Hopefully, the semester is settling in for you and your students are getting serious about learning and working on their research projects. This week’s post explores some recent perception data trends collected in the Graduate School through exit surveys of our graduates over the past three years (2011-2013). These data are presented in aggregated form. I can also disaggregate these data by graduate program, if you are interested.
Between 2011-2013, most responses on the Graduate School Exit Survey have been positive (µ = 4.28, σ = .79). However, five opportunities for improvement are indicated:
Opportunity #1 – promptness of instructor feedback. With a mean of 3.87 and a standard deviation of 1.11, this is perceived by our students as our weakest area.
Opportunity #2 -access to specialized disciplinary technology applications (i.e., SPSS, desktop-to-desktop conferencing, etc.). With a mean of 3.88 and a standard deviation of .86, this is perceived by our students as our 2nd weakest area.
Opportunity #3 – instructor skill with disciplinary instructional technology. With a mean of 3.90 and a standard deviation of .88, this is perceived by our students as our 3rd weakest area.
Opportunity #4 – satisfaction with quality of faculty feedback on course work. With a mean of 3.94 and a standard deviation of 1.08, this is perceived by our students as our 4th weakest area.
Opportunity #5 – Commencement ceremony satisfaction. With a mean of 3.94 and a standard deviation of .9, this is perceived by our students as our 5th weakest area.
Of these five opportunities, the first and fourth are the ones we can improve upon most easily. Over 81% of our graduate students take courses through the Virtual College or in a hybrid (Virtual College + on campus) delivery method. For some perspective, seven years ago this percentage was 66%. Students at a distance from campus want the prompt feedback they are used to getting in a classroom on campus. Certainly, the university needs to invest more resources into making your job easier in this area, but thanks for working to keep these students at a distance better engaged.
The other opportunities are more difficult to improve upon. Granted, some disciplines may not use instructional technology to the extent others do, but as professors we need to stay current or risk obsolescence. Our Commencement ceremony is at the mercy of the weather given the non-air conditioned Gross Coliseum. This past year’s hot ceremony data surely is reflected here.
Keep up your good work and thanks for your support of graduate education at FHSU. Next week, I’ll post more about the characteristics of our Graduate School. You might be shocked to learn that 18% of our 2013 survey respondents are currently unemployed.