Evaluating Entering Research


The Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE), in collaboration with CIMER, provide centralized, common evaluation surveys that use the Entering Research Learning Assessment (ERLA) to promote and systematize the evaluation of undergraduate and graduate research experiences and training programs. These evaluation surveys are available to all trained facilitators of Entering Research (ER), regardless of whether they are using ER activities in their implementations. Programs using the ER curriculum can also use standardized tools designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum in training program implementations. For more information on attending Facilitator Training to learn how to implement research mentee training, visit the Training page.

Evaluation surveys are housed through the CIMER Assessment Platform (CAP) and include standard questions. Research training program directors and facilitators can also add customized questions to collect site or training specific information.

Standard evaluation surveys are typically administered post training and are available for all types of undergraduate and graduate research trainings, no matter the length or venue.

Entering Research Evaluation Process

Individuals who have participated in the Facilitator Workshop: Learn to Implement Mentee Training are trained and invited to build and launch their own evaluation surveys using the CIMER Assessment Platform. Surveys include questions that evaluate the research experience, any professional development of training program activities (including the Entering Research curriculum), and demographics. Each survey includes the Entering Research Learning Assessment (ERLA), a validated tool designed to assess trainees’ learning gains across seven different areas of trainee development. 

Step 1

Complete evaluation request form

Contact us 3 weeks in advance

Step 2

Complete CAP training

Learn to build and launch your surveys quickly

Step 3

Create your survey

Customized questions may be added

Step 4

Administer your survey

Send surveys to trainees and their mentors; send reminders as needed

Step 5

View your evaluation report​

Aggregate data for all survey questions

Step 1: Complete evaluation request form

Complete the Evaluation Request form at least three weeks before you plan to send out your surveys. The form will require you to provide implementation details such as training dates, names and contact information of additional facilitators, target audience, expected number of participants, and location. Due to high national demand, timely completion of this form ensures that support for your evaluation can be provided.

Step 2 Complete CIMER Assessment Platform (CAP) training

Beginning in Summer 2019, all individuals attending the Facilitator Workshop: Learn to Implement Mentor Training will receive CIMER Assessment Platform Training as part of the workshop. Previously trained facilitators and those wishing to use the platform who have not attended a workshop must complete an online training (coming soon) prior to creating their surveys.

Step 3: Create your survey

Once you have completed the evaluation request form and CIMER Assessment Platform training, you will be added to the CIMER Assessment Platform as a survey administrator. This will allow you to build your own surveys and custom questions. 

Step 4: Administer your survey

Once you have built your survey, you’ll load the names and emails of trainees and their mentors (if applicable) and launch your survey. Launching the survey will send an initial email to your trainees and their mentors. You will also be sent a brief survey about your implementation to complete. IMPORTANT: Once the survey is launched, it can no longer be modified.

Step 5: CIMER platform generates a summary report

Once you have closed the survey, you will be able to view aggregate reports of your survey data. This includes descriptive survey data, including information from any customized questions or scales.

Step 6 (optional): Raw survey data

To obtain de-identified raw survey data for research purposes, an IRB approval number is required to ensure that the data is protected. After the IRB approval number is provided, you will be given access to download the de-identified data as a CSV file. Identifiable raw survey data is also available with appropriate IRB approval.

For more information on the evaluation process or to arrange evaluation for your training, contact enteringresearch@education.wisc.edu.