Instruments and Measures

"I know it when I see it". It is easy to assess if a student knows the facts about a community in need. It is not as easy to assess a students' display of self-agency or innovative thinking while working with a community in need. How do we capture the transformative learning experiences of our students?

Students' development of the 5 engaged learning competencies can seem obvious to their instructors, but capturing that development in ways that can be articulated for those not involved can be challenging. Below are resources to help you plan and implement an assessment.

sort descending Measure Measure type Learning Goal

Performance descriptors include:

  • Contributes to Team Meetings
  • Facilitates the Contributions of Team Members
  • Individual Contributions Outside of Team Meetings
  • Fosters Constructive Team Climate
  • Responds to Conflict

Cost: Free"

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Teamwork behavior Direct
  • Communication

Validated for university students. Using a computerized tool, participants are asked to inflate a balloon on the computer screen. Each click that inflates the balloon accrues $0.05 in a bank visible on the screen. Participants are free to “collect the money” at any point, until the balloon pops, at which point all money accrued goes back to $0.00 and a new balloon appears. Participants get 10 balloons, and the total amount of money collected is reported at the end.

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Risk behavior Indirect
  • Self-Agency

Validated 18-item instrument for university students, but not yet validated for pretest/posttest outcomes, using a 4-point scale (Disagree—Agree). Sample items include:

  • “The most important role of an effective career counselor or advisor is to be an expert on a variety of career options.”
  • “In my opinion, the most important role of an effective counselor or advisor is to direct students to information that will help them to make a decision on their own.”"

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Self-agency Indirect
  • Self-Agency

65-item self-report scale regarding students’ self-reported civic skills, attitudes and action plans.

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Multidimensional Indirect
  • Responsibilty

33-item test on concepts of significance in United States government and history

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Knowledge Direct
  • Responsibilty

Full version: 87 items
Short version: 33 items
Items load onto five factors:

  1. Contributing to team’s work
  2. Interacting with teammates
  3. Keeping the team on track
  4. Expecting quality
  5. Having relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities

Cost: Free; must request free account

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Teamwork Direct
  • Communication

This is a self-report measure of the frequency and scope of one’s creative  achievement in 11 domains (e.g., visual arts, scientific discovery, inventions, creative writing). Sample items include, “My work has been reviewed in national
publications” (creative writing) and “I have received a grant to pursue my work in science or medicine” (scientific discovery). It exhibits acceptable validity.

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Product Direct
  • Creativity

Validated 8-item instrument for undergraduate students, using a 5-point scale (Strongly Disagree—Strongly Agree). Sample items include:

  • “I will be able to achieve most of the goals that I have set for myself in a creative way.”
  • “I am confident that I can perform creatively on many different tasks.”

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Creative self-efficacy  Indirect
  • Self-Agency

Score 0-4 given by a reviewer, on various dimensions related to creative thinking such as taking risks, solving problems, innovative thinking, etc.
0 = Does not meet benchmark
1 = Benchmark
2 & 3 = Milestones
4 = Capstone

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Process - Creative thinking Direct
  • Creativity
  • Self-Agency

7-item rubric for coding written work on a 6-point scale using evidence of critical and integrative thinking.

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Knowledge Skills Direct
  • Responsibilty

Validated 20-item self-report & observer report questionnaires. Measures one’s ability to effectively work and appropriately behave in a culturally diverse environment. Measures include:

  • Metacognitive strategy
  • Cognitive knowledge
  • Motivation
  • Behavior

Other notes: Free

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Knowledge Attitudes Indirect
  • Intercultural

5 vignettes of ethical dilemmas each with 12 items of various relevant considerations for indicating degree of importance on a 5-point response scale

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"Skills Values" Direct
  • Responsibilty

Score 0-10 given by a reviewer ; 3-level flowchart:
Q1. Is it technically feasible? 
(no = 0; yes = Q2)
Q2. Is it technically difficult for the context? 
(no = Q3; yes = 4)
Q3. Is it an existing solution?
(no = 7; yes = 10)"

See Figure 2 in link below

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Product - Feasibility Direct
  • Self-Agency

This is most often used in team-based classroom assignments. Given 100 points to divide among team members, students assign each team member a score based on the extent to which they believe their teammates contributed to the overall team performance. An individual student’s grade is then based on their average peer ratings, multiplied by the group score.

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Teamwork Direct
  • Communication

Score 0-10 given by a reviewer
0 = Common
2.5 = Somewhat Interesting
5 = Interesting
7.5 = Very Interesting
10 = Innovative

See Table 1 in link below

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Product - Originality Direct
  • Self-Agency

Defines global learning as the analysis of global systems and their implications for people’s lives and the earth’s sustainability. Measures include:

  • Global self-awareness
  • Perspective taking
  • Cultural diversity
  • Personal & social responsibility
  • Understanding global systems
  • Applying knowledge to contemporary global contexts

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"Knowledge Skills" Direct
  • Intercultural

This measures the number of adjectives that students use to describe themselves and which represent characteristics of creative personality. It exhibits acceptable reliability and validity.

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Person Indirect
  • Creativity

Example focus question: After students watch a clip of an interaction between two individuals, the clip pauses and asks, “What do you think he will respond? Explain why you think this will happen? What do you think might be a likely response in your culture?”

  • Use Steglitz (1993) coding scheme to evaluate student discussion for instances of intercultural engagement

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"Knowledge Skills" Direct
  • Intercultural

Made up of 6 distinct rubrics measuring:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Collaborative Patient/Client-Family Centered Approach
  • Team Functioning
  • Conflict Management/Resolution

Cost: Free
Note: developed for health care fields, but adaptable to other disciplines

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Collaboration Direct
  • Communication

Validated 55-item self-report questionnaire. Measures one’s potential ability to adjust to a foreign culture. Measures include:

  • Emotion regulation
  • Openness
  • Flexibility
  • Critical thinking

Other notes: Easy to use, and a small fee ($15/booklet)

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"Knowledge Attitudes" Indirect
  • Intercultural

Validated 50-item self-report questionnaire. Measures development of a one’s attitude toward another culture along the six stages of ethnocentrism to ethnorelativism. Questions pertain to:

  • Cross-cultural goals
  • Challenges navigating cultural differences
  • Critical intercultural incidents
  • Ways to navigate cultural differences

Other notes: Expensive fees and requires extensive training (over $1000 including training)

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Knowledge Attitudes Indirect
  • Intercultural

Defines intercultural knowledge as the cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies that support cultural interactions. Measures include:

  • Cultural self-awareness
  • Knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks
  • Empathy
  • Verbal/nonverbal communication
  • Curiosity
  • Openness 

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"Knowledge Attitudes" Direct
  • Intercultural

Validated 78-item survey for workplace settings, using a 4-point scale (Never—Always). Sample items include:

  • “People are encouraged to solve problems creatively in this organization.”
  • “I have the freedom to decide how I am going to carry out my projects.”
  • “Generally, I can get the resources I need for my work.”"

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Support for innovation Indirect
  • Self-Agency

This instrument was designed for students to report how they perceive support from their instructors with regard to autonomy. 15-item survey (long form) or 6-item (short form) survey, using a 7-point scale (strongly disagree--strongly agree). Sample items include:

  • I feel that my instructor provides me choices and options.
  • My instructor conveyed confidence in my ability to do well in the course.
  • My instructor tries to understand how I see things before suggesting a new way to do things.

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Perceived autonomy support Indirect
  • Self-Agency
  • Artifacts presented in ePortfolios can include reflection papers, term papers, photos, and other documentation of student learning.
  • Rubrics such as the AAC&U VALUE Rubric on Creative Thinking & competence can help guide assessment.
  • Rubrics such as the AAC&U VALUE Rubric on Intercultural knowledge & competence can help guide assessment.

Students may self-evaluate through reflective practice:

  • Self-Assessment and Awareness: students identify success-related competencies
  • Goal Setting: students indicate short and longer term goals, as well as connect personal values and life purpose to the motivation behind their goals
  • Planning: students locate programs, information, people, and opportunities to support and reality test their goals"

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"Knowledge Skills Attitudes" Direct
  • Creativity
  • Intercultural
  • Responsibilty

24 items loaded onto 3 factors:

  1. Self-perceived ability to work with others
  2. Value in working with others
  3. Comfort in working with others

Survey items have been validated
Cost: Free
Note: developed for health care fields, but adaptable other disciplines

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Beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes Indirect
  • Communication

Students answer a standardized four-question protocol in response to a researcher-generated issue. Responses are coded on two dimensions of problem-solving. Locus is two items and uses a 7-point scale based on the extent to which problem is defined to be individual or global. Complexity is two items and uses a 4-point scale to assess the number of problems and degree of elaboration in explaining them.

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Knowledge Skills Direct
  • Responsibilty

This measure of students’ convergent thinking processes gives a series of three seemingly unrelated cue words and requires respondents to think of the fourth word that is linked to them. For example the prompts “rocking,” “wheel,” and “high” are all linked to the word “chair.” It exhibits acceptable reliability and validity.

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Process Direct
  • Creativity

Validated 7-item instrument for university students. Total number of items = 7; scale from 1(totally agree) to 9 (totally disagree):

  • “I prefer to avoid risks.”
  • “I usually view risks as a challenge.”

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Risk propensity Indirect
  • Self-Agency

Validated 24-item instrument for university students, using a 5-point scale (Disagree—Agree). Sample items include:

  • “I tend to make decisions based on what people I admire think is best, even if it isn’t always what I think is best.”
  • “When I set a goal for myself, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to achieve it.” 

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Self-agency Indirect
  • Self-Agency

Free-writing exercise, self-portrait, and interview; participants asked to describe themselves, the role(s) others play in their lives, and how they acquire knowledge:

  • “What elements make you who you are and why are those elements most important to describe you?”

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Self-agency Direct
  • Self-Agency

This is a self-report, 11-item Likert-scale that measures selfperceptions of one’s creative ability. It exhibits acceptable reliability and validity.

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Person Indirect
  • Creativity

22-item self-report scale regarding students attitudes about responsibility to others

See Table 3 for scale items

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Values Indirect
  • Responsibilty

Steglitz coding scheme for discussion forum is divided in 3 levels:

  • Level 1 – No cultural explanation
  • Level 2 – Unspecific cultural explanation
  • Level 3 – Specific & elaborated cultural explanation

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Knowledge Direct
  • Intercultural

19 items measuring 3 factors:

  1. Team dynamics
  2. Team acquaintance
  3. Instructor support

Cost: Free"

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Attitudes Indirect
  • Communication

This is a 15-item Likert‑scale assessment that was originally developed for use with gifted children in K-12. It is used by an observer to evaluate the quality of students’ creative products.

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Product Direct
  • Creativity

Assesses: 

  1. Conflict resolution
  2. Collaborative problem solving
  3. Communication
  4. Goal setting/management
  5. Planning and task coordination

Cost: $312.80 for 10 tests/1 Manual + fees

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Teamwork knowledge & skills Direct
  • Communication

Students rate their team as a whole for how frequently they display certain behaviors, using a 32-item questionnaire.
Score system ranges from 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always). Sample items include:

  • Our team feels that we are all in it together and share responsibilities for the team’s success or failure.
  • The team leader is democratic and collaborative.
  • We argue a lot even though we agree on the real issues.

Cost: Free

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Teamwork Direct
  • Communication