Development of a National Survey to Assess Student Learning Outcomes of Community-Based Research

Gary Lichtenstein, Martin Tombari, Trisha Thorme, Nick Cutforth


With the goal of codifying student learning outcomes of commu- nity-based research (CBR), the authors created a conceptually valid and statistically reliable CBR Student Learning Outcomes Survey. The project began with individual interviews and focus groups with 70 undergraduates and faculty at six colleges and universities nationwide discussing perceived benefits of CBR. Based on analyses of these interviews, five CBR outcome con- structs were derived: academic skills, educational experience, civic engagement, professional skills, and personal growth. The survey was piloted online in spring 2009 to students who had experienced CBR from 15 colleges and universities (N = 166). Factor analyses revealed strong statistical reliability across survey constructs. The authors invite faculty to use the instrument to assess CBR courses and invite students who have experienced CBR to complete the survey online through spring 2012, as part of a national study of CBR outcomes.

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