A report on the questionnaire completed by 88 members of Christchurch and Southampton District Bellringers in Jan/Feb 2014

About this information….

The (22 page) printable version is: A report on the questionnaire completed by 88 members of Christchurch and Southampton District Bellringers in 2014 If you want to read it properly this will probably be what you want. If you want the summary then click here

88 people filled in the questionnaire before the final deadline, and it is now a rich database that the District committee can use ongoing as they plan events.

It was a real privilege to process the responses – there were a lot of surprises along the way. Many thanks to all those who worked so hard providing, and collecting, responses.

The Finance/Questionnaire Working Party has already discussed it and produced their recommendations. Next step is discussion at the Quarterly Meeting June 7th. 

Introduction to the report

The Questionnaire was designed in 2 parts. Part 1 asked for contact information and was intended to allow better communications within the District, by identifying who is fulfilling which roles in which towers. Part 2 asked for no personal identifying information and was intended to be filled in by all members of the District, to enable the committee to take into account the members’ thoughts, needs and desires, as they plan future events.

This report analyses the results of Part 2 only.

It was shared first within the C&S Finance and Questionnaire Working Party, then with the District Committee prior to this release within the District.

Methodology

The membership of C&S totals around 220 people. Enough paper questionnaires were distributed to each tower (by hand at the ADM), to allow one per member. The replies represent the full spectrum of ringers from beginner to expert, young to old, town and village, enthusiastic to lukewarm. The size of the sample (88 members) is substantial and allows the committee to have confidence in the results. The profile of the people who filled it in vs. those who did not, is believed to be largely down to which tower secretaries and captains set aside time, energy and commitment to the project, and which ringers turned up in their towers during January and February. The questionnaire was also made available online so that members who were not actively ringing, but receiving emails from the District, were also welcome to take part. Some members (less than 10) did choose this method of providing their data. The vast majority of responses were provided on paper.

Most were returned in batches from towers, but a number of individuals made the effort to post them back. This, together with the care people took to provide in depth answers, indicates that members overall were happy to take part in the process and were keen to have their voices heard.

Several comments were made (verbally) to the effect that having paper copies filled in during a practice night was simple and effective, and allowed for a quick and simple collection process. It was noted that the young ringers in Southampton shared this view, despite being very computer-literate. Paper is simple.

The downsides of using paper are the effort of keying in the data, and the effort of interpretation needed, when for example 1-10 scales are filled in with 1-5 or 1,1,1 responses. Has the responses been any more numerous this would have been a significant issue.

8 people did questions 1-11 and then failed to turn over so the sample for q12-22 is 82.

The data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel.

Conclusions:

  • Respondents generally are enjoying ringing. (q17)
  • Respondents have on average 22 years’ experience of ringing. This is reflected in the high levels of skill of a proportion of our members, and is a tremendous asset.
  • We have very few ringers aged 25-50 and the biggest group is 60-70.
  • Respondents ring on average, 10 times a month. This represents a really keen membership, giving a great deal of commitment.
  • The top choice for the role of the District is “raising the standards of ringing”. (q12). Whilst this is implicit in what we do, it is not specifically addressed.
  • The favourite forms of learning currently used by members, are the ones which don’t require travel.  The District caters for them somewhat by encouraging a culture of special monthly practices, and there were a number of favourable comments about these.
  • If the majority of novices want to learn at home, then the District should explore how their experience  could be improved. Eg by giving more training in Conducting, and training in how to run good practices to assistant captains. Anecdotally it was stated that once someone is a Tower Captain, a suggestion of training is perceived as an insult. Beforehand, however, they would be keen.
  • The missing age groups (25-50) are generally very busy people, less likely than other age groups to be able to ring multiple times a week, so they will need excellent teaching in order to progress.
  • Many people begin, or restart, ringing in retirement. (q9). They need excellent teaching and plenty of rope time in order to progress (anecdotal)
  • 37 of the 88 respondents rated themselves as being able to ring “One or two methods” or less. This is a very significant proportion (42%) who are not specifically planned for by the District.
  • People who can ring “one or two methods” are doing much less ringing, and are much less likely to ring away from home. (q4 and q11). And yet, they are the ones who really need to get plenty of rope time in order to progress
  • Far from being an “elite”, Surprise ringers are doing the most ringing, and are very much more likely to ring regularly at another practice night. This means it appears to be in the District’s and Towers’ best interests to create more surprise ringers.
  • There is strong demand for training in Conducting and Putting Right. This is perceived as being difficult to learn (anecdotally).
  • 19 respondents have taught learners.
  • A breakdown of skills against starting date shows that for respondents who started ringing after 1980, significantly fewer are Surprise Ringers (see last table in report, q1 vs q9). There may be many causes for this, but if we wish to nurture Surprise Ringers as a District, then we may need to make more of an effort to nurture them.

The Questionnaire District Questionnaire pdf version

q1 your ringing ability

Q2 – number of bells I can ring

q2 number of bells I can ring

q3 – List of Methods

q3 List of methods

 

q3 – Individual Answers

q3 individual answers methods rung

q4 – How often do you ring?

q4 How Often Do You Ring

 

q5 – Breaking down how often people regularly ring at another practice night, vs skill

q4 How often do you ring by skill level

q5 how many boxes ticked

q6 – How many peals did you ring in 2013?

q6 how many peals did you ring in 2013

q6 – How many quarter peals did you ring in 2013?

q7 how many quarter peals did you ring in 2013

q8 – What age group are you?

 

q8 what age group are you

q9 – When did you start ringing?

q9 when did you start ringing

q10 – Have you had a break from ringing?

q10 have you had a break from ringing

q10 – I stopped because

q10 I stopped because

q10 – Why did you start ringing again?

q10 Why did you start ringing again

q4 – How often do you ring broken down by skill level

q4 How often do you ring by skill level

q11 What are you looking for when you ring elsewhere?

q11 what are you looking for when you ring elsewhere

q11 how many people listed reasons for ringing elsewhere

q11 how many people listed reasons for ringing elsewhere

q12 What do you think is the role of the District

q12 What do you think is the role of the District

q12 how many people expressed an opinion on the role of the District

q12 Graph of What do you think is the role of the District

q12 role of district graph

q13 Do you think the District has another role?

q13 Do you think the District has another role

q14 Preferred Events

q14 preferred events

q15 Idea for an event

q15 Idea for an event

q16 Daytime Availability

q16 daytime availability

q17 Current Experience of Ringing

q17 Current Experience of bellringing

q18 the good things about ringing

q18 the good things about ringing

q19 the bad things about ringing

q19 the bad things about ringing

q20 Opportunities to learn

q20 Opportunities to learn

q21 Preferred ways of learning

q21 Preferred ways of learning

Interpreting q21

Comments:
only 25 people out of 88 (28%) gave correct rankings 1-8 so the sample is small but not unreasonably small.
The top 3 types of learning can all take place WITHOUT FURTHER TRAVEL.
Conclusion is that the most effective way for the District to influence learning is to influence what happenson ordinary practice nights.
*** Training for tower captains?
*** Printed material about different skills eg method diagrams on the board or to take home?
***  More books IN TOWERS
Only a small number of people are (currently) interested in using starting to use software to learn.The software does
require training to be effective, even if only 10 minutes help.

q21 how are people learning at the moment

q21 How are people learning at the moment

  • 34 people gave at least one “A” in question 21, meaning that they were already learning using one of the approaches listed.
  • Not known why 54 people put no “A” codes. Possibly the question was offputtingly complicated.

q22 Support for other ringers

q22 How do you support other ringers

q22 Support for others vs skill level

q22 Your support for others vs skill level

q22 Is there untapped potential?

q22 supporting others. Is there untapped potential

 

q22 Breakdown of who is asking for training

q22 How many people are asking for training

q22 breakdown of those wanting training in conducting and putting right

q22 breakdown of the 13 people asking for training in conducting and putting right

q1 skill level vs q9 when did you start ringing?

q1 skill level vs q9 when did you start ringing

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