BoB Research Team Unpacks + Begins Data Entry with Their First Box!
By Avery Castellani
On Friday, October 28th, our team received word that our first paper school box had arrived on campus! The package, which was from one of our first research schools, was picked up ASAP by yours truly for its grand opening at the BoB office. Aside from general celebration and photo-ops, much of this process included sorting through and counting survey packets and our first paper school data entry session.
The first step of the paper school process includes logging each pre-survey, post-survey, and delay-survey packet found in a box. This way, we have an idea of how many classrooms from a particular school we’re getting responses from. After these packets are logged, they’re placed in the office’s “Data Entry” basket to await just that— entry into our vast spreadsheet system (created by Dr. Garcia) where all survey answers from each individual participating student, teacher, and staff member will be preserved for our research.
While going through this process, one of our team’s main hunches was confirmed: Our first paper school would enlighten us about some kinks in the system we’d created that needed to be worked out. One of them, for example, was the question of how to enter surveys where a participant has shaded in two answers rather than one. How do we decide which of those answers to input? Do we even input either of them or do we skip the question entirely, citing the answer as nonconclusive? This part of data entry is extremely important, as whoever is entering the answers has to use their own judgment, and every team member’s judgment is different. Our ultimate solution to this problem included making notes of our individual thought processes in the spreadsheet so that if questions ever arose about the decisions we made from survey to survey, they’d be easily accessible and explainable.
By the end of the workday, Nick and I had entered a packet of pre and post-survey answers apiece, and the excitement in the room was palpable. If you think about it, the journey this box and the surveys inside of it took is really incredible! From our hectic packing process at Washington College over the course of August, to its school destination across country, and back to Washington’s campus again— this time with the thoughts and feelings of real elementary schoolers inside. Unlike our online schools, physically getting a box back gave our team a tangible reminder of the amazing work we’re doing and allowed us a moment of much-deserved celebration.