Developing a culture of evidence:
Corey, Shannon Renee
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Various regional and national agencies have made a call to action for accountability in higher education. Much has been written about assessment and the elements that support an evidence-based culture, yet little is documented about the process of establishing such a culture. In an effort to address this gap, the housing department (HD) at Metropolitan City University (MCU) engaged in an action research (AR) study to explore the development of a culture of evidence through the cultural web organizational change framework (Johnson, Whittington, Scholes, Angwin, & Regner, 2014), in the context of a student affairs department at a large, public and urban university. The AR team aimed to determine how to develop a culture of evidence through understanding (a) how to assess a culture of evidence, (b) conditions fostering a culture of evidence, and (c) use of action research in facilitating the development of a culture of evidence. Data included interviews, surveys, focus groups, action research team meeting notes, online reflections, and researcher notes. Tapping into the literature related to organization culture, specifically utilizing the cultural web (Johnson et al., 2014), this action research study led to (a) the development of a tool to assess a culture of evidence and (b) to the HD at MCU able to begin making a shift towards a culture of evidence. Implications include use of a culture of evidence rubric in practice and highlighting the need for more in-depth, empirical, and longitudinal research on cultures of evidence.
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