Mat Gendle and Amanda Tapler publish scholarship on community-centered assessment of community-based global learning programs

The director and associate director of Project Pericles at Elon published this work in Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.

Director of Project Pericles and Professor of Psychology Mathew Gendle and Associate Director of Project Pericles and Senior Lecturer in Public Health Studies Amanda Tapler have co-authored a research article, along with their colleague Bandula Senadeera (Sarvodaya, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka) that was published in the most recent issue of Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.

In this work, entitled “A novel instrument for the community-centered assessment of outcomes resulting from visits by foreign student groups,” the authors present the Community Benefit Scale (CBS), a novel assessment metric they created and have utilized in community partnerships Sri Lanka and India. In community-based global learning, program assessment often focuses on student outcomes, with little to no attention being given to the benefits or harms the partner community experienced because of hosting a visiting student group. The CBS fills an important gap by providing a tool that centers the voices, views, opinions, and goals of community members in program evaluation and assessment.

The abstract for the article is as follows: “Academic institutions in the United States have increasingly emphasized Community-Based Global Learning (CBGL) programs within international contexts. These programs are assumed to have positive outcomes, but often lack substantive assessment data to support their claims. Although meaningful program evaluation has increasingly become a priority, these investigations frequently overlook the views, opinions and goals of community organizations and community members. At present, few brief quantitative instruments are available to assess higher education CBGL project outcomes from the perspective of community partners. Here we detail the initial use of the Community Benefit Survey (CBS), a novel 17-item instrument designed to help fill this gap, within the context of a unique CBGL program in rural Sri Lanka. The CBS demonstrated value in facilitating equitable community assessment and centering the voices of community members. The CBS possesses significant utility in describing the benefits of student group/community partnerships and can be generalized for use across a wide variety of domestic and international contexts.”

The full-text of this article is available here.

The full citation for this article is: Gendle, M. H., Senadeera, B., Tapler, A. 2023. A Novel Instrument for the Community-Centered Assessment of Outcomes Resulting from Visits by Foreign Student Groups. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 16:1, 1–9.