Quantitative Measures of Students’ Sense of Validation: Advancing the Study of Diverse Learning Environments
Wann, Chelsea Guillermo
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The study of students’ sense of validation holds promise for understanding college student retention and success, but more research is needed regarding the generalizability and use of the concept. The development of quantitative measures can help facilitate use across student populations in multiple types of institutions of higher education. The present study empirically examines two validation constructs, student perceptions of academic validation in the classroom and general interpersonal validation, in a new nationally available instrument, the Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) survey. Construct validity and cross-validation tests indicate that survey items tap into these latent factors for students of color and White students, and that students of color perceive lower levels of both forms of validation compared to White students. These factors and survey items may be used in future research to examine the relationship between validation, student experiences, and educational outcomes.