Assessing Participants’ Experiences in a Service-Learning Program: A Psychometric Evaluation
- Laura T. Colman (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia)
- Robyn K. Sobelson (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia)
- Corinne J. Wigington (Cherokee Nation Businesses supporting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Andrea C. Young (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia)
There is currently a gap in the literature regarding the creation of psychometrically sound measurement tools assessing service-learning programs in health-related fields. Without comprehension of a survey's psychometric properties, evaluators cannot ensure that survey instruments are reliable or valid. This study describes the psychometric evaluation of the Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) Service-Learning Scale (PSLS). PSLS assesses participant experience in PHAP, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program. This paper explains survey development, scale validity and reliability, and the internal factor structure of the PSLS. The final scale consisted of 22 items with a high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α=.90). Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was used to determine the scale’s factor structure; five factors comprising of all 22 items were retained. The factors, or subscales, were Learning Outcomes, Mentoring, Experiential Assignment, Self-Efficacy in Program Competency Domains, and Program Satisfaction. All were also found to have adequate internal consistency (Cronbach’s α >.70). Service-learning is vital in developing the next generation of the workforce. These study findings suggest the PSLS fills a critical gap in the literature by providing a valid and reliable instrument to evaluate experiences and satisfaction in service-learning programs and other fellowships.
Keywords: survey development, scale development, exploratory factor analysis, evaluation