Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair is the director of undergraduate students in Applied Linguistics & ESL at Georgia State University. Dr. A.C., as her students call her, is a recipient of the university teaching fellowship through the Center of Instructional Effectiveness (CIE) at GSU. Her research uses a survey called the B.E.V.I., which stands for the Beliefs Events Values Inventory. It is a survey that teachers use to see what students beliefs and values are and how they change overtime and/or events. Study abroad programs also use the survey to see how students have changed through their experience in other countries. Dr. A.C. administers the survey to incoming freshman as well outgoing seniors. The plan is to have a longitudinal study of how Georgia State students Beliefs and values have changed over there university experience.
The test has about 185 questions and demographics. The questions can ask anything from a students relationship to their parents, religious beliefs, experience around different ethnicities, etc. The students responses are measured on 17 different scales. Some of the scale Dr. A.C. is interest in are: Socio-cultural openness (how comfortable the student is interacting with people different from themselves; Global awareness (how knowledgeable the student is about different parts of the world); Emotional attunement (how connected the student is to other people and how aware and empathetic they are to others emotions. The students get and individualized report of what their responses reveal as well as information on the class group results. They are able to compare their results with their group (all freshman or all seniors. Dr. A.C. says the students really get to see how they fit in with their peers.
Through the Global Education Initiative, a pilot study that Dr. A.C. was a part of, she administered the survey and that Georgia State students score high in resiliency. The survey measured how positive or negative students beliefs were about their upbringing and early experiences in life. Many of Georgia State Students come from lower socio economic backgrounds were they report more negative experiences than typical college students. When “bad things” happen to people there are also associated results that show up on other scales like identity crisis, or not connecting well with others. But Georgia State Students despite reporting negative experiences, score high on emotional attunement and socio cultural openness scales. She sees the results as “really positive.” She is currently surveying the freshman learning community in the fall and in spring she will survey the outgoing seniors and compare the results.