Measuring School Spirit: A National Teaching Exercise
We developed a novel variation on classroom data collection by having students conduct a national research project. Students at 20 different colleges and universities measured "school spirit" at their institutions according to several operational criteria (school apparel wearing, car stickers, alumni donation rate, ratings by a major sports publication, and questionnaire measures). Instructors then combined this information into one large dataset, allowing students to analyze and compare trends measured at their school with those measured at other schools. We discuss the process of organizing a national study (recruitment of faculty participants, dissemination of instruments, compilation of data), aspects of the project that instructors thought were most educationally valuable, and substantive results of the study (how well the different measures of school spirit correlated).
Carpenter, S; Rowatt, T; Brooks, L; Magid, V; Stage, R; Wydro, P; Cramer, S; Walker, M; Wolfe, C; Singleton, R; Sigall, H; Eichelberger, A; Jordan, J; Leaf, S; Grahe, J; Brown, RP; Swim, J; Pearson, NB; Wetzel, C; Pezzo, M; Gosling, S; MacLin, K; Reifman, A; Awbrey, B; Wright, C; Jerzak, P; Samuels, SM; Lemmond, G; Leary, M; Seta, C
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