While we (Dean Wenner, Dean Kosses, and myself….and many others) have a lot of pride in our campus, we are always looking for ways to improve the student experience. Sometimes, through individual conversations with students, we are able to identify a challenge that other students may experience. We are then able to develop options and solutions for that particular student, and change our practice or service moving forward to better meet the needs of students. And while we try to be as accessible as possible to students, it’s difficult to talk with each student individually.
Surveys can be an effective way to gather information and feedback, but we are always careful not to over-survey students. In our most recent #WITwants2know question, only 23% of our respondents felt like they receive too many surveys. Phew….we were afraid that number was going to be higher. And we are certainly aware that there is still a group of student who may be feeling some survey fatigue. That is all good information for us.
Understanding why we ask you to complete surveys, we wanted to provide some examples of what we do with the results we get back:
- In 2014, we conducted the Campus Climate Survey, which is based upon students’ experiences and attitudes around sexual misconduct. Based on the results, our Campus Climate Committee has increased educational programming on consent, intimate partner violence, and healthy relationships.
- Through our Involvement Survey, we learned that students felt like they were receiving too many emails about upcoming programs and club events. From this, we created the Campus Update, a weekly bulletin that combines all of this information into one email at the beginning of the week.
- Our Weekends@WIT committee regularly surveys students to find out what kinds of programs students want to see on campus.
- When our commuter students completed the Commuter Satisfaction Survey, one of the major themes that came from the results was the desire to connect more with faculty. Now, commuter students are invited to a free lunch with a faculty member on Friday of each week.
Sometimes, information we learn in surveys is important, but we need more information. For example, the data we received from last year’s Student Satisfaction Inventory indicated that the item “living conditions in the residence halls are comfortable” was one of our challenges. The problem with this is that we don’t know specifically how students feel about this, how they interpret “comfort,” and if there are specific areas in which this is most challenging. So, this past December, the Office of Housing and Residential Life asked resident students to provide more information about living on campus. The staff in that office are currently reviewing all of the data we received by building so we can develop a well-informed and purposeful strategy for improvement.
We recognize that survey fatigue is real. We appreciate the willingness of our students to provide thoughtful feedback on all of our surveys, including our weekly #WITwants2know questions. We always want to hear from you, but please don’t wait for a survey to be emailed to you. Our doors are always open.