Using Learning Assessments to Evaluate Refugee Cultural Orientation: Challenges and Possibilities

8:00 - 9:30am

Columbia Ballroom Section 3

Presented at: American Evaluation Association 2013 Annual Conference

Before they depart for the United States, refugees receive cultural orientation (CO) to help them prepare for their new lives in America. In conjunction with the development of content objectives and learning indicators for overseas CO, the Cultural Orientation Resource Center at the Center for Applied Linguistics (working with CO providers and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration) developed and piloted an assessment for CO participants to demonstrate what they learned. This presentation will describe the development of the assessment; outline hopes for and concerns about the measure that the team had prior to its use; and reflect on the results and assessor feedback to consider remaining questions about the format and administration, whether the assessment provides useful information for formative and summative evaluation purposes, and how to connect information about CO learning with other data such as program implementation and long-term impact.