In this unit, you start looking more closely at data and making assessments regarding its perceived level of usefulness to your own research endeavors. 

For the first part of the assignment, go to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) at the link below (bookmark this page; you will be going here a lot throughout the course), scroll to the bottom of the screen, and click “NCES Statistical Standards.” 

National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Home page. Retrieved from 

Answer the following question. 

In your review of the NCES Statistical Standards, what evidence do you see that the data acquired is reliable and valid; that is, which standards suggest that reliability and validity are priorities? 

Next, go back to the IPEDS page, and click on the Report Your Data area and then on the Answer Current Survey area. Answer the following questions. 

1) At first glance, what appears to be the primary means that IPEDS uses to collect data? What threats to reliability and validity does this technique pose? 

2) Would 12-month enrollment likely be a very sensitive measure of student satisfaction? Why, or why not? 

3) How appropriate do you think a time-series analysis of graduation rates would be within a research study? Would it be more or less appropriate than a time-series analysis of institutional characteristics? Why, or why not? 

The total assignment length (not counting title and reference pages) should be at least two pages. You are not required to include an introduction or conclusion. You may number your paper and answer each question. Please use at least the textbook and the required website in the development of your assignment. APA formatting applies. The purpose of this assignment is to gauge your understanding of the content, so focus on writing original content rather than simply regurgitating the textbook or other sources, whether by paraphrasing or using direct quotes. Paraphrasing is acceptable, but try to keep paraphrasing to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to use 80% of your own work and paraphrase 20% or less of the work of others


O’Sullivan, E., Rassel, G. R., & Taliaferro, J. D. (2011). Practical research methods for nonprofit and public administrators. New York, NY: Routledge.

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