This is a snippet of my post at SA-Exchange.
The idea for this post came from a colleague of mine who was telling me about a new project he had implemented. He explained why he and another colleague had designed the project, what they wanted to do with it, how the roll out happened, what he saw happen based on the one on one interviews he was doing with students, what he thought that meant, and how he changed the program as a result of it. Then he told me how he didn’t feel he had remembered to assess it.
He had, of course, assessed the roll out, and then utilized that information to improve his practice. What he meant was that he hadn’t conducted research on the project. I suspect a lot of student affairs practitioners have similar thoughts, that our assessment needs to be done at the level of academic research.
He also shared with me that he didn’t think he could really do research because he didn’t know what the ethical boundaries were around it.
This post then is going to try to give a very brief overview of what the distinction between assessment and research is, why that’s important, and what the ethical boundaries are, finally leaving you with some questions to ask yourself about ethics and assessment.