"Should I go to that?" Virtual events and what we learn from them

Submitted by Erica Wager on
What is the Purpose of the Assessment?

This year, Psych Club/Psi Beta (PCPB) met all online. Our students expressed interest in events, but wanted to ensure they would be able to interact with the speakers and learn actively.

Describe the necessity for this assessment

The PCPB students expressed that in other virtual events they have attended this year, they could not interact with speakers and wanted to change this norm so that learning was active. 

Describe how the practice will be implemented

PCPB designed an event for Women's History Month where students in the club were able to come up with their questions ahead of time to ask panelists AND were able to ask questions to the panelists during the presentation. As a club, we also designed a survey ahead of time to give to students after the panel to learn about what people enjoyed and what we could improve on as a club for our next event. We will now use the same (or a similar) survey after each event that we do.

Interpret, compare, and describe the results

More than 25 students, staff, and faculty attended the event! Students indicated (via survey results that will be attached here, and conversation) that the event was very interactive and that they felt comfortable with the speakers. For instance, all respondents strongly agreed that they felt comfortable asking questions throughout the presentation. Also, all respondents strongly agreed that they learned at least one thing that they could apply to their own career/education.

After analyzing, and reflecting on the outcome, what are the next steps?

PCPB will continue to use this assessment (or a similar version of it). We found that overall students enjoyed the event and got something out of it. See results attachment for more detail (quantitative and qualitative). I also discovered that when students had a larger investment in the event (e.g. came up with questions we asked panelists, helped design post assessment... etc), they were more engaged overall. We may also create a pre test to align with our post test. 


This year, the Psychology Club and Psi Beta (PCPB) have had to meet all online. While this has presented us with challenges, it has also opened up our club to many possibilities. Our students wanted to have events, but indicated concern that they wouldn't actually be able to engage with the speakers, as in other online events they often aren't able to speak or raise their hand as frequently as they would like. We decided to create a Women In Psych Panel event. To address concerns about engagement, we as a club came up with the questions for our panelists ahead of time AND created a post assessment to give to students after the event. The assessment asked students to indicate on a scale from 1-5 (1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=neutral, 4=agree, 5=strongly agree) how much they agreed with statements about engagement, interest in the topic, relatability of panelists... etc. This activity increased overall engagement in students (e.g. students expressed that they were able to relate to panelists (M=4.86, SD=.35), that they felt comfortable asking questions (M=5, SD=0), and more). In the future we will continue to use this assessment to inquire about events. 

Completed Full Cycle
Average: 3.6 (15 votes)


Catherine Cochran Mon, 05/03/2021 - 3:14pm

Hi Erica,

Thank you for submitting a CATS!

I liked how your students led this event.  I am glad to hear that your students were more invested and engaged too. 

Thank you for effort and hardwork!


Becky Baranowski Fri, 05/07/2021 - 8:42am

Erica - great CATS.  I appreciate how you and the students looked for ways to improve events while we are in this virtual environment.  Events like this are a great way for students to feel part of our college campus, so thank you for finding ways to help our students connect with others.  

Bronwen Steele Wed, 05/12/2021 - 8:45am

Erica excellent study. Our pre-nursing group have found it very helpful to have 1 person watch the chat and the presenter pause fairly often to accomodate student questions. We have heard resoundingly across the 3 sessions held they students loved the responsiveness concerning their questions and getting answers immediately.