Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 3-5 ARL Service Academy

We finished with quantitative analysis methods on day 3 by learning about statistical reliability and validity. The reliability coefficient basically tells you if your scores measure something. Validity will tell you if they measure the correct thing.

We then spent about an hour with everyone in the group discussing the various types of assessment that is going on in their universities. One common theme was that LEADERSHIP is the most important success indicator of an assessment program.

After that we moved on to two and a half days of qualitative analysis including an intensive day and a half on the amazing software program Atlas.ti. Atlas.ti takes textual data (such as comments from a survey or focus group notes) and allows you to code them and then analyze the data based on your coding. For me one of the most amazing things Atlas.ti can do is allow you to create visual representations of your codes and concepts in what they call NETWORKS. Then you can create and name the linkages. It allows you to put a very structured overlay on unstructured data. It was amazing and a little overwhelming at the same time.

Overall the Service Quality Academy was exhausting but well worth the time if you are interested in how to measure the impact of your service on your user population.

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