How the Survey Came To Be
The “What Do We Do Now? Metal Arts in a Post-COVID World” survey emerged from a grassroots collective of metal arts instructors seeking to better understand the challenges facing those of us teaching amidst the evolving COVID pandemic. The survey’s initial themes were developed by Francesca Watson of The Makery (Bulverde, TX) and Rachel Morris of Eclectic Nature Jewelry & Design (Portland, OR). A committee of professional metal artists and educators was brought together, adding in Charles Lewton-Brain, Nanz Aalund, Kate Richbourg, and Julie Sanford. This group refined the topics and developed specific questions through a series of guided workshops led by Rachel Morris.
The survey was promoted via social media and word of mouth, globally, and data was collected via SurveyMonkey between 7/5/2020 and 7/23/2020, at which point a snapshot of data from the 425 respondents was extracted for analysis.
Data transformation has been done via a custom Microsoft Access database in order to load it into Tableau for reporting and graphing. Nominal manual data cleanup was done on several fields, including mapping to latitude/longitude, aligning “Other” answer fields with existing similar responses, and adjusting descriptors to provide continuity of reporting.
A draft of the analysis report was presented to interested members of the “Teaching Online: Best Practices for Educators” Facebook group for feedback and additional reporting requirements, and an expanded survey team (adding Barbara Minor, Mindy Spritz, Marti Brown and Courtney Grey), has iteratively reviewed and revised the initial report, designing several more focused sub-reports for specific use.
Interpretation and Intended Uses
This survey is from the perspective of the educators and did not include student input. In addition to evaluating the types of classes being taught and student populations being served, the survey broadly describes educational engagement and communication methods used, marketing approaches for both in-person and online classes, and what respondents expect of the institutions through which they teach. Further, it identifies their experience with existing tools for online education, the barriers they are most challenged by, and the resources they are struggling to find in order to overcome these challenges.
Some effort has gone into ensuring that the resulting reports do not make assumptions or try to mandate behaviors for educators and institutions going forward. However, there are some particularly powerful insights found in the data. Two key discoveries are centered around 1) what barriers the respondents find most challenging to moving into online teaching and how those barriers change with years of teaching experience, and 2) how many educators believe they will or will not be continuing in person classes or beginning online classes in the future.
Additionally, with responses from 16 countries, we believe this to be the first survey of its kind to provide such a specific, in-depth look at metal arts instructors and how they self-identify themselves and their student base, globally. We hope that it will invite further conversation amongst instructors and administrators, and also within the industry as a whole, about how to promote and support the ongoing study of metal arts.
Please consider these reports a jumping off point for continued discussions of an ever-changing model for metal arts education.