A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

New Survey Coordination Process Shows Progress

October 19, 2016

The campus’ survey coordination process has shown significant improvement over the past nine months.

As reported in Panorama earlier this year, the new process aims to better manage survey activity on campus so that faculty and staff members who wish to use survey data can:

  • gather quality survey data;
  • coordinate survey activity to lessen concurrent surveying of the same populations;
  • locate and use existing survey data that may address their questions; and
  • ensure that survey practices adhere to campus policies and regulations.

The Survey Coordinating Committee has reviewed nine survey proposals since efforts were launched in January. Survey proposals were submitted by the School of Natural Sciences, Transportation and Parking Services, the Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) Office, Graduate Student Services, Information Technology, the Bright Success Center, the Students First Center and the Office of Student Life.

Achieving Success

Feedback received shows the committee’s input to proposed surveys has been thoughtful and helpful.

“They gave us suggestions that made our questions more understandable to the reader and more consistent with all the other questions, and had us think more carefully about the scales for the answers,” said Amy Moffat, an assessment manager in the School of Natural Sciences who was tasked with surveying faculty members and lecturers. “We had such a positive experience, there will be no hesitation in the future to come back to the committee whenever we are doing a large data collection effort.”

Participation in the surveying process has also helped the committee build out the survey calendar in an effort to spread out survey activity.

“It was helpful to know that our survey did not coincide with any other faculty survey during those dates,” Moffat said.

The committee has been successful in directing those who wish to survey to resources to help them develop quality survey instruments and administration plans. It has also helped people understand and follow policy regarding whether their surveys require Institutional Review Board approval.

To help streamline efforts, individuals are directed to existing survey data that may answer their questions in lieu of creating more surveys.

Tackling Challenges

While the committee has made significant progress since January, it still has challenges such as getting the word out that the survey process is simple and beneficial. The new process may be perceived as an obstacle for groups and committees that have been conducting surveys without a review requirement in the past.

The committee also needs help from the campus community in order to keep the survey calendar up to date — including surveys that do not require review — so that it is a resource for the entire campus.

Submitting a Proposal

Before surveying on campus, please do the following:

  1. Consider whether you could collect the data you need via alternative methods (e.g., focus groups), including whether data has already been collected that may address your question(s).
  2. Visit the survey coordination website for general information.
  3. Determine whether your survey requires review.
  4. Proceed with submitting a proposal, if applicable.

If you have questions or feedback about survey coordination, email Interim Chair of the Survey Coordinating Committee Cinnamon Danube.