Study Design

The Wayfinding Project is currently finishing its pilot and will launch a long-term study in the fall of 2020. We received IRB approval from each of our campuses. The data reported on in our articles and presentations comes from a year-long pilot study in which we surveyed 275 current undergraduates and conducted focus groups with alumni (n = 22). The pilot survey respondents were registered in one of five undergraduate courses in education or psychology, and they received course credit for their participation. The 24-item survey, hosted by Qualtrics, asked respondents about their demographics, writing media they used, types of writing they produced and how often, and their career trajectories.

The alumni who have participated in the focus groups live across the United States, representing the wide distribution of the UC system. They also represent the racial and ethnic diversity of the system. Each group of three to five interviewees met with two interviewers on the Zoom platform. Interviews were audio recorded only to maintain anonymity in our reports; all names used in reports are pseudonyms. Participants were asked eight open-ended questions about their experiences with writing beyond college courses, what they had learned about writing since graduating, examples of times when they had written something meaningful (however they defined the term), examples of times when they brought together different types of writing to achieve a purpose, how they would define writing now, and examples of conversations they have had with others about writing since graduating.