While I will be filming Dr. Craig Shealy, founder of the BEVI later today for a future blog posting, I thought I would give you a preview of the training so far.
By way of introduction, the BEVI is designed to assess a number of relevant processes and constructs including (but not limited to): basic open receptivity to different cultures, religions, and social practices; the tendency (or not) to stereotype in particular ways; self and emotional awareness; and strategies for making sense of why ‘other’ people and cultures ‘do what they do’.
Dr. Shealy started our certification training by having us actually take the BEVI online. It took about 40 minutes and we each answered, in strict confidence, a series of questions related to our demographics, personal histories and upbringing. We were then asked 336 questions about our beliefs, life events and values that required answering with either “strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree.” There was no room for being wishy washy – you had to dig deep and answer questions that evoked feelings and emotion, ranging from how you were raised to your opinion about the environment. The BEVI successfully hones in on thoughts we have but don’t necessarily speak to others about.
BEVI emphasizes that there are no right or wrong answers and that there is no judgment attached – it is simply a way to collect information and ultimately create a confidential report that can be used by the reader as a summary of the individual’s world view and how learning can be considered as a result of the BEVI findings. Ultimately, the BEVI looks at who learns what, under what circumstances and to what degree.
Several schools are here for the training – some, simply to explore the tool and how it can be used in a learning environment, while one university is actually having a sample of freshmen take the BEVI at orientation this summer (it is not mandated, but a volunteer request) before the students’ first semester and then having the sample population retake the BEVI at the end of their junior year or beginning of their senior year, to see if and how the group’s world view has changed. They are also asking participants to create an electronic portfolio, where they can deposit copies of course papers and other pieces of work that related to international, global and multicultural learning.
It seems that the BEVI can be used in a variety of ways:
– looking at world view of a cohort in a class or study abroad/international program (study abroad, service learning abroad, etc)
– a tool for Multicultural and Human Resource offices
– as an assessment tool, perhaps prior to freshman year and then after an international experience/multicultural focused course
– exploring what type of experience the student may be ready to have, perhaps in an advising capacity (with the student’s permission, obviously, as the BEVI generates a confidential report)
– perhaps as a tool in re-entry workshops
As mentioned earlier, I will soon have a video interview of the BEVI’s founder, Dr. Craig Shealy, so that you can hear more about this new inventory tool.