ecotypes reflection form: some starter stats

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James Proctor

Sep 5, 2022, 10:52:43 PM9/5/22
Dear colleagues, as you know there is a new, followup reflection form on the EcoTypes site that explores with participants how they navigate difference: their ideal vs. worst-fit EcoType, and nonhuman/human Place, old/new Knowledge, and/or small/big Action [respondents have a choice which of the three themes to explore]. Each form is customized with the scores from the respondent's survey results.

We now have some responses (n = 43), and expect quite a few more in time. The patterns I'm starting to see are both expected and surprising! Here are a few quick stats [see the Navigating Difference rubric for explanation of some curious phrases below, e.g., "counting to two"].
  • Far more respondents agree than disagree (84% vs. 14%, with midpoint omitted here) that their assigned EcoType from the survey report is a good fit. [This broadly matches our qualitative responses in past.]
  • The Navigating Difference rubric, designed primarily to facilitate structured conversation on a range of finite options, seems clear enough for respondents to invoke, with over 90 percent agreeing that it was clear and understandable. [I was by no means sure...]
  • Overall, respondents are, unsurprisingly, non—more like anti—binary in their general approach in counting between one and two: only 7% invoked an option leaning toward counting to two. This was even true when comparing their best and worst fit EcoTypes (say, Earth Justice vs. Small Green Steps), where fully 63% invoked an option leaning toward counting to one.
  • What is also fascinating is how respondents differentially navigate difference wrto Place, Knowledge, and Action. Place seems to be the theme where respondents lean the most toward counting to two (30%), with Action the least (5%), and Knowledge in between (23%). In brief, the examples provided of nonhuman vs. human Place seemed the most distinct/irreconcilable to respondents, whereas they saw much less of a distinction between small and big Action. [Some of you may recall that Action is actually the theme with the highest variance, i.e., disagreement, among responses...thus a sort of contradiction.] It seems that respondents are more willing to support a Big Tent for small/big Action than they are for nonhuman/human Place.
A final, slightly wonky chart attached, comparing their perceived EcoType fit with the numerical fit from their survey responses. As can be expected, perceived fit was all over the place, but you can see some pattern, and a quick and dirty correlation [Likert responses recoded, sort of a no-no] is significant (r = 0.58).

Okay, if any of this might be helpful in working with your students in interpreting their reflection form results, great! And remember that there is a whole COIL devoted to Navigating Difference: feel free to ask if you'd like further details. The self-guided COIL is where I think the greatest student learning can happen, especially if you are prepared to facilitate a summary discussion in class, or involve your students in a followup EcoTypes forum interaction with students from other institutions, regions, and possibly countries.


Jim P.

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