Announcing WE1S Human Subjects Research

Published December 5, 2019
Members of the UCSB Human Subjects Research Team

In the spring of 2019, WE1S launched a human subjects research pilot project focused on the role of the humanities in the UCSB community. The Human Subjects Research team (led by postdoc Abigail Droge), formulated a Qualtrics survey inviting undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to share their personal experiences and thoughts regarding the humanities, as a complement to the data that the WE1S project had already gathered from online sources, like Reddit, Twitter, and University Wire. The human subjects research was meant to ground our digital analysis in human-centered perspectives close to home. 

On April 23rd, 2019, members of the Human Subjects Research team including Abigail Droge, Rebecca Baker, Leila Stegemoeller, Jessica Gang, and Avery Martin, with the help of Chloe Willis, held a social event in the Digital Arts and Humanities Commons from 11-3 to kick off our survey. The team advertised the survey outside the DAHC, inviting students, faculty, and staff milling around campus to participate. As an extra incentive to participants, the team ordered pizza from Costco and provided a multitude of other snacks to survey-takers to munch on as they completed the questions. 

The event was a resounding success and contributed heavily to our final tally of almost 250 survey responses collected. The Human Subjects Research team was able to build from the responses gathered during the survey to run a series of focus groups that invited undergraduates and other UCSB community members to share their thoughts and opinions about the humanities in a more intimate, discussion-friendly setting. Additionally, over the summer the team worked to analyze the human subjects data and is in the process of synthesizing a series of conclusions that we hope to put in productive discussion with the results of the entire project. 


Avery, Jessica, and Leila making posters to advertise our survey social event


Rebecca entices participants with free pizza


Avery, Jessica, Rebecca, Abigail, and Leila kicking off WE1S’s human subjects research at UCSB


This research was carried out with IRB approval from the Human Subjects Committee in the Office of Research at UCSB. Many thanks for their help and guidance.