Outcomes and Experiences Measures


The Wabash National Study measured both student outcomes and student experiences using the following instruments:

Click the instrument link to view more information.

Outcome Measures     
CAAP Critical Thinking Test   Professional Success
Need for Cognition Scale   Openness to Diversity and Challenge
Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale (M-GUDS)   Academic Motivation
Socially Responsible Leadership Scale (SRLS-R2)   Positive Attitude toward Literacy
Defining Issues Test (DIT-2)    
Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being   Experience Surveys 
Contribution to the Arts   NSSE
Contribution to the Sciences   Student Experiences Survey
Political and Social Involvement    
If you are working with data analysis at a Wabash National Study institution, you might also be interested in the Codebook Overview (PDF). For a detailed description of all the outcome instruments, see Guide to Outcome Measures (PDF).

Outcome Measures

Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) Critical Thinking Test

The CAAP Critical Thinking Test is a 32-item, 40-minute instrument that measures students' skills in clarifying, analyzing, evaluating, and extending arguments. The Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency is a national, standardized assessment program based on professional research and development by ACT.

To see a sample of CAAP Critical Thinking Test questions, click here (PDF).

Need for Cognition Scale (NCS)

Developed by John T. Cacioppo and Richard E. Petty, the Need for Cognition Scale measures how much people enjoy engaging in effortful cognitive activities. Individuals who rank high in "need for cognition" enjoy thinking and do it more often than individuals who rank low in this area and who only engage in careful thought when they have to. The scale has 18 items arranged in a Likert-scale fashion.

Click here for a more detailed overview of the NCS. To download a copy of the scale, click here.

Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale – Short Form (M-GUDS-S)

The M-GUDS-S is a 15-item multiple-choice questionnaire that measures student attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors regarding diversity. Developed by Marie L. Miville, this instrument uses a 6-point Likert-type scale to assess student awareness and acceptance of both similarities and differences among people. A longer, 45-item version of this scale is also available.

To download a copy of the scale, click here.

Socially Responsible Leadership Scale (SRLS-R2)

Developed by Tracy M. Tyree and designed as a tool for use in assessing college students’ participation in a process of socially responsible leadership, this 68-item instrument (version II) measures the eight C’s of the Social Change Model (SCM) for leadership development: consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, collaboration, common purpose, controversy with civility, and citizenship. These seven fall around one central value, change.

For more information about the SRLS-R2 visit the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs website.

The Defining Issues Test (DIT-2)

The Defining Issues Test (DIT-2) is an updated version of the DIT, a well-validated and widely used measure of moral reasoning. It consists of five social problems to which participants respond.

For more information about the DIT-2, visit the Center for the Study of Ethical Development website. For a copy of the DIT-2, click here (PDF).

Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being

Designed to measure six dimensions of psychological well-being: self-acceptance, environmental mastery, positive relations with others, personal growth, purpose in life, and autonomy.

Click here for a general review of the Ryff. To download a copy of the Ryff scales, click here.

Contribution to the Arts and Humanities

Measures the importance students place on making a contribution to the arts and humanities. Click here to download a copy of scale.

Contribution to the Sciences

Measures the importance students place on making a contribution to medicine or science. Click here to download.

Political and Social Involvement

Measures the importance students place on volunteering, promoting racial understanding, and influencing political structures. Click here to download.

Professional Success

Measures the importance students place on entering a prestigious, high-status, well-paying occupation. Click here to download.

Openness to Diversity and Challenge

Measures students’ interest in exploring diversity in culture, ethnicity, perspectives, values, and ideas. Click here to download a copy of scale.

Academic Motivation

Measures students’ interest in working hard, getting good grades, and engaging challenging intellectual material. Click here to download.

Positive Attitude toward Literacy

Measures students’ enjoyment of reading and writing. Click here to download.

These last seven scales were empirically derived from the Wabash National Study Student Experiences Survey by Ernest T. Pascarella and colleagues at the University of Iowa Center for Research on Undergraduate Education. For more information, see Methodological Report (PDF).

Experience Surveys

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research in cooperation with the Indiana University Center for Survey Research, the NSSE gathers information about students' participation in programs and activities offered by the institution. It is "designed to assess the extent to which students are engaged in empirically derived good educational practices and what they gain from their college experience." For more information, see Conceptual Framework and Overview of Psychometric Properties (PDF). Click here to see a sample copy of the NSSE (PDF).

Student Experiences Survey

Designed for the Wabash National Study by Ernest T. Pascarella and colleagues at the University of Iowa's Center for Research on Undergraduate Education, this survey gathers information about students' academic and cocurricular experiences and activities. It contains questions about classroom experiences, interactions with faculty and peers, and students' values. Twenty-one of the items come from the CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) Survey. Click here to see a copy (PDF) of the Student Experiences Survey.