Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

OSCAR Student Survey

The OSCAR Student Survey was developed in collaboration between Students as Scholars and Mason’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Items were developed to measure program and student learning outcomes over time as part of a longitudinal study of student learning. The survey’s three parts correspond to the three developmental levels of student learning outcomes identified by Mason faculty: Discovery, Scholarly Inquiry, and Creation of Scholarship. Survey data are collected from each participant multiple times throughout their involvement with the initiative, thus allowing us to learn about how their attitudes and reports of their own learning change over time. Thousands of participants are surveyed each year through their involvement in OSCAR activities, including discovery, inquiry, and research courses; undergraduate research groups; and the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP). This longitudinal data will help us understand student development over time, and identify which experiences have had the most impact.

Survey Components

The survey has three parts: Discovery Set, Course Set, and Individualized Scholarly Experience Set. Each set corresponds to the student learning outcomes for OSCAR’s three levels of scholarship experiences. The survey is administered to students online through their enrollment in the associated course or experience.

Pilot Testing

The survey was administered in two pilot phases. The Discovery and Individualized Scholarly Experience sets were piloted with URSP students in summer 2012, and the Discovery set was piloted with UNIV 100 students at the beginning of fall 2012. The survey was refined following analysis of Pilot 1 results, and rich qualitative data from a student focus group. The revised survey was administered as Pilot 2 at the end of fall 2012. The survey was refined based on the pilot studies, and the final version launched at the end of spring 2013.

Survey Items


Item Categories    Discovery Set     Course Set Individualized Scholarly
Experience Set
Attitudes and Opinions about Research & Creative Activities X
Goals and Plans X X
Opportunities and Motivation X
Learning* Mini set Full set Full set
The Research Experience X


Survey Sets

OSCAR Student Survey Discovery Set (print version pdf)

OSCAR Student Survey Course Set (print version pdf)

OSCAR Student Survey Individualized Experience Set (print version pdf)


Suggested Citation

Foster, S. L., & Usher, B. M. (2013). OSCAR student survey [Measurement instrument]. Fairfax, VA: George Mason University.


Creative Commons License
OSCAR Student Survey [Measurement instrument] by Foster, S. L., & Usher, B. M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The OSCAR Student Survey was developed as a program assessment instrument for the Students as Scholars initiative at George Mason University. It is administered online to support program assessment. Please use only with permission.


For more information about the OSCAR Student Survey, or assessment of the Students as Scholars initiative, contact Stephanie (Hazel) Foster.