ASQ - Education Division

Understanding Reliability in Higher Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Abstract: Quality Approaches in Higher Education Vol. 2 (2) Dec 2011 article by Kenneth Royal. This article addresses some of the most common misconceptions about reliability in the higher education Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) arena and encourages practitioners to be more attentive to the details of calculating, interpreting, and reporting estimates of reliability. The article provides an overview of reliability and the factors that influence it, discusses the most commonly used types of reliability in SLO assessment, and provides guidance on how to effectively interpret and report such measures. The information presented should be particularly helpful to SLO practitioners who need a brief primer on reliability, ponder how to construct better assessment instruments, have an interest in making appropriate inferences about assessment results, and are concerned with reporting findings accurately and responsibly.

Keywords: Quality Approaches in Higher Education - Learning Outcomes

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