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Assessment versus Research. What is the Difference? Why Does It Matter?

Supporting the Profession Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Mid-Level New Professional
Rishi Sriram

Recently, there has been significant interest and discussion about the roles of assessment and research as functions of student affairs practice. Some considerations include the roles of research in practice and differences between research and assessment activities. In the past decade, student affairs has seen considerable growth in assessment training in graduate programs and institutes, professional organizations, and in conference programming. With this increasing interest, has come a focus on understanding the methods and approaches for conducing high-quality studies. This has been blurred the lines between the concepts, approaches, and activities of assessment and research in student affairs practice.

The purpose of this session is to consider similarities and differences between these concepts and how they relate to practice expectations. The focus, intended for a beginner/foundational audience, will be on establishing and clarifying the language used for assessment and research, expectations of practitioners at multiple levels, and trends in the field. Content will include consideration of definitions of assessment and research, approaches to assessment and research based on definitions and philosophy, project examples of assessment and research, and consideration of what this means for professionals moving forward.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this session, attendees will: 

  • gain foundational knowledge about the concepts of assessment and research;
  • learn approaches to assessment and research based on definitions and philosophy;
  • apply assessment and research processes to student affairs practice; and
  • articulate the need for assessment and research skill development as professional practice.   
Course Length
60 minutes
Course Type
On Demand

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