Evaluating Entering Research


WISCIENCE provides centralized common assessment and evaluation surveys that use the Entering Research Learning Assessment (ERLA) to promote and systematize the evaluation of undergraduate and graduate reserach experiences and training programs.  These surveys are available to all trained facilitators of Entering Research (ER), regardless of whether they are using ER activities in their implementations. Programs using the ER curriculum can also used standardized program/course evaluation questions designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum in training program and workshop implementations.  For more information on attending a Facilitator Training workshop, visit the Facilitating Entering Research workshop page.  Keep reading to learn more about the evaluation process.

Entering Research Evaluation Process

Evaluation surveys are administered by WISCIENCE and include standard questions.  Research training program directors and facilitators can also add customized questions to collect site or training-specific information.

Standard evaluation surveys are typically administered post-training and are available for all types of undergraduate and graduate research trainings, including but not limited to courses, seminars, summer programs, workshop series, and standalone workshops.

The evaluation process consists of 5 steps:

Step 1: Complete the Implementation Tracking and Evaluation Request form at least 3 weeks before the end of your training.

This form will require you to provide implementation details such as training dates, names and contact information of additional facilitators, target audience, expected number of participants, and location.  Timely completion of this form ensures that your evaluation can be provided.  You can expect to hear from a member of the Entering Research evaluation team within two business days of submitting your evaluation form.

Step 2: WISCIENCE creates your survey.

Once you have submitted the evaluation request form, WISCIENCE will create your survey and share a preview of the survey with you for your review.  At this point, any customized questions and revisions will be incorporated into your survey.

Step 3: Administer your survey.

Facilitators have the option of either: a) sending names and email addresses to WISCIENCE to distribute the survey on their behalf; or b) administering the survey themselves using a common link sent to them by WISCIENCE.  The survey or link to the survey will be sent out on the day you specify on your evaluation request form.  WISCIENCE will monitor response rates based on your expected number of participants.

Step 4: Complete a brief implementation survey.

Once your trainee survey has launched, you or your facilitators will be sent a brief survey about your implementation to complete.

Step 5: WISCIENCE sends a summary report to you.

Once the survey has closed, you will be sent a report of the aggregated survey data.  This includes descriptive data, including information from any customized questions or scales, and visualizations that help you compare trainee and mentor responses on the Entering Research Learning Assessment.

Step 6 (optional): Ability to access raw survey data.

Upon request, survey data can be provided to program directors in the following ways:

  • De-identified, raw survey data for purposes of program evaluation.
  • De-identified raw survey data for research purposes (Note: an IRB approval number and documentation are required to ensure that the data are protected.
  • Identifiable raw survey data are also available with appropriate IRB approval and documentation.

Request for access to the raw survey data can be submitted at the time the evaluation request form is submitted or by emailing enteringresearch@education.wisc.edu with your request.