( Schuh and Upcraft, “Maintaining High Standards of Ethics and Integrity”, in Schuh

                                           and Upcraft, Assessment in Student Affairs)


I.                   Kitchener’s Five Ethical Priniciples


A.    Respecting Autonomy


1.      respecting one’s right to make choices (as long as their actions do not interfere with the welfare of others

2.      With respect to assessment, this relates to the idea that students should not be forced to participate in assessment activities and their anonymity needs to be protected


B.     Doing No Harm


1.      Review by the institution’s Institutional Research Board (IRB) is very helpful


C.    Benefiting Others


1.      Promoting the health and well-being of others


D.    Being Just


1.      fair treatment of individuals

2.      fairness in the distribution of resources

3.      Application to assessment: impartiality and accuracy of the data are important; results can be an impetus for improving students’ well being


E.     Being Faithful


1.      Concepts of loyalty, keeping promises, trustfulness, and basic respect


II.                Use of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects


A.    Consult with the IRB before undertaking assessment

B.     The IRB consists of individuals with formal responsibility for the institution

C.    They act to review submitted research proposals in terms of ethics and protection of participants in the research study

D.    Dr. Sandra Holmes in the chair and contact person for the UWSP  IRB


III.             Major Ethical Issues in Assessment


A.    Accuracy


1.      Attention to detail

2.      Results are not over- or under-played


B.     Quality


1.      Rigorous methodology

2.      Elimination of bias


C.    Confidentiality


IV.             Ethical Considerations In Field-Based Research


A.    Confidentiality

B.     Honesty

C.    Responsibility

1.      Minimizing negative consequences or disruption to respondents


D.    Fair Return


V.                Working With Respondents


A.    Protecting Subjects From Harm

B.     Obtaining Informed Consent

C.    Treat Respondents With Respect

D.    Guard Against Deception

E.     Protect Confidentiality


VI.             Other Ethical Dilemmas


A.    Data Access and Ownership


1.      Does the data belong to the investigator or the institution?


B.     Negotiating An Agreement


1.      Determine why the project is being conducted

2.      Identify potential uses of the data the investigator will collect

3.      Retain ownership to the data the investigator collects

4.      Guarantee that one’s professional autonomy in designing the project and data gathering will not be compromised

5.      Retain rights to publish the material

6.      Raise and discuss any potential conflicts of interest


C.    Role Conflicts


1.      Clear up roles all of the parties involved

2.      A study that no one wants should not be conducted

3.      Discuss the findings before publishing them


D.    Evaluator Effects

1.      Check oneself for biases and strongly held opinions in the area being researched

2.      Maintain neutrality in one’s assessment approach


E.     Secondary Data

1.      If relying on other’s data, make sure it is accurate