Toolbox workshops are structured around a Toolbox instrument, a set of philosophical-informed prompts used as the basis for the group’s dialogue. These prompts are organized in groups of four to eight into modules. Each module has a core question that announces its theme. For example, below is the Values module in our Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Instrument:
Core Question: Do values negatively influence scientific research?
- Objectivity implies an absence of values by the researcher.
- Incorporating one’s personal perspective in framing a research question is never valid.
- Value-neutral scientific research is possible.
- Determining what constitutes acceptable validation of research data is a value issue.
- Allowing values to influence scientific research is advocacy.
- The members of this team have similar views concerning the values core question.
At the start of a workshop, participants rate their agreement with each prompt on a five-point Likert scale. These prompts are best understood as probing statements to spark dialogue.
Our two most commonly used instrument are published and available for download: STEM Toolbox Instrument (Eigenbrode et al., 2007) and Health Sciences Toolbox Instrument (Schnapp et al., 2012).[Custom instruments => stating for whom they were created? Details on our process]