Year: 2021 Source: American Journal of Evaluation. (2009). 30(2), 189-202. doi:10.1177/1098214009334506 SIEC No: 20210243

The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for International Studies is an intensive summer program designed to give talented high school students a challenging introduction to the study of international affairs. One focus of the evaluation seeks to understand the effect of the program on the students’ perception of their knowledge concerning core issues. Across the long history of the program, a variety of measures were used (and subsequently discarded) to assess changes in knowledge and perception of competence. Four years ago the program instituted a retrospective pre-post design. Results from these years, indicate that these students have consistently overestimated their pre-test understanding of core competencies emphasized in the program and that they seem better able to assess their knowledge gains and their initial inflated sense of knowledge as a result of the program. This article offers an overview of the development, application, use and analysis of a retrospective pre-post instrument to address response shift bias.