education in general (based on what institutions DO, not what the merely SAY they do) determines that citizenship is an essential college learning domain is yet to be answered.

A full UniLOA report can be accessed at this website.

Assessing the Impacts of the ADP National Meeting

By Cecilia M. Orphan, American Democracy Project

We need your help.

Did you attend the ADP National Meeting in Providence, RI, in June 2010? If so, please take a moment to fill out this brief, online survey that will help us better understand the impacts of the conference.

Our goal is to assess the actual value of the conference to participants in a few key areas:

  • We are interested in the immediate impact the event had while you were there. We want to know which one or two sessions/events provided you with some kind of information, or connections, that you felt were most important to your growth in supporting the ADP.
  • We want to know what information and/or networks you have used after the conference was over that has/have helped you or improved your civic engagement work.
  • We hope to capture the more complicated outcomes of your involvement and learn how you developed new approaches to civic engagement occurs.

Survey

This is a very short survey, I promise.  It will not take long to complete but your contribution to future American Democracy Project national conferences will be long-lasting. Click here to fill out this brief survey.

Robert Shumer, a Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of Minnesota, created the survey and will be analyzing the results of the survey. We will share the results and use your feedback for future programming.

Thank you in advance for considering this request.


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