The Values, Interfaith Engagement, and Worldview Survey (VIEWS) is a theoretically-based and empirically-validated assessment tool designed to assist campus leaders in creating positive climates that embrace the challenges with and realize the possibilities of supporting diverse religious and non-religious worldviews on campus. VIEWS can help your campus answer such questions as:
- Do students perceive campus as a safe space for diverse religious and non-religious identities, beliefs, and practices?
- What are the most positive aspects of campus climate? What areas of campus climate present challenges or opportunities for improvement?
- How do students respond to and interact with others representing different worldviews?
- What are students’ attitudes toward diverse worldviews? How do they perceive their own capacities to effectively engage religious diversity?
VIEWS captures students perceptions of the campus climate related to worldview experiences and interfaith engagement. Specifically, the survey includes a collection of items designed to capture both positive and negative aspects of climate. With respect to positive climate dimensions, students answer questions about perceived support for their own worldview identity and whether they view the campus as welcoming for a range of specific worldview identities. To capture negative aspects of climate, several survey items address student perceptions of coercion, divisiveness, and insensitivity based on worldview identities.
In addition to understanding students’ perceptions of the climate, VIEWS collects information about how students engage with religiously diverse peers and experience worldview diversity. The instrument captures this information in two ways. First, a series of items explores how students experience challenging yet stimulating interactions with diverse others, as well as their negative interworldview engagement. Second, another set of items captures what activities students are engaging in, including general religious/spiritual activities, formal interfaith programs, informal engagement with diverse peers, and experiences in the classroom.
There are three primary outcomes scales measured in VIEWS: self-authored worldview commitment, appreciative attitudes toward others, and pluralism orientation. These three outcomes are critical components of productive interfaith engagement.
Self-Authored Worldview Commitment measures the degree of reflection and consideration of other worldviews that students engage in prior to committing to their own worldview.
Appreciative Attitudes Toward Others measures how positively students view individuals of different worldview groups. There is one scale for each of the following groups: Atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Hindus, Jews, Latter Day Saints/Mormons, Muslims, political conservatives, and political liberals.
Pluralism Orientation captures the extent to which students are globally oriented, are accepting of others with different worldviews, believe that worldviews share many common values, consider it important to understand the differences between world religions, believe it is possible to have strong relationships with diverse others and still hold to their own worldview, believe it is important to engage in service with people of other worldviews, and are open to adjusting their worldview as they have new life experiences.