Featured Projects

Since its inception in 2004, the IBAVI has pursued a wide range of scholarly, educational, and service projects. Here we feature the Forum BEVI Project.

Beliefs, Values, and International Learning: The Forum BEVI Project

Since 2007, the International Beliefs and Values Institute has engaged in a partnership with the Forum on Education Abroad to conduct a national and multi-institution study of the processes and outcomes of international learning.

Project Partner: The Forum on Education Abroad

Representing the majority of the U.S. study abroad market, the Forum on Education Abroad includes hundreds of higher education institutions in the United States and internationally. With a demonstrable commitment to research on education abroad, the improvement of study abroad curricula, and the development of quality assurance standards for practice and teaching, the Forum is widely recognized for its innovative leadership within the field and profession of education abroad (see www.forumea.org/).


The Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI)

When assessing international or multicultural learning, it is very important to appreciate that who someone is before completing a specific learning experience (e.g., study abroad, service-learning, participating in a multicultural course, living in an international residence hall) may be as, if not more, important to the learning that actually occurs than the learning experience itself. That is because international or multicultural learning experiences can evoke powerful psychological processes (e.g., cognitive, emotional) that interact with background and contextual factors to influence who learns what and why, and under what circumstances.

To assess these complex and interacting variables, this project uses the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI). The BEVI includes extensive background and demographic items along with validity and process scales (e.g., sociocultural openness, ecological resonance, global engagement) in order to assess variables that may influence or shape (i.e., mediate or moderate) both the processes and outcomes of international or multicultural learning. See www.thebevi.com for more information about the BEVI.

Such process variables include, but are not limited to:

  • Basic openness; 
  • Receptivity to different cultures, religions, and social practices; 
  • The tendency to (or not to) stereotype in particular ways; 
  • Self- and emotional awareness; and 
  • Preferred strategies for making sense of why "other" people and cultures "do what they do." 

The web-based BEVI may be used alone or in combination with other measures to assess specific outcome variables including, but not limited to, the following:

Knowledge

  • Understands his or her culture within a global and comparative context (e.g., recognizes that one's culture is one of many diverse cultures). 
  • Demonstrates knowledge of global issues, processes, trends, and systems (e.g., economic and political interdependency among nations). 
  • Demonstrates knowledge of other cultures (e.g., beliefs, values, perspectives, practices, and products). 

Skills

  • Uses knowledge, diverse cultural frames of reference, and alternate perspectives to think critically and solve problems. 
  • Communicates and connects with people in other language communities in a range of settings for a variety of purposes. 
  • Uses foreign language skills and/or knowledge of other cultures to extend his or her access to information, experiences, and understanding. 

Attitudes

  • Appreciates the language, art, religion, philosophy, and material culture of different cultures. 
  • Accepts cultural differences and tolerates cultural ambiguity. 
  • Demonstrates an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities. 

Assessment Goals

Institutions use BEVI results for a variety of assessment goals including, but not limited to, the following:

  • To comply with accreditation requirements, such as substantive assessment;
  • To evaluate specific international learning experiences, including study abroad; and
  • To understand better how, why, and under what circumstances students learn.

For more information about the Forum BEVI Project, please click on the following link: www.forumea.org/research-bevi-project.cfm