Research Design

Participants

FUSE is a whole school approach to tackle bullying, cyberbullying and promote online safety and social well-being among students and the whole school community. As a whole school approach, FUSE will involve post primary students, parents, teachers and school staff.

Implementation of the Programme

Teachers

The programme implementation starts with a teachers’ training. Teachers are invited to attend a two-days training. During the first day, experienced staff will give a detailed presentation which will include all the content that teachers will need for the next phase of the programme. The aspects that will be discussed are:

  • What is bullying
  • Types of bullying
  • Victims, perpetrators, bystanders
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Report bullying
  • Online safety
  • Sexting
  • Empathy
  • Social skills
  • School climate

The second day will be focused on the way that teachers will deliver the workshops to students, parents and school staff. Teachers will be delivered a detailed presentation on how to do the workshops and facilitate the discussion among the participants.

Students

An anti-bullying programme will be implemented to post primary students across Ireland. In the first year of the programme, only schools from Dublin will participate in the programme. It constitutes of six workshops that discuss aspects of bullying, cyber-bullying, online safety and social skills among adolescents. The teachers that participated in the two-days training will deliver the anti-bullying programme to their students. Each workshop is based on discussion led by the students themselves and facilitated by the teacher. There are also activity sheets that students should complete as part of the whole process, which aim at making the workshops more interactive.

Parents

Parents will attend one workshop delivered by the teachers trained at the two-days training. The purpose of the workshop is to provide parents with all the necessary skills in order to tackle bullying and promote online safety among their kids.

School Staff

All the school staff will attend a workshop which will be delivered by the teachers trained at the two-days training. The workshop aims at providing staff members with sound knowledge of bullying and online safety in order to tackle get involved in relevant situations.

Data Collection

Teachers

Teachers will complete a survey before the delivery of the training, investigating their attitudes and knowledge on bullying and online safety situations. A post-survey will be administered to them after they deliver every workshop to students and school staff, in order to evaluate any changes in their behaviour.

By the end of the two-days training, they will complete a separate survey, which will evaluate the way the training was conducted, if the content was enough to enhance their knowledge and whether the trainers facilitated the whole process.

The pre and post-surveys will be implemented online via the FUSE website, while the programme evaluation will be done offline in a paper-based form.

The second day will be focused on the way that teachers will deliver the workshops to students, parents and school staff. Teachers will be delivered a detailed presentation on how to do the workshops and facilitate the discussion among the participants.

Students

An experimental design (two-group pre-test/post-test design) will be implemented for students. An experimental group and a control group will be used. All the participants in the experimental group will participate in the FUSE programme, while participants from the control group will not get the programme delivered (at least in the first school year).

A questionnaire that investigates students’ behaviour towards bullying, cyber-bullying, online safety and social skills will be administered to the students of both groups before the beginning of the programme.

By the end of the programme, only students from the experimental group will complete a short questionnaire that evaluates the programme and the training that their teachers provided to them.

After a certain time of period both groups will be administered again the questionnaire that they completed before the beginning of the programme. In this way, differences on behaviour within and between groups can be identified.

Two more post-test surveys will collect data from both groups (experimental and control group) after a longer time period (e.g. two times the next school year) in order to measure long term effects of the programme.

The pre and post surveys will be administered online via the FUSE website. The programme evaluation questionnaire will be in a paper-based form.

Parents and School Staff

Two-times pre and post surveys will be used for parents and school staff, too. All the participants will complete online through the FUSE website the same survey before and after the implementation of the programme. The survey will evaluate their behaviour and attitudes towards bullying, cyber-bullying, online safety and social skills.

After the end of the workshop, all participants will complete (in a paper-based form) a short questionnaire evaluating the training they have been delivered and the trainers’ capacity to deliver the programme.

Instruments

Pre and post-surveys

Teachers

Teachers who will attend the two-days training will complete a similar questionnaire before and after the training. This questionnaire delves into the following aspects:

  • Demographic questions
    • Personal details
    • School details
  • Prevalence of bullying rates
  • Teachers’ internet usage
  • Teachers’ knowledge of pupils’ social media and device use
  • Negative online experiences
  • Pupils’ cyber-bullying
  • Online safety discussions and confidence to support pupils online
  • Self-efficacy questions
    • Teachers confidence to protect their pupils from being bullied or from sending or seeing harmful/graphic or inappropriate material online
  • Empathy questions
  • School climate questions
    • Teacher support
    • Peer support
    • Opportunities of students’ autonomy
    • Clarity and consistency in school rules
  • Support services
    • Supports available to students
    • Resources needed in schools to tackle bullying and support pupils’ social skills
  • Policy development
    • Attitudes towards policy development
    • Implementation of policies
    • Support to students involved in bullying situations
Students

The pre and post-surveys will use questionnaires that will be similar in both measures. The surveys use several scales that investigate students’ behaviours towards all the aspects discussed during the workshops.

Demographic Data

The students’ survey begins with collecting demographic data, like gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc.

Questionnaire on Bullying for Students (Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire)

This scale measures the frequency that students are bullied or bully other people. It also investigates the different forms of bullying and it delves into help-seeking.

Cyberbullying and Online Aggression Survey Instrument (Hinduja & Patchin)

The present scale aims at identifying cyberbullying victimization and cyberbullying perpetration.

Basic Empathy Scale (Jolliffe & Farrington)

The Basic Empathy Scale (BES) measures affective and cognitive empathy among adolescents. Affective empathy measures people’s emotional agreement with other people’s emotions, while cognitive empathy measures individuals’ ability to understand other people’s emotions.

School Climate Questionnaire (Way, Reddy, & Rhodes)

In order to measure school climate, the School Climate Questionnaire is used. It constitutes of four subscales that measure “students’ perceptions of teacher support”, “students’ perceptions of peer support”, “opportunities of students’ autonomy” and “clarity and consistency in school rules”.

The peer support scale has two subscales; “the negative peer interactions” and “affiliation”. The scale of clarity and consistency in school rules combines also two subscales; “the school structure” and “the school harshness” scales.

Students’, Teachers’ and Parents’ Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Glatz et al.)

Three scales were adapted and developed based on the Self Efficacy Questionnaire, developed by Glatz et al. (2018).

The students’ scale measures students’ confidence to protect themselves from being bullied or from sending or seeing harmful/graphic or inappropriate material online. The teachers’ and parents’ scales measure students’ confidence in their teachers’ and parents’ ability to protect them from being bullied or from sending or seeing harmful/graphic or inappropriate material online, respectively.

Youth Digital Participation Survey (Digital Safety Commission – Australia)

This questionnaire investigates smartphone and social media habits, frequency of internet, social media and applications use, online safety behaviours, communication with strangers, password sharing, privacy settings, negative online experiences and help seeking behaviour.

Moral Disengagement Questionnaire (Bussey, Fitzpatrick & Raman)

This questionnaire measures students’ attitudes towards cyberbullying another person and being a bystander of cyber-bullying.

Parents

Parents will participate into pre and post surveys. Initially, they will be administered a questionnaire before they attend the workshop at their child’s school. After that, they will attend the workshop and, finally, they will complete again the same survey in order for changes in their behaviour to be measured.

Demographic Data

The survey begins with questions about parents’ demographic information, like gender, age, educational level, occupational level and information about their child participating in the FUSE programme.

Questionnaire on Bullying (Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire)

These questions examine parents’ knowledge of the frequency of their child being bullied/bullying others and the forms of bullying.

Digital Use Survey (Digital Safety Commission – Australia)

This scale tries to investigate parents’ use of technology and their knowledge about their child’s use of technology. Moreover, it tries to examine parental concerns for the devices their children use, the time they spend on the screen and their child’s supervision, as well as their attitudes towards online safety features and their child’s safe online behaviour. Additionally, there are questions about the actions taken in cases their child was bullied or exposed to dangerous online issues. Finally, there are questions asking for needs for additional online safety support.

Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Glatz et al.)

Parents will complete a scale about their confidence in protecting their child from being bullied and from sending or seeing harmful/graphic or inappropriate material online.
Furthermore, they will be administered with the same scale in order to investigate parents’ confidence in their child’s school to protect their child from being bullied and from sending or seeing harmful/graphic or inappropriate material online.

School Climate Questionnaire (Way, Reddy, & Rhodes)

In order to measure parents’ beliefs of their child’s school climate, the School Climate Questionnaire is used, which constitutes of four subscales (“students’ perceptions of teacher support”, “students’ perceptions of peer support”, “opportunities of students’ autonomy”, “clarity and consistency in school rules”).

School Staff

All the school staff that will participate in the FUSE programme will complete a questionnaire before and after the workshop, similar to the one the teachers participating in the two-day training will complete.

Programme Evaluation

Each group of participants (teachers attending the training, students, parents and school staff) will complete a short paper-based questionnaire exactly after the training/workshops. This survey aims at evaluating the workshops, the workload of each workshop, the importance and the clarity of the topics discussed, the originality of the activities and the capacity of trainers to deliver the programme.

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