Among university professors, there can be a “collective groan” response to student satisfaction surveys in the classroom. Professors who receive high ratings and marks can view their ratings as validation that they’re quality educators. However, professors who receive low marks may feel the criticism is unwarranted.
In addition, many schools require student surveys, but the burden to administer them lands on the shoulders of the department, the faculty, and the classroom.
The pen-and-paper student survey exacerbates the workload. It’s time universities stopped relying on this. Through the use of technology, universities can bring student feedback surveys into the 21st century.
Improving student response rate
One common criticism of student surveys is the response rate. Often, only students who are extremely angry or extremely happy will take the time to submit their opinions for review. These extreme opinions may not accurately represent the areas that truly need improvement.
This is easily remedied. Many universities these days make course/teacher evaluations a requirement of the course. Meaning, if you don’t fill it out, you won’t get credit. Making student surveys a required component will quickly bring response rates to the desired level. And, through online or tablet-based student surveys, faculty can easily determine response rate without a lot of manual counting.
Clearing up bottlenecks
With paper surveys, there are a lot of steps involved that are unnecessary in this day and age. Collecting sheets of paper, keying in answers (and scribbled comments), and determining which students have and have not responded is more of a hassle with the traditional survey sheet.
With tablet based surveys like those available through Check Point, data is collected in real time and is easily mushed together from multiple locations, eliminating the need for data entry and manual tracking (read: counting) of your surveys.
The editing process
In the past, updating a survey throughout the department, or even for a single class, was a much more time consuming process. With online and tablet-based surveys, professors or staff can correct a mistake, add or drop questions, and perform any other edits. The entire survey will be updated instantly.
Tablet use is widespread with youth
Young people are more connected today than ever. According to a 2013 study by Pew Research, 79 percent of people ages 18-24 own a smartphone. In a similar study, Pew Research found that 37 percent of people ages 18-29 own a tablet.
For a survey that takes less than five minutes to complete, tablets are no-brainers. Your students will be able to complete them more efficiently than paper readers. There will be no chicken-scratch handwriting to decipher, and the answers will all be collected for reporting and aggregation instantly.
Bringing surveys into the 21st century
Tablet-based surveys bring major improvements to the survey system. While a major overhaul of the survey may seem overwhelming, transferring the surveys from one medium to another need not be. Eliminating bottlenecks, easy editing capabilities, and a modernization of the survey system are benefits that come from a shift to technology. Professors may still grumble (as is in their right) at the use of student surveys to determine performance. However, as long as student surveys are a reality, modernization will make the process easier for everyone involved.
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Mai Lyn Ngo is a marketing coordinator at LRS and ambassador for solutions that create a better guest experience.