Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Program assessment and culture change: Understanding organizational culture change resulting from the development and implementation of student learning outcomes assessment at the program level
by Regjo, Kathryn S., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2014, 195; 3635762
Abstract (Summary)

The following explores the phenomenon of perceived organizational culture change resulting from involvement in the establishment of program-level student learning outcomes assessment at colleges and universities. The goal of the research was to understand what elements of organizational culture may have changed on the part of the faculty and administration during the assessment development and implementation process, and how the combined effects may have shifted elements of organizational culture.

Two primary research questions guided the exploration of perceived organizational culture change. The first question focused on how the process of developing and implementing plans to assess student learning at the program level influences the attitudes, behaviors, values, and practices of faculty. The second question considered ways in which the assessment initiative changed or affected the program's organizational culture.

Critical to answering these research questions for each program studied was an understanding of the assessment development and implementation process. Further, it was important to identify and comprehend those decisions perceived most influential on the organizational culture of the program's faculty and administration.

The review of current knowledge supported and focused on research from the following four areas: 1. a basic history of assessment and the role of accreditation; 2. perceived cultural conflicts associated with assessment; 3. institutional interpretations of assessment; and, 4. research on organizational culture and the change process most relevant to higher education.

The researcher used the qualitative method of case study analysis and focused on efforts at three private liberal arts institutions. Selected from each institution were two programs of study that have successfully established learning goals and methods to measure student learning.

Across the three institutions and six programs studied, common themes and unique features emerged relative to the process of assessment development and the elements indicative of organizational culture change. Further, general assertions emerge concerning how the program's efforts affect attributes of organizational culture.

Both faculty and administrators may benefit from the conclusions of the research. Individuals charged with demonstrating academic integrity as well as those involved in the decision-making process regarding measuring student learning may also find the research valuable.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Armacost, Mary-Linda
Commitee: LeBlanc, Paul, LeGrow, Maryanne, Zemsky, Robert
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Assessment, Organizational change, Organizational culture, Process change, Program assessment, Student learning outcomes
Publication Number: 3635762
ISBN: 978-1-321-17082-5
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