Using the results

Survey results can be used in many ways. Possibilities include:

  • Supporting student learning and development.
  • Facilitating student retention and engagement.
  • Managing resources, programmes, and services.
  • Quality assurance and / or enhancement.
  • Identifying areas of good practice.
  • Guiding staff development activities.
  • Improving internal communication.
  • Marketing to prospective students.
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Sharing the results with staff

  • Writing a report for staff is a good idea and makes for a good start.
  • Then it is just as important to share and discuss the results. Schedule a time to discuss with relevant personnel.
  • Facilitate discussion to select subsets of the data (for example, ten questions that relate to a local priority) for further exploration.
  • You may wish to involve a larger number of staff by asking them to review results for their own areas of responsibility and to identify priority actions. An increasing number of institutions conduct further analysis to explore results by faculty/ department. Make use of the two fields that reflect organizational structures (Academic Unit 1 and 2) to customize results for faculties/ schools/ departments.
  • Examine trend analyses to consider past years’ data relative to latest data (for individual questions or for individual indicators) and to inform priorities for next year.
  • Prompt a discussion on expectations of the experience of different groups of students. What differences, or similarities, would staff expect in the experiences of first years relative to final years; full – time or part-time; discipline A or discipline B? Is this what you expect? Could/ should the experience be different?

Create action plans for sharing the data

  • Determine which data are relevant for particular staff/ students. Which data are most compelling for your institution, faculties, departments, students? Facilitate departments, learning support units to engage with small sets of relevant results, not the whole report.
  • Would a “data use team” be beneficial to exploit the data by identifying a series of “data champions” in various units of the institution?
  • What institution-level initiatives might benefit from survey data? Connect results to issues in your institution which people care about and send to relevant groups.
  • How can you use comparison group data to motivate reflection and action on your results? How does your data compare to national or similar institution-types?
  • Can you look at your results relative to past performance and similar institutions to identify areas for further work?
  • What other institutional sources of data can you link to results?
  • Are there opportunities to share data with partner disciplines/ partner institutions?
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