PACE Reliability and Validity


In previous studies, the overall PACE instrument has shown a coefficient of internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha) of 0.98. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient provides an internal estimate of the instrument’s reliability. The high coefficient means that participants responded the same way to similar items.

Establishing instrument validity is a fundamental component of ensuring the research effort is assessing the intended phenomenon. To that end, NILIE has worked hard to demonstrate the validity of the PACE instrument through both content and construct validity. Content validity has been established through a rigorous review of the instrument’s questions by scholars and professionals in higher education to ensure that the instrument’s items capture the essential aspects of institutional effectiveness.

Building on this foundation of content validity, the PACE instrument has been thoroughly tested to ensure construct (climate factors) validity through two separate factor analysis studies (Tiu, 2001; Caison, 2005). Factor analysis is a quantitative technique for determining the intercorrelations between the various items of an instrument. These intercorrelations confirm the underlying relationships between the variables and allow the researcher to determine that the instrument is functioning properly to assess the intended constructs. To ensure the continued validity of the PACE instrument, the instrument is routinely evaluated for both content and construct validity. The recent revision of the PACE instrument reflects the findings of Tiu and Caison. The data will be analyzed using the statistical package SAS, version 9.3 or STATA 13.

Caison, A. (2005). PACE survey instrument exploratory factor analysis. Report, NILIE, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tiu, S. (2001). Institutional effectiveness in higher education: Factor analysis of the personal assessment of college environment survey instrument. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.