After data collection and analysis this fall, we are thrilled to start sharing our initial findings next week. Unlike surveys, where the information you get is roughly how many people liked or did something, the results in Q are presented as profiles, called “factors.” These profiles illuminate how people clustered their answers in similar ways. From these clusters we are able to see the variety of ways in which participants engage with the historic site and how that changes across the program activities.
Four factors emerged from the pilot study at the Monticello Teacher Institute in 2016. We will share each factor individually, including the concourse statements that the factor clustered around, excerpts from their interviews that helped us contextualize the results, and a brief summary what the Q-Sort tells us about how the participants responded to the professional development programming and their motivation for attending the institute. These results are still preliminary, but the offer a window into the data and an opportunity to adjust both the concourse and the programming for next summer.
The insights you’ll read about are based on the Q-Sorts that MTI participants completed at the beginning and end of the summer program. In December, the participants completed the Q-Sort a final time, and ten participants gave short interviews as well. With the information from these “post-post” Q-Sorts, the research team will be able to reassess these conclusions and consider what the long-term takeaways are from a professional development program offered by a historic site.
Over the next month, we’ll share about each of the four factors that our 2016 participants clustered around. We’ll then share commentary from researchers about the significance of the findings, and museum educators here at Monticello will share about practical steps we’re taking to improve the Monticello Teacher Institute in light of the findings. We hope you find the factors as interesting as we do!