The Global Engagement Measurement Scale (GEMS): A New Scale for Assessing the Impact of Education Abroad and Campus Internationalization
We describe the development and validation of a new instrument to measure the non-academic impact of education abroad, the Global Engagement Measurement Scale (GEMS). Based on a review of the extant literature, we developed a 37-item instrument containing scales for four specific constructs of interest: a) cultural engagement; b) ambiguity tolerance; c) knowledge of the host site; and d) diversity openness. The measure was piloted with 263 education abroad students before and after a 5- week education abroad program. We examined the scales’ underlying factor structure, reliability, and sensitivity to education abroad program effects. Results indicate strong reliability and statistically significant increases across all scales following education abroad experiences. The GEMS instrument is brief and easy to administer, publically available, and includes important constructs for assessing the impact of education abroad. Additionally, the GEMS could be used to assess campus internationalization efforts with domestic and international students.
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