Reflecting on the Past – Envisioning the Future
The Rites of Spring Artist Selection Assessment – 2012
During the late 1960′s and early 1970′s Vanderbilt students, faculty, and administrators went to great lengths to increase the amount of contact the school had with the Nashville community. One example of this community outreach was the “open campus” policy which resulted in many Nashville residents taking part in the Vanderbilt campus event, the Rites of Spring Music Festival which began in 1971.
Each year the Vanderbilt Programming Board is charged with selecting an eclectic group of artist to perform at the annual event. An assessment tool was distributed to the Vanderbilt student body to gauge student interest.
A large majority of our Rites of Spring attendees comes from the Vanderbilt student body and an extremely large amount of our funding comes from our students through the student activity fee.
Since we value student input and it is the driving force for what we do on campus, we wanted to solicit the students feedback on various artist they would like to see perform at Rites of Spring. Providing students with artist they would like to see would increase our chances for making a great concert for the student body. The purpose was also to monitor which radio stations people listen to for their musical preference.
We used a quantitative approach to retrieve data from the Vanderbilt student body on their musical preference. The assessment tool was sent out to the vuannouncements Vanderbilt Programming Board listserve. The assessment tool was distributed to all undergraduate and graduate/professional students (13,239).
Participants were only allowed to choose one answer per question and use a slide scale on two out of the eight questions.
2. Name your favorite band/artist?
3. Favorite Music Genre
4. How often to you listen to the radio?
5. What radio station do you listen to in Nashville?
6. What artist would you like to see perform at Rites of Spring (please list one)?
7. Which genre would you prefer to be headlining at Rites of Spring? (Rock, Hip-hop/Rap, Country, Electronic)
8. Please rate the following artist you would like to see at Rites of Spring. (The Band Perry, J. Cole, Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Local Natives, Christina Perri, Gavin Degraw, Matt Nathanson, Kaiser Chiefs, Fitz and the Tantrums, Portugual the Man, Sleigh Bells, Titus Andronicus, Two Door Cinema Club, Yeasayer, Wiz Khalifa, Steel Magnolias)
The top 10 Artist suggested for Rites of Spring
1. Mumford and Sons – 148
2. Aviccii – 115
3. Taylor Swift – 102
4. Wiz Khalifa – 91
5. J. Cole – 73
6. The Band Perry – 59
7. Rihanna – 58
8. Childish Gambino – 57
9. The Avett Brothers – 57
10. Nicki Minaj – 50
The Top 4 Favorite Radio Stations of Vanderbilt University Students
1. 107.5 The River – 494
2. Lightning 100 – 275
3. 101 The Beat– 237
4. i106 –165
Application to Practice
During the planning process we focused our offers on the top rated artist The Band Perry (62.66) and Wiz Khalifa (71.65). Unfortunately we were unable to book both of the artist but were able to contract the artist with the highest average value, Wiz Khalifa.
We also focused our advertising attention to the top two radio stations 107.5 The River and Lightning 100 which were selected by our students.
Evaluating Learning Outcomes for Student Leaders Through Assessment
Student Campus Events
By. Dwayne V. Elliott
Introduction: The purpose of this assessment was to examine proposed learning outcomes from the 2010-2011 academic years. Vanderbilt Programming Board (VPB) Student Chairs participated in a beginning of the year retreat, which was developed from the Advisor assessment recommendations from past leaders.
Method: Using both qualitative and quantitative measures to validate results, the Advisor assessed seven learning outcomes with the VPB Student Leaders. A quantitative pre-test (September, 2010) and post-test (May, 2011) was administered to all student chairs. Additionally, a series of qualitative questions was given to them to add reliability to the quantitative assessment.
7 Learning Outcomes:
1) Leadership: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will have opportunities to lead peers, learn about delegation and goal setting, and effective decision making. Members will also enhance basic leadership skills such as time management, prioritization, goal setting, self-accountability, and motivating others.
2) Interdependence: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will gain a deeper understanding of their own personal leadership styles, and how their style impacts their interaction with others. Students will learn the value of collaboration, teamwork, community, motivation, and diversity to make events stronger.
3) Interpersonal Communication: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will enhance communication skills. Using electronic and face-to-face media to discuss complex events and make difficult decisions, members will also learn to listen to each other’s ideas. Students will also learn to give appropriate feedback and will learn how to receive constructive feedback.
4) Event Planning and Organization: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will leave the organization having implemented numerous complex events. Members will have seen programs implemented from beginning to end, and will have to had to plan and organize every detail. Such important aspects include attention to detail, budgeting, public relations, publicity, and familiarity with the music industry.
5) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Through managing complex events, students will learn to critically analyze every event and think through all of the necessary details to host high quality events. Additionally, the students will learn to problem solve when situations beyond their control arise.
6) Conflict Management: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will understand the value of conflict, how to handle and diffuse unnecessary conflict, and when to allow conflict to exist in order to strengthen the decisions being made.
7) Diversity: Vanderbilt Programming Board Chairpersons will deepen their appreciation for diversity, and understand the creativity that can arise when diverse viewpoints exist and are openly shared. The council will value diverse additions to the council through recruitment and selection of a more diverse council.
Participants: 10 Vanderbilt Students (3 Seniors, 7 Juniors) who are a part of the Vanderbilt Programming Board
Procedure: The advisor used both qualitative and quantitative measures to validate results, with a heavier emphasis on the quantitative data. A paper and pencil quantitative pre-test using a 4-point Likert scale was administered during the student leader retreat in August. . At the end of the programming year in May after Rites of Spring, the same paper and pencil questionnaire was administered to help the advisor better understand the outcomes being met.
Results: Each outcome was assessed using a variety of questions on the quantitative instrument. Because the n was 10, the advisor chose not to run statistical analysis because the findings would no be significant. After administering the pre test for the Vanderbilt Programming Board student leaders, the data exemplified a high aptitude of leadership skills, which limits growth in some of the seven learning outcomes that were selected for the study. The advisor analyzed all 10 sets of responses, and counted each time an individual indicated growth on an item (e.g. from a 1 to 3 or from a 3 to 4, etc…). The highest score on learning outcomes can be a 10 or 40.
Outcomes, Growth and Qualitative Support
I understand my own personal leadership style. 6
I am not comfortable dealing with conflict. 6
Event Planning and Organization
I have planned successful events from beginning to end. 6
I understand Vanderbilt University policies related to event planning. 4
High Quantitative Responses
I consider myself a leader – 39
I listen to other people’s opinions – 38
I am a good communicator – 39
I am good at establishing mutually trustworthy and rewarding relationships with peers that I work with – 38
I consider myself a strong event planner – 38
I am able to critically think through events I am planning – 39
I have planned successful events from beginning to end – 39
I am comfortable handling even the smallest details related to events – 40
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
I am not comfortable problem solving when something goes wrong at an event – 12
I am comfortable accepting supervision and direction – 39
I complete my responsibilities and tasks in a timely manner – 38
Other High Quantitative Responses
I hold myself accountable – 38
I am able to work with a team or a committee to accomplish a task – 39
I understand how my involvement in VPB will make me more successful in my career – 38
Areas of Improvement
Dealing with Conflict
The preference in working alone rather than with a group
Holding peers accountable
Soliciting feedback from peers on tasks
Reflecting on others’ point of view after listening to them
Conclusion: Due to the high leadership competency that the Vanderbilt Programming Board chairs possess, it was hard to assess their leadership growth throughout the year. Since the bar was set during the pre-test it was hard to gauge if any growth was made during their tenure as a leader for VPB. Expanding the likert scale from a 4 to 7 will provide better dispersion properties that will allow for measuring improvement trends of the student leaders. Another option for the study is to focus the study on sophomore committee members.
Application to Practice: During training leadership skills that should be emphasized are conflict management, holding peers accountable, soliciting feedback from peers, reflecting on others’ point of view and working together as a team. The overall implication is that, by involvement in the student programming board, students are learning and understanding that their involvement in VPB will make them more successful in their career.