Postsecondary student consumerism : a national Delphi forecast of developments and articulation of policy options Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9s1618468

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  • The purpose of this research, expressed in two coequal parts, was: to establish a forecast of developments and an articulation of policy options vis-a-vis postsecondary student consumerism; and to determine if interest groups of experts differed significantly in their evaluations of the aforementioned developments and policy options. The Delphi technique was the methodology used, and the instrument used in the study was developed after the first of four Delphi rounds. Consisting of 111 statements, the instrument was divided into two parts: 60 developments and 51 policy options. These statements were the dependent variables of the study. On the second, third, and fourth rounds, the Delphi panelists evaluated each dependent variable against two criteria on the five-point Likert-type scales provided. The two criteria for the developments were likelihood and desirability. The two criteria for the policy options were feasibility and desirability. The participants in the study were 96 panelists chosen on the basis of their individual reknown as experts on the topic of postsecondary student consumerism. Each panelist was asked to self appraise within one of four subcells for each of the two independent variables of the study. It was hypothesized that differences existed between the interest group subpanels (subcells). The t-statistic was then used to determine contrasts between the mean score evaluations of the subpanels for each dependent variable. The hypotheses tests of significant difference were determined at the .05 probability level. Evaluations were also made to determine whether the entire panel was in consensus with respect to any of the dependent variables. Consensus was determined by three methods; percentage, mean, and variance. All numerical data were processed by means of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Selected Findings and Conclusions The panel forecasted as most likely among the forthcoming developments in postsecondary student consumerism, a more insistent and influential role for students in obtaining increased consumer protection. Similarly, although with less unanimity, the panel forecasted an increased role for the federal government. Most desirable, among the forecasted developments, the panel judged to be the institutional provision of better information to students, and larger roles in postsecondary student consumerism for states, students, and accrediting associations. Least desirable would be the development of a defensive or resistant posture by postsecondary institutions in dealing with student consumerism. The panel responded that the most feasible policy options to enhance student consumer protection are policies for: providing consumer education to students; gathering graduates' evaluations of their educational experiences; and for more equally defining the student-institutional relationship. Similarly, the panel rated as most desirable the policy option that students be educated to become more responsible consumers of education; second most favored was the policy which would have institutions regularly obtain their graduates' evaluations of their educational experiences. The significance testing confirmed the general hypothesis that the various interest groups differ significantly in their judgments about what will happen and what should happen in postsecondary student consumerism. However, these differences were not so overwhelmingly confirmed as one might expect them to have been based on the literature. The subpanel whose members self-identified as "federal" and the one whose members self-identified as "administrator," most frequently had views regarding issues in postsecondary student consumerism that were significantly different from their fellow panelists. The subpanel whose members self-identified as "local" were least frequently significantly different in their judgments from their fellow panelists.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-04-24T16:49:40Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 FranksRobertGrover1979.pdf: 1701900 bytes, checksum: 63f4f9cbbe0a692bd33ed4e7f4a81812 (MD5)
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