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Summative Evaluation Tool #2: Participant Characteristics

What Questions May Be Addressed by This Measure?

This tool provides insight into who from within the campus community is utilizing your services. 

How Do I Use This Measure?

Participant characteristics should be recorded as early and often as possible.  This type of information is often collected in a questionnaire/survey format, completed by the participant.  Incorporating questions into the various systems you have in place or are creating is an excellent way to ensure you are collecting this type of data.  For example, the questions included in this tool could be included in an exit evaluation survey given at the end of a mediation session.  This tool contains examples of characteristics you might want to track.  You will want to think through issues of confidentiality.

What Information Will the Results Give Me?

Results from this tool also provide important information for both report writing and for identification of areas for improvement.  For example, it can help identify populations on campus who may need to be targeted for outreach about your services. 

Participant Characteristics—Sample Questions

Demographic data—These questions provide insight into the types of people using your services.  The list provided below is a template; modify as needed.

Age—have disputant write in their actual age or check an age category (e.g., 18-22).

Gender—useful to have disputant check a box rather than write it in.

Ethnicity—consult the campus human relations office for appropriate categories.

Education—you can focus on completed education (e.g., high school diploma, bachelors, masters, doctorate), the current year in school (e.g., sophomore, junior, masters, doctorate), or both. 

Affiliation/role—provide a checklist of different roles on campus: e.g., student, faculty, staff.

Role in mediation—provide a checklist for the participant. Listed below are different roles with an explanation for each. 

_____ Complainant (first party or initiator of contact with the mediation resource)

_____ Respondent (second party)

_____ Observer (a mediation center staff or trainee)

_____ Support person (ranges from advocate for to friend of a disputant)

Relationship—You are interested in gaining insight into the type and length of the relationship among the parties involved in the dispute.  A checklist is probably the easiest way to collect this information.  The list provided below is a template; modify as needed: 

_____ acquaintances                                       _____ landlord/tenant

_____ classmates                                            _____ employer/employee

_____ roommates/housemates                       _____ co-workers (staff or faculty)

_____ neighbors                                             _____ faculty-staff

_____ friends                                                  _____ student-faculty

_____ dating                                                   _____ family (immediate or extended)

_____ domestic partners/married                    _____ strangers

_____ divorced/separated                                _____ Other: __________________

_____ ex-boyfriend/girlfriend

Repeat Player—This provides information about whether a participant has previously utilized mediation.  A simple checkbox, with a "yes" or "no" answer, will likely suffice.  If you are interested in learning whether their experience with mediation was with your program, you may want to include a question. 

Have you previously participated in mediation?           _____ Yes       _____ No

               If yes, was it with our office? _____ Yes       _____ No