Thursday, April 17, 2008

Global Perspectives Inventory (GPI)

Since May, 2007 I’ve become quite interested in a new assessment tool available to institutions in the United States to assess the global perspectives of their undergraduate student population. The Global Perspectives Inventory (GPI), developed by Larry Braskamp, David Braskamp, and Kelly Carter Merrill, is gaining in popularity and in use by institutions across the United States and, in particular, with professionals in the field of education abroad. I will discuss the GPI as part of my presentation at the upcoming Research in International Education workshop I’m chairing next week for International Educators of Illinois and as a panelist at the Assessment Toolbox for International Educators session at the upcoming NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Washington, D.C. I am copying and pasting text from one of the handouts I’ll be distributing during my presentations with permission of the authors:

Global Perspectives Inventory

The GPI is an instrument designed to measure students’ global perspectives, with an emphasis on the importance of cultural influences on their holistic development.

The GPI is a survey of 46 items plus a few biographical items. It has been specifically designed to provide self-reports of students’ perspectives in three domains of holistic student development--cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. The six scales are briefly described on the other side.

The GPI can provide evidence of students’ global perspectives:
· At entry, during and at graduation from college
· At entry and conclusion of an “education/study abroad” experience

You can learn more about the GPI by going to Click on “Development” to read about the purpose and uses of GPI. If you want to see a sample institutional report, click on “Interpretative Guide and Institutional Report.”

You can take the GPI by going to When asked about your institutional affiliation, type in this code: 9950.

Institutions can participate at no cost until June 30, 2008. For the 2008-2009 academic year, an institution can have unlimited access to the GPI for a license fee of $100. The GPI can be put on a local server or printed for administration. You will be provided with scale scoring keys. Normative information will be provided in the GPI Manual. You can have access to our online survey for $500, and can administer the GPI up to two different times. We do the analyses and provide the reports.

If you have any questions or comments, please write Larry Braskamp at

Theoretical Background of GPI

The construction of GPI is based on the developmental perspective that students are on a journey during college. In this journey, students are given opportunities to reflect on three “big questions”:

“How do I know?” reflects the Cognitive dimension. Cognitive development is centered on one’s knowledge and understanding of what is true and important to know. It includes viewing knowledge and knowing with greater complexity and no longer relying on external authorities to have absolute truth.

“Who am I?” reflects the Intrapersonal dimension. Intrapersonal development focuses on one becoming more aware of and integrating one’s personal values and self-identity into one’s personhood.

“How do I relate to others?” reflects the Interpersonal dimension. Interpersonal development is centered on one’s willingness to interact with persons with different social norms and cultural backgrounds, acceptance of others, and being comfortable when relating to others.

Description of the six GPI scales

The Cognitive domain consists of two scales: Knowing and Knowledge.

Knowing. Complexity of one’s view of the importance of cultural context in judging what is important to know and value.

Knowledge. Degree of understanding and awareness of various cultures and their impact on our global society; proficiency in languages.

The Intrapersonal domain consists of two scales: Identity and Affect.

Identity. Level of awareness of unique identity; degree of acceptance of one’s ethnic, racial, and gender dimensions of one’s identity.

Affect. Level of respect and acceptance of cultural perspectives different from one’s own; degree of emotional confidence when living in complex situations.

The Interpersonal domain consists of two scales: Social interactions and Social responsibility.

Social Interactions. Degree of engagement with others who are different from oneself; degree of cultural sensitivity in living in pluralistic setting.

Social responsibility. Level of commitment to interdependent living.

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