An on-line survey has been resealed following the 1st workshop of the Digital R&D fund for the arts in Wales (Friday 01/11/2013) . The survey contained 17 questions providing feedback on the overall workshop experience and satisfaction of project partners. The questions are grouped into three main categories; i) Workshop organisation and experience ii) Project Management iii) Research Consortium Pairing Session. The majority of questions required scaled responses (Strongly Agree – Agree – Neutral – Disagree – Strongly Disagree) while a minority allowed for open-ended feedback. The language of the questionnaire expressed positive suggestions requesting a scaled agreement-disagreement response. For example “Q: The workshop was well organised and thoroughly planned” (agree-disagree). Thus, positive responses are regarded those that “strongly agree” or “agree” to the question and negative those that “strongly disagree” or “disagree”. The “neutral” responses are regarded as less negative.
The survey overall collected 150 scaled responses from 15 questions and 17 open-ended responses from 3 separate questions. The 77% of the scaled responses are positive (116/150), either “strongly agree” or “agree” to survey questions. The section with the highest score of positive responses is the, Workshop Organisation and Experience, scoring 88% (44/50). The next two sections of the survey, the Project Management and Research Consortium Pairing Session sections score 72% positive responses (36/50). The open-ended questions delivered valuable feedback relating to time-scales, networking and room arrangements as discussed below.
Workshop Organisation and Overall Experience
The section contained 5 questions targeted at revealing the overall satisfaction with regards to overall workshop experience, organisation and planning. The least positive response relates to the level of suitability and comfortability of the venue, where there is a 40% of neutral responses and 60% of positive. Areas like the overall experience, planning and organisation score 100% satisfaction. Slightly less positive (90%) are the areas of networking and support over project exceptions. The open-ended responses of the section reflect the low score of venue’s suitability and reveal the need to be Visually Impaired (VI) friendly. Several VI considerations highlighted in feedback regarding obstacles, pillars, seating arrangements and seat change. Other points of feedback relate mainly to the length of the workshop which seemed to some participants to be a bit rushed.
The section contained 5 questions relating to contribution of the workshop discussion to project management issues, such as deliverables, own contribution, evaluation methods and audience engagement. Overall, workshop discussions had a positive impact and helped project partners to clarify and get a better understanding on project tasks and deliverables (90%), own contribution (90%) and audience engagement (100%). Less positive responses relate to understanding of project evaluation methods (50%) and the role of the research consortium* (50%)
Research Consortium Pairing Session
The section contained 5 questions addressing the outcome and value of the pairing session. The most positive responses relate to the suitability of the assigned research lead to the project (90%) and appreciation of research objectives during discussion (80%). Less positive responses (60%) draw attention to the effective communication between consortium and project partners.
The section contained two separate open-ended questions about the workshop impact to project scope and the lessons learned. Overall, the section collected 12 individual answers, 6 on each question. 50% of the answers confirmed that the workshop has helped to clarify the project’s scope and research aims. Additional positive feedback relates to the networking value of the workshop and the opportunity to discuss and learn about other projects. Some attention is drawn on the overall length of the workshop (suggested to be a whole day) and to the schedule notice which some people found short.
According to the survey the perceived workshop satisfaction among project partners was high. Overall, the workshop was well organised and supported project partners to get a better appreciation of their project as a whole as well as to network and find out about other projects in the field. In addition, the pairing session has helped partners to get a better understanding on the research aims of the project and to discuss the role of the research lead. Some attention should be given to the collaborative practices and communication between partners and research consortium in order for partners to get a better picture on the role and support expected by the consortium. Accidentally the question “I clearly understand the role of the research consortium” put twice in Project Management (PM) and in Research Consortium Pairing Session (RCPS) sections of the questionnaire. The answers are a bit inconsistent, in both cases the level of agreement is not high, 50% when the question in PM section and 70% when in RCPS section. Perhaps an association of the Research Consortium with project management, generates some uncertainty about the role and level of involvement of the research leads. Additional points of attention include the VI friendliness of the venue and seating arrangements, length of workshop and early scheduling arrangements.