When is a satisfaction assessment complete?
That’s actually a trick question. I would suggest that the process for assessing student satisfaction is ongoing and includes not only administering a survey instrument to your students, but the time involved with reviewing and sharing the results as well. It also includes exploring what the data really tell you about the student experience and then taking action to make improvements and communicating back to students what you have done and why.
By then, of course, it is time to survey your students again to see if you have been able to improve student satisfaction year to year (either annually or every other year, depending on the cycle that works best for you). This is a topic that I have covered in past blogs. (See “How can you turn college student satisfaction data into action planning,” “Taking college satisfaction data beyond the institutional research office,” and “Six critical steps to conducting regular assessment of college student satisfaction.”)
While I was thinking about this question, the recent Winter Olympics also got me thinking about gold, silver, and bronze levels of performance. Even though bronze and silver medals signify high achievement, there is still incentive to go for the gold to be truly on top of the game.
The same goes for campuses and satisfaction assessment. Based on my work with thousands of colleges, universities, community colleges, and career schools over the past two decades, I have identified the following activities that illustrate the levels of activity a campus undertakes once it receives its satisfaction survey results. Again, just conducting a satisfaction assessment is a step in the right direction, but to be at the very top, you may want to consider these types of activities for the future.