A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

New Surveying Process Aims to Improve Efficiency

March 4, 2016

A new survey process is in place.For faculty and staff members considering surveying groups on campus, there’s a new process in place to help.

In addition to Institutional Research and Decision Support, many individuals and groups on and off of campus conduct surveys of UC Merced students and staff and faculty members. The number of invitations to participate in online surveys has increased dramatically over the years, making it necessary to put a process in place.

Last spring, the Periodic Review Oversight Committee (PROC) tasked the Campus Working Group on Assessment with establishing a Survey Coordination Committee. The committee is working to determine priorities, maximize survey response rates and make results more meaningful and actionable.

PROC hopes the new survey coordination process will help the campus community manage surveying to everyone’s benefit.

“We’re not trying to stop anyone from surveying,” said Laura Martin, who leads the Campus Working Group on Assessment and the Survey Coordination Committee. “We are trying to help people make the most of survey efforts by providing a service.”

This survey coordination effort aims to help the campus community

  • use surveys to gather quality data;
  • time survey administration to minimize concurrent surveying of the same population;
  • take advantage of the existing survey data;
  • make results accessible to others on campus; and
  • promote survey practices that adhere to relevant policies and regulations.

A campus survey calendar shows what surveys are scheduled to run and their intended populations. Once a survey proposal has been approved, it is added to the calendar. Surveys run by faculty members for research purposes don’t require review before implementation; however, faculty members are encouraged to include their surveys on the calendar by sending an email to surveys@ucmerced.edu with the survey name, start and end dates and the population to be surveyed (e.g., undergraduate students).

Before surveying a group on campus, please do the following:

  1. Visit the survey coordination website to learn more.
  2. Review the Surveys Requiring Review page to determine if your potential survey must be reviewed by the committee.
  3. Consider alternative methodologies for collecting relevant data, such as focus groups and face-to-face interviews.
  4. Move forward with a survey by submitting a proposal.

In addition to facilitating survey coordination, the committee will help advertise surveys and disseminate results to the campus community. It also provides a network of individuals with survey-related expertise and resources to support development of strong surveys.

Questions or feedback about the surveying process can be emailed to Laura Martin.