Position Papers

The Outcomes Assessment and Research Committee has identified major issues and trends that define the current scope of research focusing on the assessment of U.S. student learning abroad. Committee members have produced brief, exploratory position papers that address some of these issues and trends in order to stimulate discussion and debate about research possibilities and goals in this critically important area. The dialogue about the issues and goals that emerge through this discourse will allow us to begin to outline a national research agenda and will serve to stimulate additional federal, state, foundation and institutional funding in support of such research.

Longitudinal Studies
Brian Whalen, Dickinson College
Longitudinal studies that measure education abroad outcomes are critical to understanding the impact and the effects of education abroad over time.

Study Abroad Program Elements
Lilli Engle, American University Centre of Provence
Any and all education abroad programs can be broken down into series of interlocking components, each reflecting the nature and the orientation of the education abroad program in question. An intelligently conceived program combines components in keeping with its goals or desired outcomes.

A Research-Based Approach to Education Abroad Classification
Michael Vande Berg, CIEE
The committee, building on the excellent foundational work of Lilli and John Engle (“Notes Toward a Classification of Study Abroad Programs,” Frontiers, Fall, 2003), has proposed what we believe is a more rational and useful approach to classifying education abroad programs than the approach upon which we currently rely.

Data Collection and Outcomes Assessment
Mell Bolen, Brethren Colleges Abroad
This paper proposes that by changing the ways that international educators collect program information, we can begin to create basic data sets that could feed into more sophisticated outcomes assessment.