Survey Design

Survey Design Five main cohort surveys have been developed, with sections/modules reflecting the various research questions to be explored. They also focus on reflections on different parts of the student’s life and experience with the arts – stretching from childhood to their post-college life and careers.

As there was almost no research looking at college age arts integration to use as a model, we consulted examples of surveying used to gauge impact through community service. Through developing the initial research questions, most of which were focused toward the expected story-telling and case-making that could be done to the U-M community initially, we created survey sections with questions asked in a variety of formats in the hopes of capturing not just the expected data, but that which might lead to new areas of inquiry.

Sample Survey Instrument of Questions Used (pdf).

We also aligned the attributes/skills questions around our Arts at Michigan learning outcomes (see learning outcomes list).

We had originally hoped to group students into those that had an arts interest coming into college and those who didn’t, to act as a kind of study and control group, that would be based on a Student Interest Survey student could elect to fill out prior to coming to U-M. But this survey was not regularly and consistently implemented during the Arts Engagement study period, so we just took our random sampling of students every year and decided we could use the survey questions to sort them if relevant to the analysis.

The final “Exit Survey” was designed to be a more in-depth opportunity to capture students reflection on the entirety of the college arts experiences, and relate them more specifically to areas of their lives and to society.

Initial Survey Abstract

Arts at Michigan Arts Engagement Project The Arts Engagement Assessment project hopes to answer questions about student arts engagement at UM and the environmental and transitional factors that support that engagement. We want to know:

  • How co-curricular arts engagement at the University of Michigan supports student learning and outcomes?
  • How does student arts engagement at the University of Michigan correlate with pre-college arts experiences?
  • How do students’ pre-college expectations and involvement correlate with actual college arts engagement?
  • How, where, and at what level do students participate in the arts at the University of Michigan?
  • What factors influence student engagement in the arts during college?
  • How does engagement in the arts in college contribute to a student’s post college career and arts participation expectations?

Research Questions

There are a number of areas of inquiry we will explore through this project, looking at students’ arts engagement before, during and, prospectively, after their time at the University of Michigan. Questions we expect to be able to answer include:

  • Are students engaging in the arts, and if so, which arts, how, where and how often?
  • What characteristics differentiate students engaging in the arts from those not engaging?
  • How do students feel about their arts engagement and what do they get out of it?
  • What skills or knowledge do students gain at college through co-curricular arts engagement?
  • What do students expect of their arts experiences at college?
  • Do students engage with the arts to a greater or lesser degree at college vs. high school?
  • How does engagement in the arts at college translate into careers in the arts?
  • How does engagement in the arts influence career choices or arts participation after college?
  • What factors make a student more likely to engage in the arts in college? Less likely?
  • What levels of arts participation have what kinds of outcomes (audience vs. art-making, type of arts interest?)
  • Do students identify themselves as artists?
  • How does participation in the arts contribute to student learning and development outcomes?

Many of the sections/modules are repeated, again to look at increased or decreased arts participation and how the students’ expectations and experiences change over time. The I-Test module measures student learning, development and self-awareness against the Arts at Michigan Learning Outcomes, and therefore is administered in every survey – tracking personal growth over time through self-assessment.

Each section/module has been designed to capture demographic information, past arts experiences and reflections, future arts participation, personal characteristics, or student learning through participation in the arts. We also ask if students are willing to be in a focus group, in case the research reveals areas we would like to explore in greater depth.

Questions Frosh 1 1 and 2 SES 3 thru 5 HS classification 6 How you define arts 7 thru 15 HS experiences 16 HS expectation of college involvement 17 and 18 I Test 19 Focus Group

Questions Frosh 2 Questions Soph 1 thru 18 College experiences/impressions 1 thru 18 College experiences/impressions 19 and 20 Anticipated future involvement 19 and 20 Anticipated future involvement 21 Personal characteristics 21 Personal characteristics 22 and 23 I Test (with comparison) 22 thru 30 Childhood 24 Focus Group 31 and 32 I Test 33 Focus Group

Questions Junior Questions Senior 1 thru 18 College experiences/impressions 1 thru 18 College experiences/impressions 19 and 20 Anticipated future involvement 19 and 20 Anticipated future involvement 21 Personal characteristics 21 Personal characteristics 22 thru 25 College reflection 22 thru 31 College reflection/Future 26 and 27 I Test 32 through 33 I Test 28 Focus Group 34 Focus Group

Pilot Testing and Project Launch

This is a new longitudinal study of U-M undergraduate students looking primarily at co-curricular and extra-curricular arts engagement and its effect on student development. There are no current studies to our knowledge looking at this particular issue as it relates to college age students.

This project has received IRB review and approval to move forward as an “Exempt Study”. It will be piloted for survey strength and timing Feb-April 10, 2010 and will be fully launched in the Fall of 2010. We may also conduct follow-up focus groups in particular topic areas of interest.

Appendices Senior Late Question List Senior Exit Question List Project Abstract Scoring Rubric(s) Invitation and reengagement emails HSIP Receipt