Global Engagement Survey: 2020 pre-COVID & moving into the 2020-2021 year

August 17, 2020

*Click here for GES background information, publications, and participation options*

By Nora Pillard Reynolds

When COVID-19 emerged, we were all forced to pivot and adapt in unforeseen ways. Our 2020 GES data collection was already underway and was set to run through September 15, 2020. Despite significant changes to programming (well, and everything else), a number of programs had already completed both the pre- and post-surveys related to their program experiences.

In May 2020, we: (1) pulled the existing GES data into a GES 2020 pre-COVID data set, and (2) quickly pivoted the GES survey to incorporate factors in the new context (e.g. virtual internships).

GES 2020 pre-COVID

Participating institutions/ organizations represented in the 2020 pre-COVID data set: Child Family Health International, Cornell University, East Carolina University, Elon University, Queens University of Charlotte, Quinnipiac University, The University of the South – Sewanee, and Wingate University.

Survey completion rates: The survey completion rates for this year are represented as follows:

Scales: For the total data set (n=158), there was significant change in the expected direction from pre- to post-survey for all eight scales: Openness to diversity (OD), Cultural adaptability (CA), Civic efficacy (CE), Political voice (PV), Conscious consumption (CC), Global civic values (GCV), Human rights beliefs (HRB), and Critical reflection (CR).

The graph below displays the pre- and post-survey means on the eight scales for the total 2019 data set (n=414) and the 2020 pre-COVID data set.

Moving forward into 2020-2021

After six years of GES data collection, we have compiled a 2015-2020 (pre-COVID) GES data set that represents:

  • 33 different institutions/ organizations;
  • 373 different programs;
  • 4,329 pre-surveys and 2,092 post-surveys; and
  • 1,399 matched cases

This 2015 – 2020 data set can facilitate multi-institutional research and will provide us with the opportunity to compare GES data pre-COVID with our new GES data (in collection) to learn quickly as we all adapt to this current reality. The global learning goals are the same, but how we pursue them has necessarily changed drastically.

We pivoted quickly to adapt the GES survey questions to incorporate new program factors that are of particular relevance in the current context (e.g. virtual internships, etc.). Over the summer, we were already able to start data collection with Child Family Health International, Cornell University, Elon University, and Haverford College. We’ve also built in automated reporting to enable quick turnaround on initial (descriptive) results – we are all changing programming quickly and need to ensure that we are learning about the results of that programming as quickly as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about the GES or participating in the GES 2020-2021, we hosted a webinar, “Global Engagement Survey: Moving into the 2020-2021 academic year,” on Monday, August 24th at 1 pm EST. View the slides here and the short recording of the introduction here.


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